A Wood Residential Case Study

Fetch checked all the boxes Wood was seeking in a package management solution.

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Online consumerism created an unsustainable package scenario for Wood Partners

Wood recognized that its associates were spending so much time managing packages that they could no longer dedicate enough attention to essential functions like leasing and customer service.

"We definitely have had conversations on the development side about whether we even need lockers and package storage arrangements on new builds, thanks to Fetch. If it's a new development in a Fetch market, we can eliminate that upfront cost of a package locker system."

Dana Caudell, Executive VP of Operations

Wood Partners

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With 92 apartment communities and more than 23,000 homes nationwide, Wood Partners is well versed in all trending multifamily needs. Over the years, Wood has seen package management emerge as a growing issue at the property level. 

“Back in the day, packages weren’t really top of mind in multifamily. You didn’t get daily Amazon deliveries. Most people would just go to the post office and pick up their occasional packages,” said Dana Caudell, Executive Vice President of Operations at Wood Partners. “Eventually, communities started to have storage rooms behind the leasing office where packages were manually signed in and distributed. The frustration there was the time spent by the team to manage that process. From there, we had package lockers, which were a nice concept but there was still a time management component for the teams.”

Problem: Online Consumerism Creates Unsustainable Package Scenario

In recent years, the increase in e-commerce has escalated to the point where teams across Wood’s various properties were spending an exorbitant amount of time receiving, sorting and distributing resident packages, regardless of the on-site package facilities in place. A few years ago, after dealing with resident complaints, especially during the increased package volume around the holiday season, package-related frustrations from both residents and on-site team members had reached a pinnacle.

Wood recognized that its associates were spending so much time managing packages that they could no longer dedicate enough attention to essential functions, like leasing and customer service. The company was ready to adopt a new package process at its own communities, as well as the 60% of its portfolio that it operates as a third-party manager. 

Solution: Wood Deploys Fetch for Package Management

Wood conducts an extensive due diligence process for any technology solutions it implements and was deliberate in its search for a package solution to replace unsustainable lockers systems and package rooms. After soliciting feedback and insights from its on-site team members, and reviewing the package concerns through its internal innovation committee, Wood also reached out to its industry counterparts to see what solutions they were utilizing and what kind of service levels they had experienced. 

The search led Wood Partners to Fetch, a third-party package management service that receives and stores packages off-site and works directly with residents to schedule direct-to-door delivery.

“I first met with Fetch four or five years ago, and I thought it was an amazing concept,” Caudell said. “We always ask our potential technology partners, ‘How are you going to make life better for our residents, our prospects, our clients and our team members?’ If your product helps me solve A, B, C and D, then we’ll take a look at it. I always want to know how the service is going to streamline us and how we could centralize administratively as a result of implementation.”

Fetch checked all the boxes Wood was seeking in a package management solution.

“First, it alleviated the time demands that package management places on teams,” Caudell said. “Secondly, it gave time back to the residents because they didn’t have to pick up packages during office hours, but instead could schedule with Fetch to get their package on their time. Fetch solved a lot of issues that property management teams have experienced over the years.”

It also eliminates the need to install or lease package on-site package storage systems.

“We have definitely had conversation on the development side, about whether we even need lockers and package storage arrangements on new builds, thanks to Fetch,” Caudell said. “If it’s a new development in a Fetch market, we can eliminate that upfront cost of a package locker system.”

Wood Partners is currently using Fetch at 30% of the communities in its portfolio.

Results: Fetch Frees Up Time for Teams, Creates Convenience for Residents 

The most immediate impact of the Fetch implementation was the removal of the package management burden from on-site teams. Rather than managing package rooms or delivering overflow packages that didn’t fit in lockers, Wood associates have been able to focus on their primary tasks. 

“Package management by our teams is something we’ve been able to eliminate with Fetch. That parlays into time management,” Caudell said. “But Fetch also eliminates that stress for our teams, because if something does happen with a package along the way, the resident is working with the Fetch customer service department. That doesn’t fall on our on-site team members.”

Wood team members also incorporate Fetch into their leasing conversations. 

“From a leasing and customer service standpoint, our teams get joy out of being able to share with residents that we have this excellent service for them. It’s something residents can utilize on their time to meet their needs,” Caudell said. “As a former leasing associate myself, I would have loved it back in the day. I would say 95% of our teams that have Fetch are extremely happy with the process.”

The primary challenge Wood teams have faced with Fetch is reminding residents that Fetch is still subject to supply chain issues and shipping delays.

“Today, instant gratification is the expectation for residents and sometimes we have to talk them through the possible scenarios. Just because we have this amazing service in Fetch doesn’t mean we won’t still experience the typical package delays,” Caudell said. “We work to educate our residents that just because they hit the button doesn’t mean it’s going to be at their door in an hour.”

Wood Partners is actively working to onboard Fetch for its third-party clients, and highlights the revenue potential of repurposing the on-site space currently dedicated to package storage.

“Most of our third-party clients know of Fetch, and we talk about the potential ROI for them from an income strain standpoint,” Caudell said. “As a third-party manager taking over a new asset that already has a package room or system, we talk about how to repurpose that area into an income generator. There are all sorts of things you can do to repurpose a package room. Maybe you turn it into leasable work-from home offices or stations, or an on-site pet spa. There are so many value-add projects you can do with those spaces. But mostly, we speak with our clients about Fetch because we see it as such a benefit to the residents.”

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