High-speed internet is no longer a luxury item, but a necessity. WIFI surrounds us and has become a part of daily culture. No matter the age or grade of property you own, consideration should be made into providing community-wide, quality, reliable multifamily internet access. But, the wide world of the internet can be quite confusing. In this article, we are going to help you define your property’s needs and find a solution to that fits.
Knowledge is Power
In beginning the earnest search to provide high-quality internet for your residents, you must first understand a glossary of terms in order to be able to best assess your community’s needs.
(ISP) Internet Service Provider is any company providing internet services regardless of capabilities.
(FISP) Full-Service Internet Provider and (MSP) Managed Service Providers are quickly emerging onto the multifamily scene specializing in Fiber network services and WIFI for multi-resident communities.
(FTTH) Fiber to the Home/Unit, also known as (FTTP) Fiber to the Premises “is the installation and use of optical fiber from a central point directly to individual buildings such as residences, apartment buildings and businesses to provide unprecedented high-speed Internet access. FTTH dramatically increases the connection speeds available to computer users compared with technologies now used in most places” according to Techtarget.com.
(PWW) Property Wide WIFI vs a single portal WIFI, which will have limited access in the outskirts of the community, can be seen as one of your property’s biggest amenities. Find many more details about PWW in this informational section from Fiberstreamwifi.com.
(WAAS) WIFI as a Service allows for the generation of income from this necessary managed service. This type of WIFI is a cloud-based product that can offer multiple points of access at any given time. Read more on WAAS here.
Ask yourself why Multifamily Wifi?
- To provide high-quality multifamily internet service that increases satisfaction, loyalty, and retention rates.
- To prepare your property for increasing service demands and future upgrades for internet services.
- To increase the overall value of your property.
- To build secondary income and capitalize on per unit capital that would otherwise be missed by farming the service out to a “Big Box” company.
Matt Sublette CFO for Fiber Stream says “You would be amazed how many properties are NOT connected to the fiber grid even though it literally runs right by their property. Savvy apartment owners do well to check with companies such as ours to see what integrating fiber for their residents would entail. Getting fiber speeds is easier than you probably think, especially with our Property-Wide WiFi which takes enterprise fiber, equipment, design and infrastructure and deploys it, so apartment residents can enjoy the Best Internet Life Has to Offer©, Just Move-In, Log-On, and Go!©”
Worried about making the switch to community wide Wifi?
There will certainly be up and downs when changing your multifamily community over to any new widespread system.
PROBLEM: Few property owners or managers are aware that they have choices. Far too many choose a “Big Box” provider simply because they do not understand the options for deploying internet services for their property. They feel that they are making a “deal” with these providers but this can undermine the quality of service provided to the residents. Many property managers feel the need to give their residents options for multifamily internet service. However, in doing so they are often asking them to choose the lesser of the evils. Offering a few bad choices is not actually giving the residents a choice at all.
SOLUTION: Residents want seamless, easily accessible and FAST WIFI. Give them what they want. Strike a deal with a single entity, provide a single great option for your residents, and allow this to be a revenue generating source for your multifamily community.
PROBLEM: Many properties are under-served because they are serviced by local area providers who serve as little more than mini-monopolies with outdated business models and poor customer service. These types of providers have some of the lowest approval ratings in the industry and can affect your property’s overall ranking in reviews with your residents. These services also have little to no motivation to improve their services as they have all but monopolized many areas and left precious few options otherwise. This could sway an owner away from providing the best service possible as the upfront costs could be greater than just going with the status quo.
SOLUTION: Make a wise choice toward a FISP that can provide your residents easy, fast and reliable services based on their usage.
PROBLEM: Discriminating residents, working and business class, and even students require high speed and ease of use internet service that simply cannot be provided by services like DSL or traditional cable/coaxial lines. Additionally, these are not expandable in today’s market. A property manager is often limited, in their choices, by the type of hard-wiring located inside their community. Many services, such as gigabit internet providers, will require, at a minimum, that the buildings be wired to Cat 5e.
SOLUTION: Design (or redesign) your property with upgrading services in mind. Use only the latest wiring technologies such as Cat 5e, 6a, or Fiber. Establish community-wide, business class WIFI that is accessible to all residents in any area of the property. By upgrading to the most current technology, this can be accomplished in only a matter of weeks. This will allow for expansion in the coming years toward even faster multifamily internet service speeds but may require a complete rewire of the property.
According to our friends at FIBERSTREAMWIFI.COM,
the choice to use upgrade service can be a business opportunity in one of a few ways:
- Marketing – Build a marketing campaign to highlight your newest amenity. If you are a zero occupancy property, consider offering a sales incentive such as “Free property wide WIFI with first year’s lease.” If you are an established community establish a campaign that educates your residents about the NEW FREE WIFI and ENHANCED INTERNET SPEEDS.
- Profit – Add your upgraded internet service to the billed utilities on the property. This can elicit up to $30 per month (or more) per unit.
- Multiplier – Couple internet upgrades with other scheduled community-wide improvements to create the multiplier effect. This can be reinforcement for rent increases or increased value for new leases.
Multifamily investors now have a variety of choices for meeting their residents needs and should carefully consider which high speed internet tactic would work best for their property. Regardless of whether your community is brand new (in planning and development stage) or long established, you can increase your community’s perceived value by implementing high speed internet as a growth strategy.
Choosing the right provider for your multifamily property is paramount. Having a calculated profit, marketing or multiplier strategy can quickly turn your upgrade costs into profits and increased value making your multifamily community a well sought after one.
Be sure to utilize Leonardo247’s reminders to help keep your multifamily community up to date on high speed internet services. If you currently have a provider, be sure to schedule reminders to compare service pricing and options inside your regular action cycles. Maintenance crews should be accustomed to double checking the integrity of wiring and property managers should always be aware and ready to make a change if better service or quality becomes available.