5 Million Mark: A Measure of Skyrocketing Ecommerce Industry

In some ways, 5 million represents the perfect storm.

While package delivery continues to increase exponentially in the ecommerce market, Package Concierge® has tirelessly aimed to keep a steady pace by installing innovative package lockers in as many locales as possible.

In Spring 2016, we surpassed the 2-million mark in package transactions. At the time, it signified a hefty achievement. But as consumers continue to gravitate to online shopping and nationwide demand for package solutions rises accordingly, we’ve experienced more than a 200-percent spike in package lockers installations.

With that, the number of package transactions has quickly ascended to 5 million.

5 million

To be clear, the 5 million figure isn’t something we’re thumping our chest about. In our eyes, the number more represents the thriving ecommerce industry and the suddenness of it. This hasn’t been a gradual rise – it has been meteoric. There is a reason why businesses are closing brick-and-mortar stores but continue to thrive overall. It’s because their merchandise is being ordered through a few clicks online, and consumers are utilizing package delivery at ultra-historic rates.

Ecommerce Increase Means More Deliveries

Internet sales accounted for a mere 3 percent of consumer expenditure as a whole in 2006. That number rose to 15.5 in 2016 according to Business 2 Community, and the U.S. is at the forefront of this global movement. Ecommerce is a $220 billion market in the U.S. and has grown at annual rate of 17 percent over the past decade.  This figure is likely to increase even more with Walmart’s recent announcement that is it offering free two-day shipping.

The trend within the trend is that consumers are not only shopping online, but increasingly doing so through mobile devices. Experts predict that mobile transactions (those conducted through smartphones and tablets) will account for 26 percent of retail ecommerce sales in the U.S. by the end of 2017.  This figure is likely to increase even more with Walmart’s recent announcement that it is offering free two-day shipping.

What to expect?

Packages are being delivered at such a fervent pace that Amazon is unveiling its own delivery service. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that ecommerce growth played a key role in 3.2-percent profit growth for the United Parcel Service. Naturally, Amazon’s decision to utilize its own deliverers could put a dent in overall numbers for UPS, FedEx and USPS. But no matter the method in which they are shipped, the packages will continue to arrive.

Looking to the Future

Along with the demand, residents are expecting to receive their packages in a convenient, hassle-free manner. That’s why we believe it is important to parallel the growth of ecommerce with solutions that fit.

Perhaps in six months or a year, we’ll view our 5 million package transaction as obsolete, as antiquated as the dial-up modem. But for now, the figure holds some clout when looking at ecommerce as a whole.

5 million.

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Future Proofing for Packages

future By Georgianna W. Oliver, Founder & CEO of Package Concierge

The Future Is Just Around The Corner.

To use a term I credit to Jennifer Coogan at Avalon Bay, “future proofing” your community is essential to assure you are not only meeting the resident demands of today but also preparing for future demands. Can you imagine your current holiday-season package rush becoming the year-round norm for your property?

Currently, one of our clients receives over 600 packages per day on one property. They currently have the package situation under control, but will it be enough in future years? Smaller properties with less than 250 units can probably handle the influx of packages more easily, as they currently average 40 package deliveries a day. But larger properties are more complicated and will require a more robust future proofing plan.

For the Package Concierge team, that means arming you with the innovations and technologies to manage the escalation of packages in the future. We accept the challenge of continually innovating our technology to address all of a community’s package-handling needs, now and in the future.

A Solution That Matters

Our high-quality lockers are designed to resist wear and tear. Our advancing technology handles all aspects of delivery and provides a secure method of communication between the locker system and residents. It also features the industry’s only mobile app.

We offer all the tools and reporting needed for the management of packages. Returns and shipping capabilities are coming soon as well. But, it is not enough. Today, we are addressing overflow options and developing a Package Concierge Smart RoomTM solution to meet the needs of tomorrow.

We understand package management solutions are more than locker systems or smart rooms. To that end, we are in constant communication with communities to improve our training for UPS, Fedex, and USPS carriers, discuss data management and advise about how to handle Uber and Lyft drivers showing up on-site to deliver more and more packages.

The solutions for handling packages will continue to evolve and so will the engineers at Package Concierge. We are working to stay ahead of the curve. You can count on that.

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3 Things Millennials Want In An Apartment

Millennials

Getting Millennials To Settle In Your Community

If there’s one generation breaking the mold, it’s Millennials. Born between the years of 1980 thru 2000, they constantly attract the attention of the media through their job-hopping habits, their diversity and their high levels of education. Being the most studied generation in history, Millennials have a different outlook on life than previous generations and are gearing up to change the spending habits of our current economy. This all might sound a bit intimidating at first but it’s great news for the multifamily industry. Millennials are drawn to renting for a variety of reasons and they cherish the ability to pick up and move whenever they like. Because of this, renting has never been more attractive. So how can apartment developers capitalize on these tech-savvy nomads? Here are the top three things Millennials look for in their future communities.

  • Technology – This should be obvious but not all communities understand it. It’s not about Internet access and gaming areas; it’s also about the little things. Great examples making all the difference are USB chargers built into wall outlets, keyless electronic access throughout the property and even a simple digital rent payment system. These all display your community’s commitment to keeping up with the times. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have tech-savvy amenities, such as a Package Concierge. They order a lot of packages and they want to receive them on their schedule!
  • Attractive Apartment Layouts – For Millennials, less is more. They’re willing to downsize the bedroom for a larger living room where social interaction takes place. Michael R. Ytterberg, principal at BLT Architects, believes in this characteristic as he states: “Within the apartment itself, one of the most important features that Generation Y renters look for is an open floor concept with a large living space. As a result, smaller bedroom spaces aren’t a drawback if the living space can support their naturally social lifestyles.” This makes sense given Millennials thrive socially.
  • 21st Century Health and Wellness Centers – A barren room stocked with treadmills and rusty weight systems won’t cut it anymore. In its place, fitness centers in multifamily communities have been placing a heavy emphasis on yoga studios, pilates and “fitness on demand” digital classes broadcast through large TV’s. Millennials care deeply about wellness and are inarguably one of the healthiest generations ever.

These three characteristics will help your community be lively and vibrant. While Millennials enjoy having the ability to come and go as they please, statistics show that if they’re happy, they’re willing to rent longer, which is great news for the apartment industry. Ytterberg reiterates this point when he says “Many Millennials today are willing to spend more on their monthly rent to live in a prime location that offers them convenience, comfort and choice.” If apartment communities can provide what they’re looking for, it may turn a generation of wanderers into a bunch of homebodies. And what’s better than happy residents who want to stay a while!

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The Art of the Install

package locker systemsEvery amenity in a multifamily community should add value and make life enjoyable. Amenities shouldn’t be an eyesore; they should be inviting, exciting, and easy to use. Each Package Concierge we deliver is both an asset and accent for communities. We don’t just drop off an assembled locker system and drive away. We’ve created a dedicated installation process, which complements the community’s surroundings. Since every community is different, every Package Concierge is unique and tailor-made. This bespoke approach to package management isn’t the easiest, but every community deserves it and the installation is what makes the difference.

For a Package Concierge to be an anchor of the community, we have to think outside the box. No two communities are exactly the same and different configurations compliment architectural features, foot traffic, space, and even line of sight. Because we’ll visit the community beforehand to ensure the proper placement of the new system, we’ve become the top package locker system for architects and designers alike. The installation is where all points blend together.package locker systemsAn installation is an exercise in design thinking. It requires custom solutions for every inquiry and sale that comes in. This divergent approach has helped solve the package management problems of our customers. A Package Concierge never interferes with the lives of residents when not in use and the experience is naturally fluid when it is. Every installed system achieves both of these principles.package locker systemsYour package management problem is our solution. Our solution happens to be an installed amenity. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word amenity as “something that makes life easier or more pleasant.” This definition is the core of Package Concierge. Our goal as a company is to make lives easier. Whether you’re a resident, property manager, or delivery carrier, our system serves everyone in different ways. We’re going to take the time to not only deliver a system but ensure its seamless integration into the community. That’s the Package Concierge difference, the art of the install.

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Package Concierge and PMEXPO 2016

PCblog2-2Putting your expertise on display is a great way to spread awareness. For us, we try to attend as many events as possible to not only spread the name of Package Concierge but to show the world what we have to offer. We’ve attended many events in the past, but we’re especially excited for our next event coming up. On April 6th, Package Concierge will be attending PMEXPO 2016 in Washington D.C.

Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the PMEXPO is the nation’s largest one-day property management event. Filled with exhibitors from across the multifamily spectrum, PMEXPO allows property management attendees to explore product demos and new technologies. We’re proud to be an exhibitor and a sponsor of the event, but we’re also excited to learn more about the latest and greatest in our industry. And with over 250 exhibitors, it’s safe to say we’ll be learning, meeting, and greeting with many people!

On top of catching up with the newest innovations, PMEXPO offers an extensive educational program featuring acclaimed speakers, discipline-specific tracks, and continuing education credits. Everything from successful social media practices to HVAC management is up for discussion, making the event educational for all areas of multifamily. Combined with the networking aspect of the event, PMEXPO is an incredible resource for the industry. While we’ll be out on the floor taking in the sights and sounds, we’ll be at our booth showing everyone what we bring to the table.

At booth 710, we’ll have our small model Package Concierge for demonstrations. John Doyle and Andrew Robertson will be more than happy to show you how our system works and why it’s the best package management solution available. If you haven’t seen a Package Concierge in action before, PMEXPO will be a great opportunity to see what one can do for you and your property. Make sure you stop by and say hello.

If you’re attending PMEXPO 2016, we look forward to meeting you and learning with you. Rarely our industry can find the time to get together under one roof. So when there’s a chance to do so, you can count Package Concierge in. Ready to go? See below for details and we’ll see you on April 6th!

PMEXPO 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

9:00am – 4:00pm

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mount Vernon Place NW

Washington, DC 20001

Package Concierge: Booth 710

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Self-Serve Dry Cleaning Lockers & Seamless Integration

IMG3726The world moves faster than ever since the rapid evolution of technology. From the rise of artificial intelligence to sneakers that can finally self-lace, we don’t have the time to complete the tasks we once took time to do. For Package Concierge, our streamlining life solution lies in our locker systems. Taking the stress out of package delivery is what we’re known for and what we’ve delivered nationwide. However, Package Concierge isn’t just about packages deliveries. We’re regularly pursuing ways to make our high quality lockers more utilitarian, lockers that support dry cleaning delivery is another step towards making life easier.

Let’s face it; picking up dry-cleaning is just another addition on the laundry list (no pun intended) of daily tasks. Because we feel your pain, we decided to create a solution. The steps mirror the package delivery and receiving process! The dry cleaning service delivers the cleaned items directly into the system using our touch screen. As soon as the locker door is shut, the resident receives notification that their dry cleaning has been delivered and they can retrieve their clothing at their convenience.

The Package Concierge dry cleaning lockers are slimmer in design and include hooks. The units come in two configurations as well. They’re designed with clothing in mind and can accommodate everything from suits to long dresses, ensuring your valuables are kept wrinkle free once delivered. If the facility already has a Package Concierge, the dry cleaning lockers can be simply added on and fully integrate with the preexisting system.

There are also revenue opportunities. Many of our clients explore leasing the lockers to a local dry cleaner on an exclusive basis in return for getting the property’s business. It’s truly a “win-win” for all involved.interior_picMoving soon and quickly realizing this is an essential amenity? In addition to the amazing Harbor Pointe community (shown above) in Bayonne, NJ, the Package Concierge dry cleaning lockers can been seen in communities in the following cities:

Los Angeles, CA

Denver, CO

Miami, FL

Atlanta, GA

Boston, MA

Cambridge, MA

Watertown, MA

Ardmore, PA

King of Prussia, PA

Package Concierge strives to make life easier for every person using one of our locker systems. We will continue to push our hardware and software forward and be the drivers of innovation within our space. After all, deliveries and packages come in many shape and sizes. Package Concierge plans on playing a major part in all things delivered.

