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Which Mailboxes Are Best for My Apartment Complex?

Apartment Mailboxes

Do you run an apartment complex, or are you opening or purchasing one? If so, you’ll likely already know that preventing too much tenant turnover is the key to whether your business will thrive. And what’s part of preventing tenant turnover? Providing a safe, clean, and convenient environment for your residents.

All residents are different, but one thread holding them together is that they want safe, efficient, and easy mail delivery. Apartment complex managers have several choices when it’s time to decide which mailbox type will suit your particular apartment complex the best.

The Types of Apartment Mailboxes

The USPS will only deliver to USPS-approved mailboxes, but there are several types that meet the requirements. If you are looking for direct USPS delivery, using mailboxes that are labeled “USPS Approved” on National Mailboxes is recommended. Mailboxes for private, or third-party delivery, are also available, but these should only be considered if you are having someone accept mail from the USPS and then distribute it to residents.

The types of USPS-approved mailboxes include:

  1. Curbside Mailboxes. These familiar mailboxes can come singly or as multi-unit mailboxes.
  2. Door Slots. These slots are inexpensive and easy to install and can work for regular mail and small packages.
  3. Centralized Mailboxes. This is a catch-all term for mailboxes that have multiple customer compartments contained within the same cabinet. There are several sub-types, but the overall design and concept is the same.

Which type of mailbox will work the best for your tenants will depend on your tenants, the area in which you live, and package volume.

For Smaller Apartment Complexes

If you own or manage a smaller apartment complex, such as a few apartments contained within one large house or a single apartment building, you may have more options for mailboxes than a larger complex.

While larger complexes will have difficulty managing many curbside mailboxes and door slots, a small apartment complex or single building may be able to make use of them if the budget is tighter or if there isn’t a lot of space to install centralized mailboxes.

Curbside mailboxes may work well for a smaller apartment complex when:

  • There isn’t much risk of your curbside mailboxes getting hit by traffic and damaged or destroyed
  • A multi-unit curbside mailbox will add to the palette and curb appeal of your apartments, and improving curb appeal is one of your goals.
  • You are looking for an inexpensive way to provide mail delivery to a few residents.

However, there are some cons to curbside mailboxes which include:

  • Curbside mailboxes are the most prone to damage
  • Curbside mailboxes are also more vulnerable to theft.
  • These mailboxes can only hold small packages, leaving your mail carrier to leave packages with management, or in front of apartment doors.
  • You’re more likely to need to repair curbside mailboxes more frequently than other types.

Door slots may also be a solution for a lower-budget apartment complex or a smaller complex with only a few residents.

  • Door slots are easy to install, and because mail is fed directly into an apartment, there is some element of security.
  • Slots are less likely to be damaged due to their location.

Cons of door slots include:

  • They do not allow anything larger than small packages to fit through.
  • Door slots can require a lot of time for the USPS to deliver if you have more than a few in your complex.
  • Packages will need to be left outside of each apartment, or at the manager’s office for third-party delivery or resident pickup, which will in turn take up space.

Wall-mounted mailboxes may also work for small complexes where doors are outside, and the USPS can easily find them. They have the same benefits and drawbacks as door slots, but unless they lock, mail won’t be secured.

If these mailbox types won’t keep mail safe in your complex, or are prone to damage, consider purchasing centralized mailboxes. Some are available with only a few customer compartments, and additional parcel lockers can be purchased to keep packages safe.

For Larger Apartment Complexes

Larger apartment complexes face more logistical challenges when it comes to mail delivery than their smaller counterparts. Many of these complexes consist of multiple floors or buildings.

Centralized mailboxes are great for these complexes, because they put all mail delivery in one place, unless one centralized mailbox cabinet is placed at every building. There are three types of centralized mailboxes:

  1. Wall-mounted centralized mailboxes. These cabinets contain anywhere from a few to over two dozen customer compartments, and simply mount onto a wall or other vertical surface, such as on an outdoor kiosk.
  2. Recessed mailboxes simply recess into a wall.
  3. Freestanding, or pedestal mailboxes stand alone or on a pedestal, and are best used outdoors near parking lots or sidewalks.

Benefits of all centralized mailboxes include:

  • Very sturdy construction is good for ensuring that they last for decades.
  • Every customer compartment comes with a lock and customer keys for you to distribute to tenants.
  • Centralized mailboxes can be installed indoors or outdoors, in a variety of locations, so long as they’re accessible 24/7, kept clear of obstructions, and ADA-compliant.
  • Parcel lockers are included with most new, 4C-STD units (the USPS approved models) and hold many packages until customer pickup.
  • These mailboxes can mount side by side, allowing you to meet all customer needs in your complex.

Aside from a higher upfront cost, there are very drawbacks to using centralized mailboxes, as they are the most durable and secure mailboxes today. You will likely need to do very few repairs. Colors and customizations are limited with this mailbox type, but many property managers utilize creative landscaping or renovations around these apartment mailboxes to improve curb appeal.

If You Aren’t Sure Which Mailboxes Are Right for Your Apartments…

National Mailboxes is here to help. Simply contact National Mailboxes today to find out which mailboxes will suit your residents the best, whether you are renovating, repairing, or opening a new complex.