CoStar News – Apartment Industry’s Struggle With Package Deliveries Turns Into Big Business

As E-Commerce Swells, Apartment Managers Turn to Tech To Manage Thousands of Parcels.

When Michael Patton moved to a large luxury apartment complex in Uptown Dallas in 2015, he was shocked to discover his complex employed two full-time workers to manage hundreds of package deliveries every day. And packages would still get lost.

“I moved in right before the holidays, so I saw the package problem” in full force, Patton said, adding that he had a few of his own packages go missing. “They had a very large package room on-site with full-time staff members. I’d never seen that before, I thought that was slightly ridiculous. Even with them spending all that money on package delivery, it still wasn’t the greatest experience for residents.”

After national apartment owner Camden Property Trust started refusing to accept packages in 2015, Patton hatched an idea for his startup Fetch, a last-mile delivery service using a smartphone app to let apartment residents control delivery times and take property managers out of package management. Today, Fetch is in 16 major markets with nearly 400 corporate employees and 2,000 contractors dropping millions of parcels on doorsteps. Armed with a fresh $60 million in funding, plans to expand nationwide.

The pandemic has underscored the need for package-delivery strategies for apartment owners overseeing a tsunami of shipments thanks to the explosion in e-commerce orders. Consumers are expected to continue many of the online shopping habits they developed during the pandemic, according to a report from market researcher eMarketer. E-commerce sales spiked 18% last year to $708 billion and are expected to jump 13.7% this year to $908 billion, according to eMarketer. That means more apartment leasing offices cluttered with boxes for on-site staff to manage

more from

Reducing operating costs has always been a top priority for property managers and building operators. A proven way to do this is to focus on resident retention. A survey by Avail showed that when residents renew their leases, landlords can save up to $2,500 that would otherwise be allocated toward finding new renters and making updates to units for rent.
"We needed a package management solution that first and foremost improves the resident experience, and also lifts package responsibilities from our team members' shoulders," said Mark-Taylor President John Carlson. "Fetch is the best solution to support our team members while offering residents package delivery service catered to their personal schedules and needs. At Mark-Taylor, we are excited to experience the unique benefits that Fetch will bring to our communities."
Built In Austin
Fetch is growing substantially, having delivered over 10 million packages since its founding. In 2021, they spread to six new markets, including Minneapolis, Raleigh-Durham, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Nashville. To further highlight the innovative new tech companies addressing particular needs, Built In Austin curated a list of 22 of the city’s startups to watch in 2022.