In the past year, residential developments, including BTR properties and student accommodation had to make numerous changes to their everyday operations in order to keep residents and staff safe.

Thanks to our customers across the globe, we’ve had the opportunity to gain a unique insight into build-to-rent communities in the UK and beyond to understand what has changed for them over the past year, and what we can expect from the year ahead.

Here are a few of our predictions:

Contact-free amenities are here to stay

‘Contact-free’ quickly became the buzzword of 2020, and almost overnight property managers had to reconsider every single interaction that was facilitated between people and objects.

For long periods during lockdowns, many amenities were closed or limited for use. This presented a challenge for properties that were trying to attract new or retain current residents. To meet these challenges, many residential properties invested in and enabled contact-free amenities.

For many residents confined to their apartments, having essential and non-essential items delivered became the norm. Online shopping, groceries, hot food deliveries – all had to be safely delivered contact-free.

Even now that restrictions are easing, the growth in online shopping and food delivery is predicted to continue. Due to its convenience and reduced risk, we expect contact-free delivery will continue to be a valuable asset to support the growth in online shopping.

Remote working will continue

For the foreseeable future, most resident’s apartments will continue to do double duty as a combination of home and office. Although a return-to-office is on the horizon, a dispersed workforce will become a fact of life. Most workers will opt for hybrid working patterns, allowing them to flexibly work in the office and from home. 

Ensuring there is sufficient Wi-Fi signal available across all apartments and common areas, and at all times will be imperative to enabling remote workers. Many developments will continue to invest in property-wide internet connection so that residents do not become frustrated with limited 'hot-spots, and can work from all corners of their apartment or communal areas.

Allowing residents to self-serve where possible gives them flexibility and also reduces manual tasks for operational teams. Supplying a parcel management system such as a parcel locker allows for first-time delivery on inbound parcels, so residents can continue to work at home or in the office, safe in the knowledge that their items will arrive and be kept secure until they can collect.

Implementing smart technology early on will create a competitive advantage

It is not easy to change the layout of a building to accommodate changing requirements, so many developers rely on smart technologies which are scalable to upgrade and improve their offering.

From virtual property tours to smart key entry and parcel lockers many communities invested in smart technologies in 2020 to curb in-person interactions, save staff time and give residents the best possible experience.

Additional amenities or processes on-site usually require operational input from external resource or on-the-ground staff. Therefore, smart technologies which remove the need for manual, time-consuming tasks will be favourable.

For example, smart parcel lockers provided 24/7 access to deliveries while reducing face-to-face contact. The convenience of allowing residents to self-serve is a benefit that will be appreciated for years to come.

As we look ahead, in order to remain competitive and to ease operational tasks for on-the-ground staff, expect self-service technology such as parcel lockers to become even more prominent.

Increasing parcel volumes is a problem that isn’t going away

As consumers grow even more accustomed to the convenience and security of doing all their shopping online, increased delivery volume isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, experts estimate that online shopping will amount to 25% of global retail sales by 2024.

Quadient Parcel Lockers

Many properties already have a lot on their plates providing much-needed services for residents. Managing even more packages will take up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Quadient smart parcel lockers can help make receiving residents’ special deliveries safer and more secure without sacrificing convenience.


Contact us today to find the best solution for your property’s needs.



Photo Credit by Mikey Harris on Unsplash

Jon Hammond

Jon Hammond

Head of Real Estate Parcel Locker Solutions (UK & Ireland)

Jon has twenty years-experience of launching smart technology and SaaS services into the UK market. He joins Quadient having most recently been part of the UK launch team for a Belgium prop-tech firm where he worked with residential developers and clients across the UK and Ireland.

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