Package Deliveries Doubled Last Week!

package deliveriesGeorgianna W. Oliver, CEO

Package Deliveries Are on the Rise!

Everything just exploded for packages for 2016 holiday season. Last week, Package Concierge saw an increase in package deliveries from 87,500 packages to 151,000 in just one week! This includes carry over from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but the numbers are still impressive. The package load has doubled and will continue at this pace for the next two full weeks.

What Can Property Managers Do to Tame the Package Beast?

1. Keep the Lockers Moving. Send out mass notifications to all residents about their package deliveries. Packages sitting in the lockers can create storage issues. Space is a premium and the failure to pick up their packages can impact future package deliveries. There is only so much space to go around and package deliveries won’t wait!

2. Implement Daily Storage Fees for Packages Left 3-5 Days. Contact your salesperson or client services manager for help with turning on the daily storage fee feature.

3. Turn off Shipping and Returns until January 1st. If your property is currently using the function that allows residents to ship/return packages through the lockers, it’s taking up valuable space for deliveries during this high peak time.

4. Increase the Number or Frequency of Notifications. You can increase the number of notifications residents receive about their packages in a day. How? Through the Package Concierge management portal! More frequent notifications will help expedite pick up times.

5. Double Check All Lockers Are Available. Remember, the Package Concierge automatically takes a single locker offline if there are any issues. An example is an open locker for an extended period of time.

This is a busy time of year for property managers in apartment buildings! Package Concierge is here to help ease the pressure of all your package delivery needs.

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What Makes An Amenity Awesome?

Amenity

An Amenity Today Means Residents Tomorrow.

The world of multifamily is competitive. With diverse communities duking it out for residents, location (while important) isn’t enough. That’s where amenities make all the difference. Amenities can be a true differentiator when a market is full of new communities. A pool and fitness room are industry standard now and let’s be honest, are these enough? Or would you rather live in a community with a pool, fitness room, and a rooftop cinema? We know the answer already. Amenities are subjective and communities need to provide amenities that cater to their demographic. So how does one determine if an amenity will make a difference? Here are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Increased Value for the Resident: An amenity may be a deciding factor in community selection for future residents. It just depends on what they place value in. Since rent prices are largely dictated by location, an amenity is an added value. A good metric to pay attention to is who’s living in the community. Will Millennials prefer a wine cellar or a high-tech social lounge? Know who your residents are and what they want; it’ll make a huge difference.
  • It Makes Life Easier: A good amenity is one that makes users question how they lived without it until now. Basic examples include laundry capabilities and on-site transportation services like Zipcar. Another great example of an amenity while transcending demographics are our Package Concierge systems. Everyone can’t always be home for a package delivery and our lockers hold the delivery until it’s ready for pickup. Not only does our package management solution work for all, it just makes sense.
  • Keep It Simple: Amenities don’t need to be elaborate. Sure, property managers across the country may be jealous of The Oosten, located in Brooklyn N.Y. and developed by Xin Development Group, for giving out a free trip to Europe to meet the building’s designer, but a little can go a long way too. In an NMHC survey conducted in conjunction with Kingsley Associates, 80% wanted secured community access. Is that so much to ask for? Electronic and keyless entry systems are affordable and a community maintenance team can install them. This is a simple upgrade and may be just the amenity needed to boost leases.

Amenities make all the difference. They’re the added incentive to those looking for a new community to call home. Check your local market to see what you’re up against. Go visit other communities with the amenities you’re interested in incorporating into your own. If an amenity is within the realm of possibility and it suits the community’s demographic, go for it! You can even reach out to your current residents and ask them for suggestions. However you decide to do it, go out and get the game-changing amenity!

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How to Use Renewable Energy in Your Apartment

Generally, apartment dwellers don’t typically get to choose their electricity provider. Whatever company is in the building they lease at is their provider through and through. So for the energy conscious out there, how do you help the environment when you can’t choose your energy source? After all, there is a whole slew of renewable energy out there. Why not use it? If you’re a renewable energy enthusiast, as we all should be, but rent in a community that does not use  any of these solutions, here’s how you can play your part in helping the environment:

Renewable Energy Chargers:

USBcharger

If you’re like most people, you charge your cell phone or laptop at least once a day. Purchasing a portable renewable energy charger allows you to skip plugging those mobile devices into the wall, and save energy on some of the devices you use the most. They’re also great for camping, hiking or long road trips.

Solar Powered Window Thermometers:

thermomete

Super easy to use, this solar powered window thermometer clings to your window and displays the temperature outside. Since it collects power from sunlight during the day, you will never need to worry about taking it down to change batteries.

Wind Powered Outdoor Lights:

windlightRecently, Ikea developed an outdoor lighting fixture that is powered by wind. This clever item is not only trendy and sure to add a uniqueness to your outdoor space, but its functional too. It’s a easy as letting the breeze that comes across your balcony power the lights.

 

Water Powered Alarm Clock:

wateralarmclock

 

Just add water? Well, not exactly. This cute desk fixture is not really powered by water, but in a way it is. The water acts as a conductor for a zinc tablet within the device, essentially creating a battery without having to buy batteries. It’ll save you money and the hassle of finding batteries that fit.

