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Meet Lori Torres of Parcel Pending in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Torres.

Lori, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I founded Parcel Pending in 2013 to provide effective package management solutions to property managers, residents and couriers. Today, Parcel Pending is the global package management industry leader in the multi-family, commercial, retail and universities space with 120+ employees and thousands of customers across North America.

I first developed the idea for Parcel Pending while working at The Irvine Company. During my 13-year tenure at this prestigious real estate investment and development company, I held various senior positions, including SVP of property operations. I was responsible for the operational oversight of the company’s entire multifamily portfolio, consisting of 1,200 property management associates operating over 44,000 apartment homes.

While at The Irvine Company, I regularly walked-through many of their Multi-Family Communities. Initially, package delivery was not a major issue. It used to be that Property Managers (PMs) only took a few minutes out of their day to manage a small number of deliveries for residents. However, as time went on and online shopping became increasingly popular, I noticed that PMs were struggling to devote enough space, time and money to properly manage the influx of deliveries. At the same time, residents were becoming overwhelmingly frustrated with having to pick-up their packages during office hours, disappearing packages and tracking packages that never arrived. I knew there had to be a better way and set out to find a solution.

As such, I walked away from a stable corporate job to follow my dream of starting Parcel Pending. I jumped right in by working to achieve my MBA at Pepperdine University while at the same time trying to get the company off the ground. My passion to make Parcel Pending work never waned. I put my business plan into action. I bootstrapped to get the company off of the ground in 2013 and then worked to raise funds in 2014.

My extensive real estate experience has allowed me to truly understand the diverse needs of property owners, property managers, couriers and residents. As a result, I have been able to conceptualize and develop completely customizable indoor, outdoor and refrigerated digital smart lockers that provide seamless package management solutions for residents, employees and shoppers nationwide.

The way Parcel Pending works is simple. When a package arrives, a courier places it into a secure Parcel Pending locker. The recipient is then notified by text and/or email with a passcode to use when retrieving the package(s) privately and safely at any time.

Parcel Pending removes the chaos of package management by assuming all customer service responsibility for package delivery, notification and retrieval. We enable property owners and managers to increase responsiveness to residents, provide better service, gain competitive advantage and concurrently reduce operating costs.

Some of our recent accomplishments include:
• Boosting company growth 70% YOY. In 2017, Parcel Pending grew its presence from 36 to 44 states.
• Growing the company from 3 employees in 2014 to 120+ employees in 2018.
• Elevating the company’s package management total by 450% over the last couple of years.
• Expanding Parcel Pending’s seamless package management solutions from multi-family communities to commercial office buildings, retailers and universities.
• Increasing the company’s product line from customizable indoor lockers to outdoor and refrigerated lockers.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Walking away from a stable corporate job to start your own business is never easy. There were definitely some struggles, especially early on.

For example, when I first started the company, I was the only person to delegate tasks to. We didn’t have the budget to afford the top talent that was needed. Instead, we had a lean team but we worked effectively and collaboratively to move the company forward.

Another struggle was office space. Despite the fact that we planned for growth, we still ended up outgrowing four different office spaces over the span of four and a half years. This was certainly a good but very expensive problem to have!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Parcel Pending – what should we know?
Parcel Pending removes the chaos of package management for multi-family, commercial, retail and university properties by assuming all customer service responsibility for package delivery, notification and retrieval. This means we simplify and secure parcel deliveries for residents, employees, shoppers and students nationwide!

What sets us apart is our best-in-class customer service. Parcel Pending stands out amongst its competitors due to our unmatched 24/7 service teams that are dedicated to explaining how the lockers work, trouble-shooting quick turn-around times, and making sure the end result is above satisfactory to all parties. Our specialized departments focus their time and efforts on going above and beyond reaching out to their contacts and ensuring everything is running smoothly all day, every day. We pride ourselves on making everyone’s lives easier, one package at a time.

In addition to phenomenal customer service, we are also committed to offering the most technologically advanced parcel lockers. That’s why our product line has expanded from indoor lockers to outdoor and refrigerated (the first in the industry!) lockers. We are always pushing the envelope when it comes to new features and strives to provide state-of-the-art lockers that suit the needs of our diverse audiences.

The way Parcel Pending works is simple. When a package arrives, a courier places it into a secure Parcel Pending locker. The recipient is then notified by text and/or email with a passcode to use when retrieving the package(s) privately and safely at any time.

We remove the chaos of package management by assuming all customer service responsibility for package delivery, notification and retrieval. This enables property owners and managers, employers, store managers and universities to increase responsiveness to their residents, employees, shoppers and students while at the same time provide better service, gain competitive advantage and concurrently reduce operating costs.

Additionally, what I am most proud of is the fact that Parcel Pending offers a fun, collaborative and positive work environment. We’re a customer-focused company and our employees are central to our success. We work hard to maintain an environment that gives our team members the opportunity to thrive through open communication practices and programs to help them achieve positive results. There are many opportunities for our employees to both learn and grow and this is important to building a solid foundation for the company. Our lunch and learn programs, which are regularly offered, provide department overviews showcasing the ways teams work together to find solutions.

As a leader, I also focus strongly on guiding my employees through their career paths to ensure they are driven to excel in their own goals and professional strengths. Our internal rate of promotions, department transfers and job creation has grown tremendously and continues as the company encourages a positive work environment. Moreover, our recent move in May 2017 to a 25,000-office space incorporates an open floor plan with the best intentions to suit each job function. We’ve built collaborative spaces to encourage sharing of ideas and workflow and used interactive walls and quiet rooms to enhance the quality and productivity of the office setting.

I have enjoyed serving as CEO of Parcel Pending since 2013 and look forward to the years ahead!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Rewarding the daily accomplishments of my remarkable Parcel Pending team with pride and gratitude. There’s a reason we’re known for offering the best customer service in the industry! I am nothing without my team. In order to deliver phenomenal customer service, you first have to hire great people who love to help. I rely heavily on the strength, dedication, professionalism and savviness of my team to maintain our success. This has helped us achieve impressive results. In 2017, Parcel Pending experienced 70% YOY growth. We also expanded our presence from 36 states in 2016 to 44 in 2017, as well as increased our employees from 65 in 2016 to 120+ employees in 2018. Moreover, Parcel Pending has been named one of the best places to work in Orange County, Calif. by the Orange County Register for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017).

Parcel Pending is powered by our people so I firmly believe that the key to our continued success is recognizing the achievements – both big and small – of our team.

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Parcel Pending

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