As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, our thoughts turn to… holiday shopping. With the ever-growing popularity of online shopping, a busy property manager is likely to find themselves drowning in packages starting just after the one-two combo of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and not letting up until sometime in January (or beyond). Not only are there many packages to manage, but they’re likely all time sensitive and need to be handled with extra care.
Here are some tips for staying on top of the deluge.
It may be time to explore modular package lockers for your community if you don’t already have them in place. Residents can access them around the clock, which is particularly beneficial when the office may have alternate hours in place for the holidays. The self-service model also takes some of the pressure off office staff, as they will have fewer packages to distribute (packages that call for special handling or are oversized may still need a personal touch). Different providers offer different services at a range of price points, so do your research to determine which option is best for your community.
Take advantage of text messages to notify residents instantly about packages. In this day and age, not everyone answers their phone – or listens to voicemail. However, a text can be read on the go – often from a lock screen. Engage a communication platform that allows you to send multiple texts from a single screen, which will save you time, and that provides two-way texting functionality so that residents can reply to schedule pickup. Always be sure that you have first acquired the proper permissions to text your residents.
Establish a system for managing the packages that have to be stored in your office to speed the pickup process. Consider sorting the packages alphabetically by the recipient’s last name or numerically by unit number. You may also want to establish a system that requires anyone picking up a package to show identification or to sign a sheet so you can better keep track of which package is going where.
Finally, now is an excellent time to send your residents a few easy cybersecurity tips to keep in mind during the holidays. For example, remind residents to use different passwords for different sites and to stick to reputable vendors when buying that must-have gift of the season. Consider sharing this information in an email blast or as an article in your newsletter.