How The Digital Locker System Can Benefit Your Business

Chances are, if you’re reading this digital article, then you’ve ordered something online. A lot of you have purchased something online within the past week. Some of us have ordered things online today and some of the packages may even be sitting in a digital locker system awaiting your retrieval.

According to a recent study from Forrester Research Inc., online retail sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 49.7 percent from $334 billion (2015) to nearly $500 billion (2019).

Today’s consumer is increasingly turning away from brick-and-mortar stores and shopping online, and with that comes an increased expectation when it comes to package delivery from retailers and e-tailers. Consequently, businesses strive to keep up in an increasingly competitive market.

To challenge big online brands like Amazon and eBay, brick-and-mortar retailers are creating their own online shops and turning to delivery and pickup alternatives to compete while also cutting costs.

How, then, are these smaller businesses competing with online giants? More and more online retailers and e-tailers are investing in intelligent lockers to beat the last-mile delivery problem – all while making it faster, safer and more accessible to the consumer.

A digital locker system benefits small businesses because it is a smart, secure way to store those packages, but also convenient to the consumer when they are ready to pick up their package. An added bonus: It drives foot traffic to their store. During a time when showrooming is becoming more popular (or when someone shops in-store and then actually purchases online), the added benefit of in-store foot traffic means that smaller businesses benefit from in-person sales, online sales and a decrease in the expense to package and ship the item to the consumer.

Condo and apartment complexes, dorms and school-based housing, and businesses alike are also benefiting from locker systems by improving their package delivery experience. Even traditional malls are getting in on the action. After the transformation from warehouses of retail stores to centers of experiences with game areas, fitness centers, bars and amusement arenas, malls are now becoming a location of choice for locker systems as consumers look for ideal places to enjoy their lives and still pick up their packages.

Digital locker systems provide a safe and secure place where packages can be managed without significant amounts of time invested by management staff – a location open 24/7 for residents to retrieve their packages whenever it’s most convenient for them.

Package Concierge® offers three levels of American-made, customizable locker storage solutions. All solutions allow users to manage their accounts through an app or desktop portal, and provide reports detailing the delivery history and other data can be accessed quickly and securely.:

The Premier Locker Series
The Premier lockers can be customized to fit any space, including a condo hallway, business corridor or dorm parking garage, and feature a design being lauded by online publications. Have an L-shaped location perfect for a locker system? Package Concierge® can customize the design, shape and colors, and even split the system up if needed.  To top it all off, the Premier series features an 8″ x 10″ commercial-grade touchscreen interface with RFID reader, built-in camera and barcode reader.

The Express Locker Series
With a slightly smaller touchscreen (5″ x 7″) but still featuring a built-in camera and barcode reader, the Express series has three popular colors to pick from. The modular design allows for the Windows 8-compatible kiosk to be used either as a standalone system or with a more extensive system.

The Package Concierge Room
What do you do when someone orders an oversized package such as tires or a custom chair? The Package Room creates that safe, secure space for oversized parcels (or when the locker system is extra full!) and can be used as a standalone product or paired with the Express or Premier systems.

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Three Ways To Improve The Package Delivery Experience

Experience is Everything

Isn’t it all about the experience? When it comes to improving package delivery service, we have learned that many e-commerce merchants simply don’t know where to start. We’ll highlight three ways any merchant can begin the process of delivering a seamless experience, which in turn improves a buyer’s package delivery experience.

Major e-commerce giants make mistakes all the time. In fact, they seem to make their worst mistakes at the worst possible times, so merchants of all sizes should be proactive when managing communications in general. As merchants develop a better package delivery experience, brand image strengthens to grow the business.

Empowering customers with different ways to receive packages

The struggle is real when e-commerce merchants try to find solutions to the problem of last-mile delivery. Getting pilfered by a porch pirate is the least concern. A smart business understands the benefit of giving customers a number of package delivery options from which to choose.

Major shipping brands offer their customers as many as eight delivery options, based on how timely customers want their deliveries. We’ve seen small, growing merchants have much success with in-store pickup service alongside a range of delivery options. A smart merchant understands which products need shipping at all and which products require a more thorough experience for the customer.

Sending frequent delivery notifications

In any context, businesses that send their customers a variety of frequent communications have an edge over their rivals. Email, text messaging and a customer order-tracking page are three easy wins; however, social media has finally turned the worm for everyone, especially for merchants.

Social media puts customers in near-constant contact with brands as users share, rate and review content. It’s all about visibility to the customer, which is why successful brands take the time to address any negative publicity online.

Emailing delivery status updates has become par for the course, so if merchants don’t want to shank a drive and double bogey, they must develop constant communications with customers.

