Not so very long ago, acquiring goods and services required some physical effort on the part of consumers; a trip to a store, or restaurant, or other commercial establishment. Sure, you could phone or mail in an order from the Sears catalog or have Domino’s deliver a pizza, but that was about it.
Over the last decade or so, more and more of our buying has moved online—and more and more of what we acquire comes to our homes via a third party, without us ever having to leave the couch, let alone the house. When COVID-19 sequestered us even further into our private bubbles and forced us to avoid human contact outside of our households, it further accelerated the pace of all kinds of virtual vending and the ease with which we can conduct transactions remotely. We’ve come to expect everything from groceries to new shoes to medications to arrive at our door promptly, securely, and intact.
And the trend isn’t going anywhere. Multifamily property analytics firm ApartmentData.com estimates that in 2022, each resident on average will receive 9.41 packages each month, with that number going up to 10.65 in 2023. It’s one thing for a single family in a free-standing house to receive and secure the steady stream of packages and other deliveries that come directly to their door. But for multifamily buildings and communities, the situation is much more complex—and often fraught, even before the pandemic. COVID has exacerbated and further complicated the difficulties associated with the delivery deluge.
So how have residential communities adapted to this particular challenge? What new systems or technologies have developed to help boards and managers make sure packages and deliveries get to their intended recipients without leaving building staff members swimming in a sea of cardboard?
Many Options, Few Solutions
Multifamily buildings come in many shapes and sizes, of course—not to mention ages, locations, histories, financial positions, and residential cultures. When it comes to package security and storage, this means that what might work great for one building or community might not even be an option for another. And with residents continuing to spend more time at home and the options for e-commerce ever increasing, what might work for one building today might be obsolete by the time it’s installed and implemented.