Renewable Energy Toys:

solartoysThere are many options for renewable energy toys, including things the kids get to build themselves. Toy cars, robots, dancing flowers, racetrack sets: options abound. And these are a great way to start teaching kids about being responsible to the environment.

Although these options are not likely to slice your energy bill in half, they are great ways to still use and be involved with renewable energy, even while living in an apartment. And they all make great conversation pieces!

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5 Great Cities for Green Apartment Living

The progress society has made in terms of eco-friendly technology and building standards mean that more people are seeking ways to live green and have a smaller footprint on the environment. One of the ways you can help the environment is to live in green apartments when seeking a home in a city or urban area. Every city is working in its own way to make the Earth a better place for future generations, but there are a few that stand out above the rest. Although there are green apartment sand for-rent communities throughout the U.S., these 5 cities (in no particular order) have high concentrations of green-built communities, and go the distance in making it easier for you to live green.

Washington, DC:

Washington, DC is where the U.S. Green Building Council (the nonprofit that created and oversees LEED certification) is headquartered. That alone gives this city an edge. With at least seven apartment communities in the area that have achieved LEED certification by being built with sustainable construction materials, recycling waste material, and choosing fixtures to reduce the amount of fumes and toxins released into the air, DC is a great place to be involved in the green movement.

Denver:

Denver has a lot to choose from when looking to rent green. Many apartment buildings have been renovated from old industrial locations and given unique decor themes for the community. These projects help cut down on wasted materials and green-house gases that construction equipment releases into the atmosphere.

The city also offers light rail and bus service, plentiful farmers markets, and is located near the natural beauty of the Rockies. Forbes also named Denver the number 5 top healthiest city in the U.S. If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps you should visit the majestic mountain city for yourself.

Chicago:

Going green in Chicago is a city-wide effort. Not only do they have the country’s second-largest public transit system, but they also initiated green roof projects, encouraged hotels, and restaurants to go green and have a myriad of green places for rent.

The previous and current mayors of Chicago have also shown great support for the Chicago Climate Action Plan, an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The city also hosts the Chicago Center for Green Technology, the first rehabilitated municipal building in the U.S. to achieve LEED Platinum rating.

Portland:

Portland is, in general, a great place to live green. Those who want to rent have a wide range of eco-friendly options. Beyond recycling and energy-efficient appliances, many apartment buildings in Portland were built green from the ground up and are LEED certified. Many green communities also have bike storage and car-share options, like ZipCar.

In addition to its green apartment communities, Portland also has a focus on locally grown food, a vibrant public transit system, and was rated number two on Virgin Vacation’s “11 Most Bike Friendly Cities in the World” list.

New York City:

Everyone knows New York is a place unlike any other. Its architecture is iconic, and believe it or not, much of it is also green! Through the 2000s, multiple laws have been signed into effect in NYC to ensure many new construction projects meet green guidelines, including apartment and condo buildings. New York City is also home to Melrose Commons, one of the few LEED for Neighborhood Development Platinum certified neighborhoods in the country.

Even the Empire State Building achieved LEED Gold certification in September 2011, a great example of green retrofitting of existing buildings.

Surely, one of these five great cities has a green apartment ready for you to rent!

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Best Pets for Apartments

It’s no secret that owning a pet can help you de-stress after a long day at work or class, but finding the right pet for your apartment can be a bit more challenging. Certain animals require more attention and commitment than others, while some can more or less take care of themselves. So long as your apartment is pet friendly, there is an animal friend right for your situation. fishtank

Fish– Aquatic pets require very little attention so far as feeding and exercise are concerned. However, your fishy friends will require a tank equivalent to their size and feeding every other day.  And don’t forget cleaning the tank! Some fish prefer to be alone, but others love to school in a group.

Insects– Much like fish, insects are low maintenance. But also like fish, they are not a pet you can really get close to and their lifespan is short. If this kind of pet is right for you, there are plenty of varieties to own such as ants, millipedes or even spiders.

Reptiles or Amphibians- Generally speaking, reptiles and amphibians can have a significantly long lives compared to the aforementioned critters. But they can also provide the entertainment and personality needed to spruce up an apartment. Think about whether you want an aquarium for frogs or turtles, or a terrarium for snakes, lizards or tortoises.

Birds– Flying friends like these can be a very chatty and fun addition to your life. They require a lot of exercise activities within their cage birdsand regular feeding and cleaning. The bigger the cage the better and you might even think about letting them out in your space so they can stretch their wings.

Cats– This self sufficient creature is a staple for most apartment dwellers. Cats require regular feeding and playtime, but are able to manage and entertain themselves if need be. They are the first pet on this list that you can really cuddle up to and have several breeds to choose from.

Dogs– Another furry friend on the list is the canine. Since they have a plethora of breeds, choose a smaller, less active kind for apartment living. You can go big if you have the time and space nearby to exercise them. More importantly, since dogs are high maintenance and need regular food and exercise, be sure you are truly committed to this pet before adopting.

No matter what pet you are thinking of adopting, ensure that you have the time, patience and intentions to see the animal comfortably through their entire life.

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