Top 10 Hidden Holidays You Need To Prepare For

We all know about how the winter holidays always lead to a profound uptick in the number of packages your residents are receiving. But as ecommerce continues to rise exponentially, there are so many other times throughout the year when package delivery may surge at your properties. Check out our list of “Top 10 Hidden Holidays” you need to be prepared for:

You can find anything you need on the world wide web for the hidden holidays.

  1. Super Bowl Sunday. Once your team is out, you frantically buy gear for your de facto team of choice (let’s just say my son now owns a Falcons sweatshirt). Besides, how else are you going to get all football themes napkins, bowls, plates, etc. the Super Bowl Party?!
  1. 100th Day of School. Yes, this is a thing and not something we made up. It’s mostly celebrated by younger students sometime in February, as schools have fun with the number 100. Many Pinterest-loving mothers are known to order craft items at this time, which can lead to a sneaky increase of packages in some circles.
  1. Valentine’s Day. That oversized Vermont Teddy Bear isn’t going to drive itself to your significant other’s home. And neither is that sparkling necklace or whatever else you’ve ordered to make sure you’re not the goat on the international day of love.
  1. Memorial Day. Everyone wants to get away for Memorial Day. But it’s even better to leave town with that new tent, new fishing supplies, new tarps and other camping accessories. Late May always leads to a package boom.
  1. Independence Day. Yes, it’s illegal to ship fireworks by mail, so we’re not even going to go that route. But it’s also the heart of barbecue season and summer house parties, which leads to an uptick in online ordering of wide-ranging supplies.
  1. Amazon Prime Day. The monster online retailer held its first holiday exclusively for its own “Prime” members in July 2015, predictably resulting in an online ordering frenzy. 2016’s Prime Day, which Amazon touted as “one-day-only global shopping event,” was even bigger. The retail giant has vowed to bring back Prime Day this year although an official date has not been announced. So what can we expect from this year’s Prime Day?! If it’s anything like last year when we saw more than a 30% increase in packages two days after Amazon Prime Day, it will be one of the biggest package delivery days EVER!
  1. Back to School. Mid- to late-August means back-to-school time. This can create a sizable package rush, particularly for student housing communities. College students are continuing to seek alternative methods to purchase textbooks, such as sites like Chegg and eCampus, rather than buying them for full price on campus.
  1. Labor Day. While Memorial Day unofficially signifies the beginning of summer, Labor Day serves as its end-of-summer counterpart. That means one last chance to escape the grind. It also means heavy discounts on outdoor merchandise as retailers look to make a push before camping season ends.
  1. Pre-Halloween. While it’s a given that packages will arrive in droves during the Christmas season, this holiday can creep up on you. Some even call it a pseudo-holiday because no one ever gets the day off for Halloween, but expect a full package room as people continually opt to purchase their costumes online.
  1. Home Events. As families convene, host homes don’t want to disappoint. While orders of kitchen and culinary supplies increase, families also commonly spruce up their homes to make a favorable impression on their visitors.

Visit our website here to help you manage these holidays to come.

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Student Housing Wants and Needs

Student

This week marks a special time for many college students: the beginning of the fall semester. Students may be feeling the pressure of getting all their books, supplies, and living essentials in order, especially if this is their first time away from home. One aspect that many may overlook or not spend enough thought on is exactly where they’re going to live. Students may be unfamiliar with the area and unsure of what to look for in a student housing community. Many have already made their living arrangements but there’s still an opportunity for “late registrations.” Here are the top things students look for in a community.

Proximity to Campus

Students will seek communities close to campus. However, these communities fill up and are more than likely completely leased. On the flip side, don’t count out students who are seeking a good deal on rent. If your community can’t offer a short distance to campus, make up for it through affordable rent. Students will trade a longer commute for savings in the long run.

Student Room Sizes

College dorms can be the equivalent of living inside a closet. That’s why many seek off-campus housing. Students need room to study in peace; there’s nothing worse than having a roommate playing video games three feet away from you while studying for the big exam. They also desire privacy; that’s why they’re interested in an off-campus community. Show students how you can provide space and privacy and you’ll have an upper hand.

