The resident package and food delivery deluge apartment communities lately are facing brought on by COVID-19 circumstances has operators and delivery teams looking for solutions that improve efficiency while maintaining safety.
“The Last Hundred Feet: Getting to the Right Door,” a webinar produced as part of the AIM Conference webinar series discussed strategy with Spencer Patton, Founder & President, Patton Logistics; Aryne Bailey, Portfolio Director, The Dinerstein Companies; Kelly Garcia, Head of Sales, One Hundred Feet and the Beans Route app; and moderated by Steve Lefkovits, Joshua Tree Media Group.
One Hundred Feet is a data company based in Palo Alto, Calif., that has individually mapped out 8 million apartment homes. Access to these maps through its Beans Route app helps first responders, delivery drivers and package logistics companies find the ideal path to these apartment doors.
“Our data services have reduced the number of calls having to be made directly to residents by 75 percent and have reduced mis-deliveries by 25 percent,” Garcia says. “With improved delivery, the residents are happier and the drivers can earn higher tips.”
The app also clues in drivers about the best place is to park and how to get in and out of the community most efficiently. It guides drivers about how to properly access the property and where its elevators are located, reducing the overall delivery time and providing greater customer service.
Guess Which Door
Just look outside in any neighborhood: The number of deliveries of any kind to all types of housing are up significantly. There’s little reason to think this traffic will decrease –even after COVID-19.
“We’re in favor of having any additional information be provided to drivers or prospects who are trying to find us,” Bailey says. “Trying to get around on city streets -- or any neighborhoods in areas where you are unfamiliar – can be difficult and a time waster.”
Garcia says her data helps three types of visiting guests: A friend visiting a resident; a package and food delivery person; and a driver delivering supplies to the property.
Properties have many entrances, such as loading docks, parking garages and the main entrance. It’s valuable to know which is best to use.
Patton says, ideally, the delivery person will hand the package to the intended recipient, “but that can’t always happen.” Knowing the how and where means he won’t be wasting time rerouting, back-tracking or calling for help, he says.
Apartment Access Sensitivities
“Residents don’t want us wandering through the communities, and neither do we,” Patton says. “So, we need to learn and understand the community’s delivery policy and rules. Delivery drivers need to have access to the property and know the entrance codes.”
Most drivers who visit areas routinely keep the code information on written notes in the trucks or in a small book on their belonging. Some drivers have access to them from their logistics company’s iPads.
“Sometimes you just get lucky by tailing another car as its going through the gate,” Patton says.
Delivery spikes are off the charts since January 2020, Patton says. At that time, 12 percent of the U.S. retail sales were done online. Through September this year, it’s up to 28 percent, according to Patton.
“That’s a growth rate we didn’t expect to see for another six years,” he said. “But, it’s here.”
Bailey says package delivery seasons can come in waves. About half of her portfolio consists of student properties. “In August and September, we might get 400 packages per day, mostly the books students ordered,” she says.
When working to partner with apartment communities, Garcia asks the onsite staff: Where do you want the drivers to go? What is your resident delivery policy? To the door? Lockers? The leasing office?
Bailey says access is a sensitive topic for her communities and her residents.
“We take a lot of pride in our advertising; safety and controlled access is one of our biggest selling points,” she says. “We want the delivery people to be able to get as close as they can to the resident, but we want our communities to feel and be safe.”
Garcia says she is working to an ideal situation where drivers can be given a one-time entrance code that disappears after the delivery is made, but not every property has the newest technology.
“We want to develop long-term relationships with the operators,” Garcia says. “We want them to add their unit maps for their new developments into our database. There is cost, and we can work with owners on price because we have flexible pricing. Contact us so that we can understand your business and create the proper solution.”
Kelly Garcia can be reached at email@example.com or 650-353-5014.
Here is the replay: