Student Housing Business

JAN-FEB 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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PACKAGE MANAGEMENT January/February 2018 66 are self-serve and take site staff almost 100 percent out of the equa- tion because the carrier delivers the package, the student receives notification, and the student picks up the package in a separate des- ignated area, which is available 24/7 — not just during leasing office hours. Best of all, students have no occasion to interrupt office staff while they are leasing and inter- acting with residents or prospects. Even better, the staff reduces its liability in the process. "Since we as the landlord are accepting the responsibility of the package, then we are accepting a lot of liability on behalf of the stu- dents," Callison says. "Technically speaking, the responsibility over packages remains with the shipping com- pany until the recipients receive their packages. We try to let ten- ants know that we're not respon- sible for any lost, damaged or sto- len items, but when your staff is physically signing for a delivery, it becomes a customer service issue very quickly when you can't locate a package. "It's also difficult for our staff to confirm whether all the packages they are receiving are in fact being delivered," Callison continues. "Many times, the UPS or FedEx driver will show up with over 50 packages on their cart, and we sign for all the packages at once." Package Concierge is another company that offers customiz- able package locker systems and rooms. A carrier scans an ID at a kiosk screen, enters receiver infor- mation, and the locker assigned to the resident pops open. When the locker door closes, the student automatically receives an email or text that it's ready for pick- up. Package Concierge, which was acquired by Gibraltar in February 2017, has recently added a lower- cost "express" version of its lock- ers as well as package rooms. "Our lockers are fully integrat- ed, requiring no action at all by the site staff, or any staff," says Georgianna Oliver, general man- ager and founder of Package Con- cierge. "We have many properties that have no staff at all where the lockers are. And we can remote- ly log in, open doors and resolve errors. If the carrier didn't close the door, or it is jammed, we can pop it open remotely while the student is standing in front of the lockers. That's how we can have this be 100 percent hands-off." Oliver says Package Concierge has also recently begun offering returns through its locker system, so students can also log in and send outbound packages. Vendors who serve this grow- ing need are expanding. Staff size and number of installations has approximately doubled in the past year for Package Concierge, Oliver says. "For student housing commu- nities, it's no longer a question of whether or not they need a solution," says Melody Akhtari, director of marketing and commu- nications for package locker com- pany Luxer One. Postal Solutions is the largest national distributor of Luxer One. "Rather, the dis- cussions have been around which solution works best for them." Luxer One recently began offer- ing outdoor lockers that are weath- er-resistant and come equipped with security features like light- ing and video surveillance. Due to the proliferation of meal and gro- cery delivery services, they also debuted the Luxer Fridge, which is a commercial-grade refrigerator made by True Refrigeration that contains a proprietary Luxer One lock. Latch is a company that provides keyless access systems. The sys- tems are also marketed as package management tools because they can enable package deliveries by granting access to doors remotely. "Latch buildings can auto- matically receive packages safely inside of buildings, reducing prop- erty managers' burden of tracking down missing or stolen packages and monitoring building access points for deliveries," says Ali Hussain, Latch's chief operating officer. Students may also set up a time- specific access code for delivery personnel to bring parcels into their units. Each Latch access product comes with a wide-angled camera lens that takes a photo every time someone attempts, successfully or unsuccessfully, to access a door. Rules and (Front Office) Real Estate Managers, owners and devel- opers are beginning to change how they respond to the package challenge. To begin with, they are looking at being more purposeful and transparent about what they will and will not do. "There needs to be an inten- tionality to our day-to-day opera-

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