Furnished Spaces

Think about this from a student’s perspective: the less they have to move, the more appealing a community is. Beyond the obvious, such as a bed and furniture, consider offering higher-end accommodations. These come in the form of installed televisions, kitchen utensils, and anything you can think of. Students move a lot when in college; give them an incentive to keep coming back. Making their lives easier for moving in can also help you with rent prices.

College is an important time in a person’s life. Your community can appeal to new student residents by finding a good balance of the list above. If your community isn’t that close to campus, have your rent reflect it, but know when to draw a line. Provide generously sized rooms and community spaces for peace and quiet. Finally, the less they have to move, the more likely they’ll come to you. If you can provide these staples, you’ll get more than just an “A for effort!”

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A Case Study for Student Housing

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Cambridge Oxford of New Haven, CT

84 units – PC7-70 L Shaped System

Overview

Cambridge Oxford is adjacent to Yale University and caters to a large student population. Because many students don’t have vehicles, they shop online for even basic necessities. As a result, property management was challenged by an inordinately high number of package deliveries on a daily basis. This influx required more than two hours a day just to log and deliver packages to residents.

Packages that could not be delivered had to be stored in the office or a common area, but that left items either inaccessible to students returning home at all hours, or unattended and unsecured. At times, packages went missing and Cambridge Oxford was liable for those costs. With residents’ trust at risk, Cambridge Oxford sought a more efficient and secure solution.

Our Solution

Cambridge Oxford wanted a solution that required no oversight or manual application. Initially, the management team looked into a package logging application, but determined it would require too much time and still not address the security issue. After seeing a locker system in an area gym, the property manager, Jessica Molson, thought a similar solution would fit Cambridge Oxford’s needs. She considered the Package Concierge locker system.

Cambridge Oxford had several criteria in mind when evaluating the system. One important consideration was experience with the residential market. Package Concierge is exclusively focused on the residential, multifamily industry and understands the unique needs of residents and property managers.

Impressed by the technology behind the Package Concierge system, as well as the high quality, attractive lockers, Cambridge Oxford’s decision ultimately came down to the user experience. The system had to be easy to use and reliable to ensure adoption by both residents and carriers. After seeing another Package Concierge system in action in nearby Stamford, the property manager felt confident that Package Concierge was the best solution for the Cambridge Oxford community.

Decision made, the property management team worked closely with Package Concierge to customize a 7ft x 13ft 70 compartment locker system in a L shape that provides residents with a secure, convenient package delivery experience.

Results

Cambridge Oxford receives 60 packages per day all of which are delivered without a hitch via the Package Concierge system. Leasing managers are able to focus on managing the property and ensuring resident services are running smoothly, while its student residents appreciate the convenience and security of this modern amenity. Most important, residents enjoy the peace of mind knowing that their packages – from toothpaste to textbooks – are there when they get home.

 Testimonial

“Students get a lot of packages. Not every package contains expensive items, but every package is valuable to the recipient. It’s important that they get the packages sent to them. Package Concierge allows us to deliver on our goal to provide convenient, reliable delivery of residents’ packages, with no manual oversight. It benefits everyone.” – Jessica Molson, property manager

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Off-Campus Student Housing Secrets

Even though the summer is barely half over, for many college students, a new year is nearly here. For upperclassmen, this probably means moving into an apartment or home for the year that they’ve rented off-campus. While this opportunity provides extra freedom, it can also be laced with potential pitfalls. Not to worry, there are a few secrets we’re willing to share to help make students enjoy the experience to its fullest:

moving

Before signing the lease, be sure to do your homework. The language in a lease agreement can be difficult to understand, especially to a first-time renter. Have a friend or family member look it over as well so you’re sure to get the most out of the deal.

2-      Something very few people think about is how your roommates will affect the year you spend off-campus. Enjoying and respecting your own space and common space comes down to the people you live with. Choose wisely.

3-      If you find the idea of furnishing an apartment or house to be daunting, there are some tricks you can use to obtain furniture. Ask the previous residents if they will be leaving any items, or ask seniors or gradates who are moving away if you can take their belongings off their hands. Sometimes you can even get it for free.

