CoStar-Deluge of Packages Has Apartment Landlords Scrambling for Options

By: Linda Moss

Apartment landlords and property managers are increasingly offering an amenity that’s become a necessity for some tenants, particularly during the holiday season: package delivery management.

Secure, self-service 24-hour package access ranked No. 4 in terms of community amenities desired by tenants, with 84% of respondents interested in that offering, according to an "Apartment Resident Preferences Report" done by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Kingsley Associates.

Landlords are responding by installing automated locker systems and even overflow package rooms to handle deliveries at their existing buildings, promoting such services as a selling point for their new apartment complexes.

Property managers can now turn to a growing group of companies that have popped up to facilitate package delivery at multifamily dwellings. Online giant Amazon itself has developed its own on-site delivery/storage system, Amazon Hub Apartment Locker.

The volume of packages that Americans have delivered is growing and shows little sign of abating, creating a continuing struggle for some landlords. The challenge is to track what packages arrive, contact tenants to pick them up and store the goods until then. The onslaught of deliveries this time of year can be overwhelming.

A report by Package Concierge, which provides automated locker systems to handle packages, analyzed properties with 215 to 235 units during the first three quarters this year and found the average building is handling nearly 70 package transactions a day, a 17% increase over last year. And this holiday season, online and other nonstore sales are projected to increase 14%, according to the National Retail Federation.

"This is actually a topic that we hear about quite frequently year round, but specifically this time of year when the number of packages has really increased," said Stephanie Anderson, manager of industry operations for the National Apartment Association, a trade group for apartment owners and suppliers.

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