A friend recently told me that he had to tell people to stop sending him packages because he was frustrated dealing with the issues that come from having a package shipped. These frustrations ranged from bent flat packages that had “DO NOT BEND” clearly printed on them, to the mailman refusing to leave the package at the front door (and the community not having larger boxes specifically for packages either). The typical property can receive up to 100 packages during a normal week, and that number can double during the holidays. Though property managers are like superheroes, most do not have the time to deal with the amount of packages that come to the office. I talked to a few former property managers about some of their worst experiences dealing with package tracking.
Ryan Tyson, a student property manager, explained to me how costly the loss of a package could be. At his student housing community, Tyson told me he would receive hundreds of packages a week. One day, a resident came back from out of town expecting a delivery from a popular computer store. Tyson and his staff looked high and low for the package, but despite doing everything they could, they were unable to locate it. The unfortunate kicker? Said package contained a $2,000 laptop the resident was going to use for school. The property had to replace it, and boy was that a terrible hit to the pocket book. The most frustrating part of the story was that there was no proof that the resident had not already picked up the package or had it delivered to his unit.
Tanya Garcia, another former property manager I spoke to, had a stinky (literally) experience dealing with packages. People love to make and send baked goods during the holiday season, which is great if you can get the package delivered right away. Sadly this rarely happens since properties deal with hundreds of packages during this peak season. One recipient was gone for the holiday, and the box was not marked as perishable. When the resident came in for their delivery, it did not look like a normal package; it was a gooey, gross mess. Obviously the resident was not thrilled receiving the package— would you be? The staff had no way to notify the resident and avoid the mess because they did not have a package tracking system.
The last story comes from a student housing property manager who shall remain nameless. With all the things property managers have to do, dealing with deliveries generally is one of the lowest priorities. One night this property manager forgot to notify a few residents that they had packages waiting for them at the office. She had every intention of doing it when she got to work the next day. But when she arrived at her property that morning, all the packages had been stolen. Those packages ended up costing the property around $500 to replace.
All of these property managers had one thing in common with their stories: They did not have any system in place to track packages. Most of the residents mentioned in these stories also ended up leaving the property when they could. No one likes dealing with resident turnover, having a robust package tracking system in place is one way to ensure your residents satisfaction, and to avoid a giant mess with packages.