ZRS Management Case Study
ZRS Finds a Permanent Package Solution in Fetch
Fetch creates flexibility and provides convenience for residents by handling the increasing e-commerce volume for ZRS Management communities
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Locker systems expensive, insufficient for current e-commerce volume
It didn’t take long for ZRS Management teams to realize that package locker systems weren’t a permanent package management solution for multifamily. Escalating e-commerce trends led to a continuous stream of resident packages arriving daily, routinely overflowing the available locker capacity.
“We were only a few months into the locker era when we understood that many of our properties with lockers weren’t sufficient for the amount of packages we were receiving,” said Luanne McNulty, vice president of the central region for ZRS. “Every forecast that’s made for e-commerce, the consumer public continues to exceed it. What we’ve found is that whether you have lockers or a package room, you always need a secondary package management program going on behind the scenes that entails utilizing the management team or leasing staff.”
Locker systems and package rooms didn’t completely eliminate the amount of labor required from the onsite team to manage resident packages. And the package solutions didn’t alleviate the liability concerns associated with receiving and distributing residents’ deliveries.
Fetch deployed to take onsite teams out of the package equation
In February of 2017, ZRS conducted beta testing with Fetch – a package management company which receives and stores resident packages off-site, and schedules delivery direct to residents – at a lease-up property in Dallas. ZRS immediately knew Fetch was the solution it had been seeking.
“It was just a beautiful thing. The staff said they never saw a package in the office,” McNulty said. “For us, that was the ideal situation. The biggest selling point for us is that it removed the liability associated with managing residents’ packages.”
ZRS continues to implement Fetch on new communities as they can and has also started to roll out the package solution at many stabilized properties.
“We’ve been huge fans from the beginning,” McNulty said. “We started out with Fetch on a new construction project, which was a simple roll-out. Then we started implementing it on some of our stabilized properties. I was a little concerned about that, just getting the residents accustomed to a new package management system. But Fetch has really perfected its roll-out program on stabilized properties, and we’ve had great success with it.”
Scalable Fetch solution frees up time and space
In addition to eliminating package liability, Fetch returned valuable working hours to onsite teams.
“By implementing Fetch, we freed up our leasing and management teams to do what they’re supposed to be doing,” McNulty said. “Those teams can now focus on providing excellent customer service to our residents and prospects.”
Prior to deploying Fetch, ZRS had to convert at least one leasing office into a package room just to accommodate the overflowing package volume that lockers couldn’t handle. Since implementing Fetch, ZRS has been able to repurpose those package rooms as offices for management or maintenance.
The space savings has even begun to appeal to developers.
“Developers want to have the lockers or a package room to display because it’s a visible, tangible amenity, and they don’t want the property to be lacking something when a prospect comes to tour,” McNulty said. “We’ve faced some challenges with getting developers on board with us, but that money spent on lockers could be used elsewhere.”
“When we’re working with developers on design, especially in the early stages, we’re asking them not to pay the $30,000 to $50,000 for lockers, since we prefer the Fetch service,” McNulty said. “Developers are getting more comfortable with the idea of Fetch and not having the tangible amenity of a package locker.”
The success of the Fetch deployment has been particularly evident in 2020. In addition to putting residents in control of their deliveries, Fetch bolstered resident satisfaction during the pandemic by providing a continuous amenity.
“During the pandemic – especially during shelter-in-place orders when we may have been operating with limited staff at certain sites – Fetch was the ultimate solution,” McNulty said. “It really helped us to weather the storm.”
Fetch has provided other unanticipated benefits as well, McNulty said.
“We had a couple living with us that got married and went on their honeymoon,” McNulty recalled. “Rather than having their wedding gifts stacked up in a package room for days or left in front of their door, they were all stored in a Fetch warehouse and waiting for delivery when they got home. Another increasing trend, especially among millennials, is to sell their furniture when they move out and purchase new furniture for their next apartment. Through Fetch, they can order that new furniture and schedule delivery on their move-in day.”
ZRS property teams using Fetch no longer have to find space to store large deliveries like furniture, because Fetch delivers direct to residents at their selected time.
The flexibility created by Fetch has been incredibly convenient for residents, and its ability to handle the increasing e-commerce volume.
“Fetch is the only permanent package management solution. You’re going to outgrow every other solution out there,” McNulty said. “It’s absolutely a no-brainer to me, especially after the success we’ve had with it. From my perspective, it’s certainly the future of managing packages in multifamily.”
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