4-      During move-in, the rush of excitement might distract you from the dings in the wall and broken coffee pot, but be sure to document any and all existing damage so at the end of the year, you don’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

5-      After you’re settled, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Bring them an old-school basket of muffins or drop by with some wine. By getting off on the right foot, you establish a relationship that can be beneficial throughout the year.

 6-     The most important tip to remember is that even though you live there, the space does not belong to you. Treat it as if you are sleeping over at a friend’s house for the year. Don’t trash the interior or break things without replacing them. Be responsible.

The year ahead is bright with promise and we’re sure many returning students are elated about their new living space. If you remember the secrets we’ve detailed above, you should have an incredible, off-campus experience.

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10 Best Off-Campus Student Housing

For students seeking a home away from campus, several needs factor into their decision. Sometimes the best location depends on the amenities, other time it’s because of the price. It could also be ease of access to the campus itself or the surrounding nightlife. Here are the top 10 schools for migrating off-campus and what draws students to the communities:

housing

Brigham Young University- With some of the cheapest per-month payments for single apartments and it’s convenient location, students can live off campus without getting lost in the wilderness.

James Madison University- Their variety of homes, apartments, condos and the amenities expected from southern hospitality, JMU’s clear and helpful portal will help students find the location of their dreams.

Virginia Tech- Helpful message boards connect potential roommates, buyers and sellers of furniture and their extensive property management program gives these students the edge.

Clemson- Having the option to live close to campus or out on your own provides students the foresight to choosing the right housing—as does their roommate finder system.

University of Florida- The Gator Guide is a prime tool for knowing the ins and outs of off-campus living from transportation schedules to tips for apartment hunting.

Georgia Southern University- The price is right at this university for living off campus, in fact it’s cheaper than living on campus and better yet, the housing comes furnished more often than not.

McGill University- These gorgeous locations in Montreal offer a city feel that campus bound students might otherwise miss.

Utah State University- Living off campus here is only a hop, skip and jump away from the university’s main location and the pricing is incredibly affordable.

University of California- Davis- The local atmosphere is a major plus for these off campus students and the selection of apartments doesn’t hurt either.

University of Southern Florida- Apartments with pools, clubs and parks makes deciding to live off campus here an easy choice.

Did you ever live in an off-campus apartment or know someone who did? How was the experience and what helped you make your decision?

http://collegeprowler.com/rankings/off–campus-housing/top-best-off–campus-housing-options/

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Vegas Conference Wrap-Up

Last week, the Package Concierge team exhibited at the NAA Student Housing Conference in Las Vegas. The Aria resort provided a table_vegasglamorous backdrop to the gathering of over ## of property management, student housing vendors and services. With the goal in mind to showcase the need for our apartment service and garnish an enthusiastic return, we can say without hesitation that the conference showing was a success.

From the very beginning, our booth was crowded with attendees. First they came to investigate and then they stayed to learn more—specifically how it could be implanted at their locations. The overwhelming positive response was a thrill, especially since the event was our soft launch into the market. The flyers and giveaways we brought with us were completely depleted by the end of the two day affair. We never knew people could eat that much candy!

It was an experience none of us will soon forget as we look forward to our official launch during the NAA’s Education Conference in San Diego this June. Looking back, we feel there were several important lessons we learned:

  1. The volume of package deliveries at student housing is drastically increasing in large part due to many online vendors offering free shipping to college students
  2. Seeing is believing.
  3. The Package Concierge digital lockers were universally deemed as an ideal and creative way to address the issues property managers face on a daily basis.
  4. Besides the product demonstration, gum giveaways were a huge hit.
  5. The student housing crowd creates modern communities and expects up-to-date, modern conveniences for its clients.
  6. All the vendors were very supportive of each other and friendly on the trade show floor
  7. Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water!

We thank any and all of those who visited our booth during the conference and we hope to see you in San Diego.  Click the corresponding links if you’d like more details about How We Work, and Contacting Us for further information.

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