Offering branded and eco-friendly packaging

It’s a common mistake for merchants to focus on branding before operations, but once business starts flowing, the need for better branding becomes apparent. The good news is, offering green, eco-friendly packaging kills two birds with one stone.

To qualify as eco-friendly packaging, also known as sustainable packaging, packaging material must be: reusable, recycled or biodegradable. Paper, cardboard and biodegradable plastics are three basic types of eco-friendly packaging that are both safe for the environment and recyclable.

Eco-friendly packaging demonstrates that a merchant has the customer’s lifestyle in mind. Our recommendation is to make sure your packages are as eye-catching as possible. Customers come to associate with and, best of all, promote a brand that solves a common problem after delivering a package.

After all, it’s all about the experience. Improving a customer’s package delivery experience doesn’t happen overnight. Our advice is to start with these three basic tactics before thinking about a more comprehensive package delivery strategy.

At Package Concierge, we show the benefit of combining traditional package delivery services with innovative electronic package management solutions.


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Internet of Things and Property Management

A Look at IoT and its Affects on Property Management

By now, unless you have been living under a rock or off the grid, you are used to the “internet of things” touching virtually every aspect of your life. Your smartphone is smart because of the internet. Your car provides you with directions through its GPS using the internet. Your refrigerator may even be able to tell you what groceries you need the next time you are at the store!

But have you ever thought about the effect the internet of things has on commercial real estate and the changes that it brings to the manner in which asset managers conduct business?

Property managers and changing technology

Manufacturers have long recognized the benefit of integrating various production and management systems through the industrial IoT. These artificial intelligence systems allow for just-in-time ordering of parts, warn their human counterparts of potential difficulties in production lines and stop the line, and integrate production with office functions, automatically invoicing clients for products once they are shipped. Such integration saves time and money in manufacturing.

This type of integration is now available in commercial building management through the use of AI for those property managers who understand the changing technology environment.

“Smart systems” – those that can “talk” to one another – have been around for decades in building management. AI takes smart systems to a new level. Through AI, the system itself can make appropriate choices in heating, cooling, and the allocation of other valuable resources to greatly improve cost-efficiency. And these decisions occur without human interface other than equipment and technology maintenance.

Tenants will demand more technology from their commercial space

Gone are the days when a commercial tenant needed only a solid landline and a reliable internet connection to process payment. Today’s commerce moves at the speed of light, both from the vendor and the customer point of view. Landlords would do well to keep up with the increased technological demand.

Newly constructed commercial space can design AI elements into the building plans. Older buildings must adapt as best they can to meet changing tenant needs. Not only are retailers using more bandwidth to manage business, accept payment and run websites, but consumers are also using online devices while shopping to comparison shop or simply stay in touch with friends and family.

As a result, top-speed, reliable Wi-Fi may well be the deciding factor for retailers in the coming years.

Cost/benefit analysis is key to determining implementation

While the benefits of AI and IoT are clear, such benefits do not come without a price tag. The benefits include lower cost of ownership through smart building maintenance, the ability to charge higher rents for higher tech retail spaces and the ease of accepting payments and holding real-time discussions with tenants through a variety of electronic devices.

The costs vary according to the size, age and condition of the rental property. Obviously, a newer building already contains components of becoming an AI building. Your 200-year-old Victorian Bed and Breakfast, however quaint, is likely not as compatible for today’s technology.

Package Concierge is one part of the technology equation that can help you run your building smoothly without costing you a small fortune. Our locker system ensures your residents and tenants that their packages are safe and available to them any time of day or night. Fully customizable, the system can accommodate both residential and commercial customers, notifying them when packages arrive. Since the packages can be retrieved with a simple code, you have one less technological component to worry about as you consider the other options that you can offer your residents and tenants.

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Package Concierge® Helps Ivy League School Manage Shipments and Adds College Logistics Expert to Meet Growing Demand

Today, Package Concierge, the innovator of the digital locker system for apartment buildings, announced it is helping one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in the country manage packages for its students. The company has also appointed former Pitney Bowes College Sales Director, Lance Whitson, as its new national university sales manager.

“The addition of Lance to our team signals our commitment to delivering the highest-quality solution on the market to more industries that need it,” said Georgianna W. Oliver, founder of Package Concierge. “College campuses must implement a more efficient way to manage the influx of shipments and our digital locker system makes package management hassle-free for both students and faculty.”

Package Concierge is currently working with numerous college campuses across the country and is continuing to gain considerable momentum. The company processes 30,000 packages a day, and that number will only get bigger as shipments worldwide have increased 48 percent in just the past two years.

