Up on the blog this week I'm tackling the Multi Family Package Room. One issue that just about every single community is running into is a deluge of packages being sent to the building. Thanks to the rise of Amazon, more than half of Americans do their goods and grocery shopping online. This has resulted in a surge of packages being delivered daily. The front desk of an apartment building is not a mail room, nor should it be treated as such. But for many buildings, this is too often the case. Dropping off a mountain of parcels at the front desk is easy for delivery workers because it saves them time and cuts down on how far they have to carry packages. But, to the owner of a Multi family dwelling, first impressions are lasting impressions. Creating a package experience that looks great and functions well becomes an amenity that is a proud part of the tour and an interior design feature that drives resident engagement.
Photo Cred: Pinterest
0ver 1.9 billion people were online shoppers at the end of 2019. By 2021 that number is estimated to reach 2.14 billion. Grocery delivery alone is expected to grow from $111 billion in 2020 to $154 billion by 2023. This trend began long before COVID-19, so you can imagine the impact now. From food to clothing to furniture and sundries arriving by truck multiple times per day, the most significant amenity transformation in multi-family buildings is likely to be the package room. Along with this shopping trend has come the technology needed to relieve operations staff from the burden of managing this onslaught of packages. Package lockers and secure self-serve package rooms have become an operations necessity and a resident expectation.
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In multi-family buildings, the space required to provide residents the package service they have come to expect is transforming the way interior designers program, space plan, and design. Some major items to consider are:
The mailbox installation specification differences between the United States Postal Service (USPS), American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA).
The Interior space planning requirements necessary for correct centralized mail and package delivery equipment to meet USPS specifications and accessibility requirements.
Interior design strategies based on accessibility standards for residential centralized mail and parcel delivery equipment.
Improving collaboration with US Postal officials necessary for successful approval of centralized mail and package delivery designs.
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In 2019, NMHC Kingsley conducted a package survey querying thousands of residents from various properties. They found some staggering figures:
An average of 150 packages are delivered each week to the standard multifamily community.
61% of property managers say that package deliveries have increased year over year.
For heavy/over sized packages, 52% of managers keep them in the management office, 32% deliver them to the resident’s door, and 22% store them in a separate storage area.
Unfortunately, few lobbies or mailrooms are equipped to handle this package influx, which all too often results in clutter, loss, or stolen packages. In addition, far too much of a property manager’s time is spent receiving, storing, and delivering packages. Fortunately, there’s a better way to handle the problem. By creating an interior design strategy regarding the issue, communities can prevent package theft with the investment in smart lockers. These lockers are fantastic lobby amenities that are capable of providing the following features:
Security – 24/7 cameras that capture both deliveries and pickups.
Intelligence – Lockers that use infrared scanners to detect and categorize items in lockers. This means greater accuracy and accountability for property managers.
Speed – Barcode technology makes it easy for packages to be delivered by any courier service.
Intelligent Software – Package software alerts residents when a package has been stored in the lockers and allows them to easily retrieve their items.
Flexibility – The various compartments that are capable of handling almost any size package. Refrigerated parcel lockers can also provide a property with temperature-controlled lockers for groceries, medicines, or perishables in general.
Customization with Design – most lockers come in a variety of colors or with optional wraps so they can perfectly complement the lobby’s interior design style.
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A solution to package woes is an amenity that’s going to be celebrated by the entire community — the property manager included. If planned and designed appropriately, package centers can strengthen community ties among residents. The inclusion of communal tables and recycling bins gives residents the option to open their packages immediately while socializing with their neighbors. Ultimately, it’s about the resident experience. As interior designers, we strive to create a community where serendipitous encounters lead to long-lasting relationships among residents.
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The ability to get your packages, shouldn’t be considered a luxury, rather it should be an expected convenience. Contact us for a quote to revamp your package room today.
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In addition to being a Philadelphia Multifamily Interior Designer, I also design boutique hotels, fitness centers, office spaces, residential development projects, other commercial spaces such as office and retail spaces, and the senior living community throughout the tri state area. We work here in Philadelphia, the main line, and even Nationally!
About the Interior Designer
Tina Delia, a native of Ocean County, NJ, current resident of Philadelphia, is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past eleven years, Tina has been steadfast in her vision and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design. At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces.