One outcome of the Covid pandemic is likely to be a permanent increase in office-based workers working from home. A knock-on effect of homeworking and lockdown has been the continued rise of ecommerce. And while the growth of online shopping pre-dates the pandemic, the trend towards buying online has been supercharged.
At Navana, we saw a 133% increase in deliveries across one London site last year. Much has been said about what the rise of ecommerce means for bricks-and-mortar retail, but property management is rarely a focus. It should be though, as the way residential property is managed has a direct impact on ‘last yard’ logistics. Getting this right will create homes that properly cater for modern lifestyles.
Many people who live in apartment blocks report anxiousness over their post and parcels going missing. Residential developments must be configured to cater for accurate and timely transfer of post to residents, and this needs to start at the design stage.
From ensuring adequate safe parking areas for delivery drivers to providing sufficient and varied parcel storage options, developers must carefully plan the infrastructure needed to support an increased volume of deliveries. While residents’ convenience must be the priority, it is important this does not come at the expense of a development’s presentation or unnecessarily burden the onsite management team.
Facilities management provision for home deliveries is just as important. Teams must ensure resource is built in for co-ordinating large delivery volumes and their safe arrival to residents 24/7. This needs to include priority support for vulnerable or less able people that may rely on home deliveries for essentials.
It is clear that ecommerce is here to stay and the way we design and manage homes needs to adapt to this behavioural shift. Embedding the right processes and technology to deal with deliveries is no longer a luxury, but a critical and non-negotiable element of bringing future-fit residential product to market.
Brent Stojanovic is a director at Navana Property Group