“University bookstores no longer sell books – everything is done online, which has resulted in colleges being overwhelmed by the process,” said Whitson. “Package Concierge delivers security, reliability and cuts down on the wait time for students, while also lowering labor expenses for the staff and schools. And with a system that is both technologically-savvy and beautifully designed, I’m particularly excited to join the innovator in the market.”

Having dedicated the majority of his career to the mailing and shipping industry, Whitson brings a proven track record for growing teams and growing market share for logistics companies. He was recently at Pitney Bowes, where he pioneered the launch of its intelligent locker offering. Previously, he served as the National Vertical Market Manager for Colleges and Universities at Neopost.

To-date, Package Concierge has managed more than 15 million package transactions nationwide, and serves over 250,000 apartment residents and students. For more information about Package Concierge and its solution, please visit

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Technology Expectations of Gen Z

Technology Expectations of Gen Z – It is bananas to think that younger generations will never know life without lightning-fast internet speed, instant and constant connectivity.

The first generation to grow up with continual online access, Generation Z – also known as the iGeneration, Post-Millennials and the Homeland Generation – is getting ready to enter the rental world. Gen Z’ers consume technology at a higher rate than any other demographic – checking their smartphones every three minutes! With smart home technologies having played such a big role in their lives, they have some pretty high expectations about what life outside of mom and dad’s house should be.

Gen Z’ers want a personal, meaningful and unique living experience, which can create a challenge for some student housing operators. But it’s a challenge that should be accepted with open arms.

Here are some key items to consider when building out a technology plan to meet the demands of this new generation of renters:

  • Personal connective devices like Google Assistant: These items were top sellers this holiday season. These devices are personal and connected to each individual user via apps and accounts, many owner/operators are considering these as move-in gifts for new residents. Being mindful of the user experience of each before making a final purchase.
  • Smart locks: Have become a no-brainer in terms of establishing a smart home/smart community. They offer greater flexibility for both the resident and the operator to control who can enter an apartment home. Your staff will not have to deal with the key management time-suck at semester turn; therefore, they can quickly and easily create a new access and revoke access as students move in and out.
  • Consider Makerspaces: Do you know what a makerspace is? With the rise and greater accessibility of technologies like 3D printing and the increased interest in STEM programs, Gen Z’ers are drawn to spaces where they can interact with others, invent, create and innovate. This collaborative work space, inside any public or private facility, would have more than just some computers and a printer – it would truly be a space built on technologies, tools and the ability to learn too.
  • Package management solutions: Package lockers have quickly become an expected amenity in the multifamily housing industry. Gen Z will expect the convenience of accessing their purchases when and how they want. Consider looking into a comprehensive package management solution that includes lockers, smart room technologies and personalized access capabilities.

Want to learn more and hear what the potential ROI is on some of these smart home technologies? Be sure to attend Gear Up; What Technology-Focused Gen Z Wants on Feb. 14, at 10:15 a.m. at the NAA CampusConnex Conference in Orlando, FL.

Industry experts include, Package Concierge’s National Director of Sales, Regan Hartley, moderating a compelling discussion between Scott Casey, Chief Technology Officer & SVP of Strategic Business Development for EdR; Alex Eyssen, Vice President of Student Housing for The Bainbridge Companies; and Henry Pye, Vice President of Resident Technology Services for RealPage, Inc.

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Looking Back on Memorable Moments of 2017

The most anticipated solar eclipse on record. The emergence of bitcoin and continued technology advancement. One of the most devastating hurricane seasons on record. The #MeToo movement. Selena Gomez retained her status as most-followed celebrity on Instagram with more than 130 million and #love was the most used hashtag. Massachusetts earned designation as the healthiest state (shout out to our home state!) followed by the Aloha state Hawaii. Meanwhile, Florida and Utah, experienced the largest improvements. 2017 has certainly been filled with memorable moments.

The multifamily industry produced its share of news as well, as hints of a slowdown were premature and the latest tax bill might prove to have numerous wins for the industry. With that in mind, here are some of the industry’s most noteworthy and memorable moments from the year:

  • Package Concierge® sold to Gibraltar

    An exclusive multifamily partnership was forged when Gibraltar Industries acquired Package Concierge® in February. As the apartment industry’s leading supplier and innovator of electronic package management solutions, and Gibraltar, a leading manufacturer of commercial building products, come together multifamily properties gain access to the most innovative package management solutions. We are excited about what 2018 holds for us and the Gibraltar team!

  • Apartment List getting aggressive with ads

    Apartment List got hard-hitting with its social media marketing strategy by partnering with Facebook and Now the ILS will display ads more prominently on platforms visited by millions on a daily basis. The move represents the massive shift in the way renters are searching for and finding their apartments online.