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More than Half Way There!

Red_Gray_Map_NEW315-01Recently, Package Concierge entered a thrilling chapter in our company’s story. We’re excited to let all of our friends and partners know that we’re now in 26 states across America! This is big news for us, especially since we’ve only been a company since December 2012. Even though our expansion across the country has been fast, we’d like to let everyone know that the credit goes to our amazing clients who believed in us early on such as Alliance Residential, The Bozzuto Group and The JBG Companies, and partners like Florence Manufacturing and The Container Store. When you think about it, our growth is great for everyone. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Expanding Technology: As we receive feedback from system users, we alter and tailor the user experience to truly reflect their wants and needs. In previous blogs, we mentioned examples of this such as our mobile app, systems with dry cleaning pick up, and even resident shipping and returns from Package Concierge lockers. These ideas stemmed from our expansion and user feedback. As this grows, so will the possibilities.
  • Secure and Safe Deliveries: Our expansion hasn’t been by accident; our clients and partners know that the name Package Concierge is synonymous with the words security and safety. This is a big driver in our growth and the more Package Concierge systems are out in the world; the more deliveries reach their final destinations instead of ending in the hands of unintended recipients.
  • Organization and Value for All: A Package Concierge system doesn’t just provide a delivery point for packages; it stimulates growth in other areas as well. For example, our customers see an increase in resident satisfaction, the end of untidy/messy package rooms, organized storage of packages on-site, and most importantly the saving of staff time. Also, because of the quality of our system, it is considered a valuable property asset, not just an amenity that is in high demand. These attributes help keep both residents and leasing agents happy, which in turn can keep a community thriving and growing.

As you can see, growth can be a very good thing. We’re not about to lose sight of what’s important to us, which is all who have helped guide us into this position. We assure you, we’re going to maximize upon our growth to make Package Concierge the best it has ever been. And soon enough, we’ll be crossing our 27th state line.

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Bozzuto and the BMAs

Bozzuto Name and SloganIn this week’s blog, we would like to give recognition where recognition is due. When the ideals of superior customer service, innovative industry leadership, and passion for community-based values are the heart of your business model, Package Concierge takes notice. The company that is the literal definition of this is The Bozzuto Group and Bozzuto Management Company (Bozzuto).

Bozzuto has spent more than 25 years building and managing numerous multifamily properties. Founded in 1988 by Tom Bozzuto, Rick Mostyn, John Slidell, and the late Bernard Lubcher, Bozzuto Management has grown into a leader in property development and management. Their logo, which was created by Barbara Bozzuto, is in the firm’s signature color of “Bozzuto Green.” However, Bozzuto Management’s connection to “green” goes beyond the color of their logo; they’re committed to “green energy” not just as a company but also as a community leader. Bozzuto takes pride in multifamily property recycling programs and in obtaining LEED certifications in building and development.

Bozzuto_Office

Bozzuto invests in honest and creative leadership, customer and community satisfaction, powerful business relationships, and the sustainability of the Earth’s environment. And, they know that excellence begins with the more than 2,000 people they employ. That is why every year they host the Bozzuto Management Awards (BMAs).

On Thursday, March 10th, in the National Building Museum located in our nation’s capital the BMAs will recognize Property and Service Managers along with individuals and teams of employees. Awards range from “Property Manager of the Year” to “Resident Services.” Package Concierge is proudly sponsoring this year’s event as a display of camaraderie and commitment to Bozzuto and we’re excited to spend time with industry leaders equally as passionate as us.

