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Apartment parcel lockers: What property managers need to know

photo of new apartment parcel locker system

The decision to add or upgrade your apartment parcel lockers is an important one – and one that requires adequate time and research. Having worked with countless apartment complexes of varying sizes and installed and upgraded many package locker systems, we’ve learned what’s important and what is “nice to know.”

At a glance, the three key areas every property manager needs to know include:

  • What questions to ask prior to considering a locker solution
  • The features and benefits that separate a good locker from a bad locker system
  • How to select the right package locker vendor

In this article, we’ll dive into each area, showcasing the most critical information to help guide your decision and make sure you end up with the right choice for your community and your management team.

Key Factor #1: What Questions Property Managers Should Be Asking About Package Management

Sure, lockers should make your life easier. But it runs deeper than that. Start by asking yourself (and/or your team) these five questions to help decide if your team and your residents could benefit from a package locker system or apartment parcel locker:

  • How much time is your management team devoting to package management?

Hint: if you’ve noticed your team doesn’t have time to help with big projects or is feeling overwhelmed, package and delivery management could be the culprit.

  • Do you have room for a package locker system? (whether internal or external)

If you are going to install a new parcel or package locker system, you need to have the space. The right vendor will provide a consultation before moving forward with the sale to help you optimize the space you have to serve your package delivery needs.

Good locations for a locker include:

  • An open hallway with 24/7 resident access
  • An unused room (should be at least 10 ft. x 10 ft.)
  • A lounge/community building with 24/7 resident access
  • A garage
  • An open outdoor space

Apartment parcel locker system in a complex garage.

Keep in mind that even if you’re not sure about the space, we can help you determine feasibility and/or even scope out an addition at your property in tandem with the construction company.

  • Is surveillance and security a concern?

Maybe you’ve had package thefts recently, or you struggle to answer resident questions about delivery. Either way, a package locker system with security and surveillance could take the heat off your team – and provide much peace of mind to residents who are constant users of the “one-click” Amazon checkout!

  • Would you like to make it possible for residents to retrieve packages at their convenience?

Everyone has varied schedules these days and limited accessibility to packages can be a big problem for residents. Especially if residents happen to work during your office hours and can’t make it down to pick up their package, setting up apartment parcel lockers can be a way to ease this frustration and provide much-needed resident convenience.

  • How many packages or deliveries are received daily or weekly?

In the past year, the number of packages and deliveries has spiked across the country…and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. If you haven’t started charting this for a data-specific look at the problem, it may be worth a shot. We’ve seen communities get hundreds of deliveries each week and this takes precious time away from the management of the community as a whole. Without a full-time mailperson, an apartment parcel locker could be the answer for you!

If you’re wanting to explore this further, check out this free on-demand webinar: What Apartment Managers Need to Know About Package Lockers

Key Area #2: The Features and Benefits of a Good Package Locker

Once you’ve decided that a package locker system would benefit your community and ease the burden placed on your team, it’s time to know exactly what makes a good locker good and a bad locker….well….bad?!

This is the part that property managers and owners really appreciate. If you haven’t dealt with package or parcel lockers in the past, they can seem difficult to differentiate from the outside. But it really comes down to five features that differentiate a great package locker system from a locker lemon.

1. Price

Price is one of the most important factors – especially for smaller communities on a budget. While this is an investment, parcel or package lockers drastically increase the value of your property and attract new residents.

Keep in mind that a good locker vendor should be able to work with your numbers and get you a system that boosts your value without breaking your budget.

2. Security/Surveillance

Not every locker comes equipped with security cameras and 24/7 surveillance, which could make a big difference. This is especially important if a resident reports a stolen package or your management team needs to find out who was last in the package room.

Surveillance camera and locker security system.

Don’t just assume your parcel package solution has built in security! We can point you to the right product for your needs.

3. Locker Quality

Quality covers a variety of different things, but it comes down to how good the package locker system really is. This means that it holds up to any attempts at theft or break-ins, and it holds its quality for a long time to ensure a good ROI over the lifetime of the product.

Here are a couple of factors that play into apartment package locker quality:

  • Type of steel used
  • Accessibility for residents
  • How easily it can be broken into
  • Any reports of lockers malfunctioning

4. Ongoing Support and Maintenance

Eventually your lockers will need some maintenance, so it’s important to know ahead of time if that is going to come out of your pocket or if it’s covered in the up-front cost. A good parcel locker vendor should be able to help you figure this into your costs up front, and help you budget for it going forward.

5. Extra Features

While every package locker should come equipped with a variety of locker sizes and easy accessibility, these extra features could just end up winning you new residents…and keep your existing residents from leaving!

Examples of the different kinds of features include:

  • Refrigerated lockers
  • Dry-cleaning drop-off and pick-up
  • Customization of lockers (personalized to your community) – such as color, logos, or even a full-on wrap design!

Key Area #3: How to Choose the Best Package Locker Vendor for Your Needs

Like the lockers themselves, not all vendors are created equal. Finding a vendor that acts more like a partner will help you avoid future costs and headaches. Here are a few key questions to consider:

1. Do they offer a customized solution to fit your space and your needs?

Spacing is important and the right vendor should be able to provide a mix of lockers and package rooms to fit the space you have available. If they have a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s likely they aren’t going to flex on other things either.

2. Can they adjust your apartment parcel locker to scale with your complex?

Maybe you only need a main unit with 15 lockers to start, but down the road that could change. The right vendor will be able to scale your lockers to fit your resident needs.

Scalable locker system to fit apartment needs.

3. What type of training or onboarding is provided?

Your team probably won’t be able to work the package locker system right off the bat, but they should be trained to answer questions and make package/locker adjustments as needed. We believe that training should be included in the cost you’re paying for the lockers. Beware of hidden fees if this isn’t the case.

4. How do they help you meet and overcome the challenge of carrier delivery?

Carrier delivery is one of the biggest concerns when installing a package locker and your vendor should have strategies to help ensure your carriers actually deliver the packages into the locker instead of leaving them out in the cold. The right vendor will also help you pinpoint any challenges with carrier delivery and remedy them with you.

5. What type of ongoing security and support do they provide?

Security and surveillance can be crucial to the safety of your resident’s packages. But beyond that, having a 24/7 camera always recording can also help with maintenance and support.

For instance, say you’re locked out of the system for some reason, if your locker comes equipped with a security camera, your vendor can access that footage and see exactly what you’re seeing. And the problem just got that much easier to solve!

6. What type of warranty or maintenance is included?

Like any major purchase, warranty or maintenance coverage can ease your mind and ensure you don’t end up spending thousands down the road. A good vendor will provide you with ongoing support and maintenance to ensure any breakage is covered without cost.

As a certified Luxer One partner, Liss Technologies Group provides a full suite of package locker service with a preliminary consultation, delivery and installation, and ongoing support.

Ready to find the right parcel locker system for your community? Schedule a call today!

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