  • NMHC/Kingsley survey recognizes package boom

    The emergence of ecommerce is a new-school concept that the largest resident survey didn’t even include package questions on its previous edition. In August, the NMHC/Kingsley Renter Preferences Report unveiled 57 percent of respondents were very interested or highly interested in package lockers. And 47 percent of those individuals indicated that they receive at least three packages a month.

  • New tech companies make waves

    Technology has been shaping many different industries. But the ways it’s playing into the multifamily industry is groundbreaking as it has notoriously behind the tech curve. SOCi, STRATIS and ApartmentJet are the three biggest shake-ups. SOCi is changing the social media and marketing management game. STRATIS is innovating through its mobile access for residents and property managers to adjust energy and automation control for their units. ApartmentJet is the only existing short-term rental platform to assist multifamily operators to generate revenue through vacant units.

  • Bitcoin emerges

    We’ve been hearing about the infamous bitcoin everywhere. So it isn’t surprising the emergence of the digital cryptocurrency has been seeping into multifamily as well. Bitcoin can be used to purchase real estate in the U.S. and other countries.

These are just a few of the defining moments of the past 12 months and some of the apartment industry’s. As we move into 2018, these trends can suggest that even more tech and digital marketing changes are on the horizon.

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B2B Gift Giving – It Can Be Thoughtful & Notable

Holiday gift shopping for business clients can either be complex or painless, depending on your approach. While unique gifts may be memorable, such creativity requires extra time, and effort which are always hard to come by. The quintessential, go-to gifts are quick, time-tested classics that seldom fail – but they are not as impactful.

A rule of thumb for holiday gift giving such as sweets and alcohol are universally savored items. But how many people are getting that this year? Almost everyone.

Many businesses will send the standard chocolate and wine bundles to their clients for the holidays. Although the majority of people will happily knock back a tray of Fannie May fudge with a bottle of full-bodied red, there are some other overlooked present options that will surely make you stand out. Neiman Marcus offers a lot of fun, unique and memorable gift ideas.

Here are some options to spice up your B2B gift giving this season:

Leather messenger bags

Everyone needs luggage to tote around all of their most needed daily items, and leather is one classic trend that will never go out of style. For men or women, a nice leather messenger bag is a functional gift with a touch of luxury.

Tech gadgets and gifts

Everyone has a few tech minded friends and clients, but some tech items can break the bank. This fun site, ThinkGeek, always sparks a few creative juices to flow and ability to find a few one of a kind items. However, another fail safe, is a power bank. How many times have you misplaced your phone charger, left it at work or been caught out running errands with dead electronics? Mobile power banks or charging gear is something every person will value, because every person has something that needs to get plugged into a wall at some point or another.


Work slippers are a thing now? Seriously, some businesses require their employees to wear slippers at work…as it’s now part of the company dress code (looking at you, millennials). Give slippers to your clients – even if they can’t wear them at work. Who doesn’t love spending their NFL Sundays in nothing but pajamas and slippers? Or if you just want to go the warm and cozy route, check out these gifts for less than $100 from Ugg.

Uncommon ideas

You can put any type of liquid you want in a coffee mug and drink it conveniently. And here’s the best part: everyone drinks. You can take it up a notch and combine coffee and donuts with this amazing mug from Uncommon Goods (seriously why did we think of this?!) and combine with a dozen donuts from LA classic Stan’s Donuts who ships nationwide.

Subscription services

This is pretty broad, but it depends entirely on the client. A nice, personalized gift for business clients can be a subscription for something that client values or represents the relationship between your companies. Do they go to a particular media outlet or love a certain magazine? Get them a digital magazine subscription.

For the places that value healthy lifestyles, subscriptions to meal delivery services could be hugely beneficial to employees. Graze is one option that delivers healthy snack boxes.

There are many different opportunities to get special, meaningful gifts for your clients. Really look at your bond and come up with different ideas that correlate to your connection. Happy shopping and remember it is always better to give than receive.

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Package Concierge® GM and Founder Georgianna W. Oliver Helps You Prep for the Holiday Package Rush

The holidays are right around the corner. Black Friday is eight days away and Cyber Monday is 10 days. Are you prepared to handle the holiday package rush headed to your property? Check out this Multi-Housing News Viewpoint from Package Concierge® General Manager and Founder Georgianna W. Oliver where she shares tips on how you can prep for this holiday season.

For apartment residents, the thought of an abundance of holiday packages is an enticing prospect. For a community manager and onsite team, it can be a lot to handle over a short period of time.

