Of the countless ways COVID-19 has impacted the multifamily industry, one of the most lasting effects may be package volume. As brick-and-mortar stores temporarily closed and consumers became hesitant to venture out, renters increasingly turned to online shopping.
For property managers, the result has been an onslaught of packages being delivered to multifamily communities. Unfortunately for those managers, that trend won’t be slowing anytime soon. And in fact, the data suggests just the opposite.
“COVID-19 may have accelerated online buying behavior, but the shopping habits of residents won’t just regress when virus concerns subside,” said Michael Patton, Fetch founder and CEO. “E-commerce is here to stay and package management is a burden that property managers will be forced to deal with at increasing levels for the foreseeable future.”
Fetch, an off-site package solution for multifamily communities, recently released three-year projections for package volume in the multifamily space. From January 2019 to January 2020, per-unit package volume among multifamily communities served by Fetch increased by only a modest 2%. However, as coronavirus concerns began to emerge in February, package volume spiked to 29% above figures from the previous year.
This was just the beginning. Year-over-year package numbers increased by 39% in March and 48% in April. Even as mandated closures and tay-at-home orders were lifted, package volume continued to skyrocket in May (58%), June (63%), July (37%) and August (41%), increasing from the same month last year.
The average monthly package volume per apartment home for active Fetch users topped 10 packages in May, up from 6.34 the previous year with June (9.72), July (9.53) and August (9.83) averages easily surpassing the holiday season average of 9.05 in December 2019.
“With the package volume apartment communities are currently experiencing, it’s like every day is Cyber Monday,” said Patton. “Multifamily properties need a sustainable solution to their increasing package needs because our projections show that this trend will only continue.”
Fetch projections anticipate that monthly package rates for users will retract slightly to 8.19 packages per apartment home in 2021, before climbing to 9.41 in 2022 and 10.65 packages per month in 2023. Growth rates for e-commerce ballooned to an assumed 18% in 2020 and the growth rate is projected to remain above 13% for the next two years before settling in at 12.9% in 2023.
Fetch, which will deliver approximately 2.7 million packages in 2020, expects to deliver slightly more than 8.7 million packages to multifamily homes by the end of 2021. These growth projections include expected new customers, with that number increasing to more than 36.8 million packages by 2023.
“When examining year-over-year, Fetch saw a 248.4% volume increase. Specifically in 2019, there were 438,637 packages and 2020 to date, that number is 1,091,608,” Patton tells GlobeSt.com. “Please note this also includes new customers. We currently serve 227 properties throughout Texas.”
Fetch closed an $18 million Series B in August. Iron Gate Capital and Pando Ventures led the round and were joined by existing investors Signal Peak Ventures, Silverton Partners, Seamless and Venn Ventures
The firm uses a large network of warehouses and Fetch delivery drivers to serve as the direct-to-door package management solution, entirely removing communities from package management. This allows residents to control delivery service from the comfort of their sofas.