If you own multifamily real estate, you’ve already seen the effects of eCommerce — package pile-ups in entryways, mailrooms, or common spaces. Package protection is quickly becoming a must-have amenity, and future tenants will want to know how you can ensure the safety of their deliveries. But how do you know if your security measures are enough? Or if your current residents are already at risk of package theft?
1. Ask the neighbors
Perhaps your property is in a neighborhood that’s already experiencing some level of crime. You can stay in the loop by joining community forums, email lists, or police department newsletters. If nearby neighbors are reporting package theft, your renters could be the next victims.
2. Check the cameras
Surveillance cameras might not prevent theft on their own, but if you have them installed, the footage can give you an idea of where and how those thefts may occur. Look for questionable activity in and around the building, especially unauthorized visitors or strangers loitering on the premises.
3. Gaps in security
Where do deliveries end up? In an unattended lobby, with a doorman, or even right outside the front door? When boxes start to stack up in plain sight, it’s an invitation for thieves.
You may think packages are safe as long as they’re delivered inside the building. But it can be pretty easy for strangers to gain access to the lobby. If your building doesn’t have a physical or virtual doorman, residents could be buzzing anyone and everyone through the front door. This is how one thief got into several apartment buildings in Manhattan to steal over $2,500 worth of goods.
In some cases, the thieves may be already inside the building — tenants could be stealing their neighbors’ packages from common areas and doorsteps. Even if you haven’t yet heard complaints from tenants about missing mail, if packages are left out in the open, it’s likely only a matter of time before a theft occurs.
4. Residents are shipping elsewhere
Maybe you’ve noticed that tenants are taking matters into their own hands. Nationwide, nearly 35% of online shoppers have shipped to an alternative address to avoid theft, and 53% reorganized their schedules to make sure they’re at home for deliveries. Your residents might be staying home from work to receive a package, choosing to pick up packages at a shipping center, or having items delivered to their work address or a friend’s house. This is a sure sign that residents don’t feel their building is a safe place for packages.
Also look for notes to couriers requesting that they leave packages in a designated area, ring a doorbell, or take some sort of extra precaution to protect the delivery.
5. Reports of package problems
If residents are coming to you directly with security concerns or theft reports — or your prospective tenants don’t seem impressed with the building’s current package management — it’s time to take action. Solutions such as mailroom software, smart-lock technology, and package lockers can help ensure last-mile delivery to your residential building.
These add-ons impress tenants, too. In fact, 28% of renters rated package lockers as a “very important” amenity. The majority of those surveyed had some level of preference for these lockers, and 30% said they’d even be willing to pay extra for this solution. Those percentages are only going to go up as online ordering continues to rise.
If your renters aren’t comfortable receiving deliveries at your building, check out how smart solutions like package lockers can help.