Package delivery continues at historic rates, and that trend is only exacerbated during the holidays. The communities unequipped to handle the mass influx can risk getting buried in a virtual sea of holiday shipments, a vast array of multi-sized boxes that can easily clog leasing offices and protrude out the door.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. More and more apartment operators and individual communities have discovered ways to ease the holiday burden. And, most importantly, ensure their residents happily receive their shipments safely and after office hours. Here are a few tips for conquering the holiday package rush:

Train and work with delivery teams

Whether it’s a traditional carrier such as FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service or something more cutting-edge such as UberRUSH, they need to know the drill at your community. The quicker you can communicate your desired process, the more rapidly you can pass along the packages to your residents.

Many of these outlets will have repeat carriers or even an exclusive delivery individual that comes to your property, so training them won’t be too cumbersome of a task. But it’s wise to have a process in place for each new carrier as well, a uniform training tutorial that is ready to be implemented.

Encourage residents to utilize ship-from-store and peer-to-peer shipping apps…

Want to learn more? Read her full article.

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Package Concierge® GM and Founder, Georgianna W. Oliver, Talks with BostonVoyager

Package Concierge® GM and Founder Georgianna W. Oliver is passionate about bringing innovation to the multifamily industry. Recently, she spoke with BostonVoyager about starting Package Concierge and how it changed package management in the apartment industry.

Great things are happening in the world of package management. And we at Package Concierge are thrilled to continue to lead solutions in addressing today’s and tomorrow’s package management needs.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgianna Oliver.

Georgianna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Package Concierge was founded in December 2012 in Medfield, MA as the 1st innovative system for packages in apartment buildings. Our first live installation was in October of 2013 at Chelsea Place Apartments in Chelsea, MA. Now, there are over 800 systems (including over 100 in the Boston MSA) across the country and last week we hit the 10m package transaction point.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggle was changing the way the property managers thought about ways to manage incoming packages. Before Package Concierge, they had to log, store, notify and retrieve every single package or risk theft if the package was left at an apartment door. Once we had our first installations and the residents fell in love with the convenience, our sales doubled year over year as the industry embraced this new technology.

Read the rest of what Georgianna W. Oliver had to say here.

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Package Concierge® Delivers for Canvas LA

Canvas LA, a downtown Los Angeles luxury apartment community, offers more than 25 different floor plans of studio to three-bedroom units. The community includes resort-style amenities and aims to cater its residents. Canvas LA began using a package locker system from Package Concierge in March.

Challenge | Relieve management over-burdened with resident packages 

As a result of the rising popularity of online shopping, Canvas LA’s management team had become increasingly swamped with the influx of resident packages.

William Corwin, Canvas LA’s senior business manager, said the 210-unit apartment community sometimes received as many as 65 to 70 packages in one day. And that number was continually climbing.

“It was just getting too overwhelming for us in the office,” Corwin said. “We spoke to the owners about the package challenge because it was just taking up too much of our time.”

Corwin said management’s initial plan budgeted package lockers for 2018. But the package problem needed an immediate fix.

The Canvas LA leasing team was spending upwards of three hours a day on packages. The time spent on deliveries was taking away from overseeing other duties. They couldn’t focus on community tours, maintenance requests and ensuring smooth day-to-day operations.

Solution | Sophisticated Technologies

Online shopping has been on the rise, and will continue to devour the consumer market. Internet sales made up 3 percent of consumer expenditure in 2006, and rose to 15.5 percent in 2016.

With such a growing preference for online shopping, especially among Canvas LA’s predominant demographic of young professionals, the solution to relieving management of package duties was to install a Package Concierge package locker system in the community.

Package Concierge had the edge over other systems because of its sophisticated technology.

“Some of the locker systems we considered, you get an email that gives you a number for each package. Then you go to a kiosk, punch in the number and it opens the locker,” Corwin said. “We love the fact that there is an app for Package Concierge. We also love that, when a resident gets their pin code number, if they have five packages, all of the lockers open.

Results | Diminished package hardship in office, satisfied residents

Three weeks after installing the Package Concierge package locker system, 71 percent of Canvas LA residents had already signed up.

The demand of Canvas LA’s onsite team to handle the increased volume of packages was mitigated after installing the locker system. Management has more time to focus on other issues affecting the community. Packages are more accessible than ever to residents.

“The residents are loving it. And of course we’re loving it in the office now that we’re not spending two to three hours a day logging packages and going through the process of contacting residents and giving them out,” Corwin said.

“We’re extremely happy. It’s a sophisticated but really easy-to-use system.”

Package Concierge Silver Speck 88-locker Installation at Canvas LA

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