Condo communities are often attractive and convenient places to live. Many choose to live in these communities for the benefits, which include maintenance, amenities, community, and safety. For these reasons, many of these communities cater to senior citizens and families.
Therefore, when operating such a community, it’s important to keep the needs of the residents in mind. Convenience and safety are top concerns, and this includes the simple act of checking the mail. Residents want to be able receive their mail in a convenient matter.
Choosing the right mailboxes for your entire community may seem like a monumental task, but when broken down into easy steps, it’s quite doable.
Two Main Choices
Curbside mailboxes are the familiar type everyone knows. They’re the easiest type to install, but the most prone to damage from vehicles, weather, and other factors.
Curbside mailboxes come with one or more compartments on top of one or two posts. Accessories and customizations can add to the appeal of a condo community, and for this reason, they are a popular choice. Attractive mailboxes can also improve property value.
Centralized mailboxes consist of multiple customer compartments and parcel lockers contained in the same compartment. These can be placed side by side until all resident needs are met. These mailboxes can recess, stand alone, or mount onto vertical surfaces, making them another popular choice for communities.
Who Lives in Your Community?
Paying attention to the demographics of your community is important before you choose a mailbox type. Both mailbox types can work well in a condo community, but the type that will work the best will depend on a few factors.
Check on residents’ comfort level with traveling on foot or by vehicle to check the mail. If you run a community where most of the residents focus on fitness, or the residents skew younger, using a centralized mailbox setup may work well and give residents a good reason to exercise. A clubhouse where community members often gather may be a great place for such a setup.
However, the need for senior housing is growing in recent years, so in many communities, residents may be older or have mobility issues, so getting to a centralized area to check mail every day may be more of a hindrance than a help.
In these cases, using curbside mailboxes at the front of each condo may be preferred. You can save space by investing in multi-unit curbside mailboxes, which can serve two or more residents. These mailboxes have more than one mailbox sharing the same post or pair of posts. It’s even possible to serve an entire cul-de-sac or section this way if you wish to save time on installation and repairs.
How Is Your Community Set Up?
Looking at where you can install your mailboxes is also a must when deciding which type will work the best. Your community layout will help you make this decision.
If you’re looking to install centralized mailboxes (which will be the 4C line of mailboxes approved by the USPS) then you’ll want a centralized location or a location near the front of the community. This can be near a clubhouse, meeting place, central kiosk, or parking lot. No matter the location, it should be easy for residents to reach, and obvious to the USPS.
If you do not have sidewalks or a way for residents to easily access their mail, then you may want to consider curbside mailboxes.
The size of your community will also factor into which mailbox type will work the best. Very large communities that span several streets will likely benefit more from curbside mailboxes, as traveling to pick up mail will be inconvenient to most residents, especially if you experience cold or rainy weather.
If you do opt for centralized delivery, find a well-lit and secure location, which can be indoors or outdoors. Make sure the area is always accessible by residents, and do not obstruct mailbox access.
How Much Maintenance Can You Afford?
Curbside and centralized mailboxes require different levels of maintenance and installation time.
If you run a condo community, you likely have a full schedule of maintenance.
When trying to shave down on maintenance and installation times, centralized mailboxes are a good choice. Once installed, they last for decades, as they’re made from sturdy materials. An occasional broken lock or hinge can be quickly ordered and replaced.
Centralized mailboxes can be harder to install, but they rarely need maintenance, and since they are all in one place, clearing snow or ice around them will be a simpler task that takes less time.
Curbside mailboxes are easier to install, but for a community, there are often more of them, increasing the installation time. This can be partially alleviated by choosing multi-unit curbside mailboxes. Going this route may also reduce maintenance needed when parts break and reduce the chance of vehicles striking these mailboxes.
Is Package Theft an Issue?
Curbside mailboxes won’t hold anything but the smallest packages from the USPS. If residents have curbside mailboxes, all packages must be left on porches or on steps. This can lead to package theft and dissatisfaction.
If theft is an issue in your community, you may want to consider centralized mailboxes, since they contain parcel lockers. Aim to have one parcel locker per ten customer units, or more. If running an apartment, you should aim for a one in five ratio, as these requirements have changed in recent years.
Parcel lockers hold onto packages until residents can retrieve them. Residents will get a key to access the locker in their mailbox.
Parcel lockers can also be purchased alone to mount beside existing setups if more must be added for a growing community. The same is true for any mailbox type, especially centralized mailboxes.
Find The Right Solution Today
Here at National Mailboxes, we’re committed to finding the right mail solution for your community. Be sure to reach out for all your residential and commercial mailbox needs.