Greystar’s decision in October to use Amazon Hub for its residents’ package deliveries created a stir among apartment operators. Mixed reactions included that Amazon’s product was unproven and insufficient and the world’s largest online retailer could soon come to dominate deliveries (if it hasn’t already) and therefore there was merit to go with the leader.
AvalonBay, Equity Residential and Bozzuto also signed agreements with Amazon.
Greystar’s Senior Managing Director of Advantage Solutions, Gardner Rees, recently sat down with unitsMagazine last month to discuss his company’s decision.
Q: What package locker systems did you use prior to signing on with Amazon Hub? Will Greystar remove any existing lockers and replace them with Amazon Hub, or will only Hub be used going forward?
Greystar has a very diverse portfolio with various owners having installed locker systems from most of the major providers. We have selected Amazon as our preferred provider since they offer one of the most comprehensive solutions in the space. If a client has installed an alternative locker system prior to the Amazon Hub becoming available, it will be their decision if they would like to replace it with a Hub.
Q: How long will it take for Amazon to begin installing these lockers throughout your communities?
We currently have commitments from approximately 125 communities to install the Hub by Amazon locker systems over the next several months. In 2018, we plan to continue offering this locker system opportunity to all Greystar owned and managed communities.
Q: Can you approximate how many packages are delivered on average per day to Greystar properties?
During the past few years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of packages being delivered to our residents and as of today, based on industry averages, we estimate that a typical 300-unit apartment community receives upwards of 45 packages per day, and even higher volumes during November and December. We expect the volume to continue to increase in 2018 based on current e-commerce trends.
Q: What ratio of lockers to number of residents or apartment homes will Greystar install?
The first six-foot section has 42 compartments and each additional three-foot section would add 23 compartments. Amazon recommends the base unit would satisfy the demand for an average 100-unit property (with an additional three-foot section for each additional 50 units) based on average delivery volume. Geographic trends may cause variations to these recommendations.
Q: In your opinion, what were the primary benefits of choosing the Amazon Hub solution?
The Amazon lockers declutters apartment lobbies and storage rooms by allowing deliveries to be loaded directly into the package lockers and be picked up by residents 24/7, saving time for both residents and staff. The Hub by Amazon makes the package delivery process convenient and seamless for the resident—another way for Greystar to improve the resident’s experience.
Q: Will Greystar consider charging its residents a fee for the convenience of having Amazon Hub in the community?
With increased online shopping, our industry is finding new ways to accommodate our customers’ needs. We believe The Hub is a convenient amenity and we will offer the service at no additional charge to our residents.
Q: To this point, has working with Amazon been a smooth process?
We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with Amazon and they have done a great job of making the process easy for our team.
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