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One of Bozzuto’s properties that has recently received recognition is the The Frasier, located in Alexandria, VA. This modern and luxurious apartment community was a Gold winner in the Multi-Housing News (MHN) 2015 Excellence Awards; Most Tech Savvy Community. Package Concierge is proud to be associated with The Frasier. Our package locker system is mentioned by MHN as one of the most popular technology services at The Frasier.

As our relationship with Bozzuto continues to grow, we at Package Concierge know that our shared values are at the core of what we do and how we do it. We are excited to celebrate the successes at the BMAs this week and we look forward to the future!

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Leap for Free Rent Day!

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What are you going to do with this extra day of the year? We have arrived at another intercalary year; better known as leap year. But when you think about it, this year renters receive an extra day in their properties for FREE! That’s right! So whom do we need to thank for this extra day of multifamily living? That answer goes back farther than you may realize.

Around 46 B.C., Julius Caesar decided that every four years we get an extra day added to the year to balance out the 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds that accompanies the 365 days it takes the earth to orbit the sun. Now, Mr. Caesar didn’t quite get leap year right the first time. That’s why over 1,500 years later Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar to better regulate the bonus time of a year. His calendar added centuries to the equation, thus making years that are divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400.

The benefit of that extra day in February every four years is a “rent free day.” Most leases are based on 365 days in a year, which means renters score an extra day in their homes for free! This is definitely a reason for celebration and the last time we welcomed an extra day in the year, Package Concierge was just gearing up as a company.

In the leap year of 2012 Package Concierge was founded. And after only a few years we are in 26 states providing our services to multifamily and student housing properties. In 2015, we received the Customer Experience Innovation Award, a crowning achievement for a company less than 5 years old. Package Concierge believes in making the most of the time we have, and that’s why we are committed to providing our customers with the latest technological advancements in package management.

Package Concierge is serious about security and convenience all year long, whether its 365 days or 366. So, what are you going to do with your “rent free” day this year? Maybe, host a “rent free day” party? Whatever you do, make sure you and your friends thank Julius Caesar for the extra time we have in 2016!

 

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Client Spotlight: Central Park at Whisman Station

Whisman_SceneicOur latest client spotlight is host to some of the most scenic views of any property we’ve featured. Central Park at Whisman Station is located in Mountain View, California. The vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains compliment this luxurious multifamily property and create a beautiful landscape of the surrounding area

Managed by Alliance Residential, Whisman Station is just one example of their dedication to multifamily living done right. They also are advocates for luxurious living with a reduced carbon footprint. Alliance’s “Focus Green” program seeks to reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources at each community, as well as educate and encourage residents to participate in eco-friendly lifestyles. As they celebrate their management leadership this week, Alliance Residential truly has the best interests of their residents in mind.

Whisman_Lobby

After taking in all of the glorious scenery, you can explore even more of Mountain View on the bike path, or one of the numerous jogging/walking trails of the Whisman Station community. Other amenities include a fitness center, a relaxation spa, and a resort inspired swimming pool. And for members of the “green” team, there are new energy efficient appliance packages and electric vehicle charging stations.

Whisman_PoolIn an area where technology companies thrive and innovation is around every corner, Central Park at Whisman Station also provides its residents with a technologically advanced Package Concierge. The system is cozily tucked away in a convenient alcove, but don’t be fooled by its discreet location; this system has received more than 2,000 packages since it’s installation this past November!

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Package Concierge provides secure storage for items intended for Whisman Station’s residents. Brittany, a Sales Associate at the property, mentioned how the system has improved the lives of the residents. “The Package Concierge system works well, everyone likes it.” Brittany also said, “The notification that Package Concierge sends to residents when packages have been received are very convenient.” When we asked Brittany how often the Package Concierge system was utilized, her response was, “It is used quite often; we’re actually considering ordering another one!”

Not too long ago, Mountain View was just a stagecoach stop in the newly settled west. Now, it’s the home of “tech giants” like Google, Mozilla and Symantec. And for those that call Central Park at Whisman Station home, Package Concierge is the package management “giant” that they can depend on for convenience and security.

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