Internet is a basic amenity. Proptech takes the headaches out of connection
Some may argue that in today’s world, especially post-pandemic, internet connection is more essential than ever. People rely on the internet to communicate, work (both in-office and at home), shop and more.
According to the United States Census Bureau, a total of 27.1 million Americans moved in 2021. One complication that comes with moving is setting up an internet provider. Even one day without an internet connection can create headaches.
Having internet included in apartment amenities and already set up can alleviate one stress of moving. Connected Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly popular as property owners cut ties with their traditional internet service providers for a variety of reasons. Selecting a Proptech, or property technology, partner that offers distributed Wi-Fi would consolidate the number of providers needed.
Why is it important?
According to a survey by Entrata, the number one most desired amenity among renters is a “basic technology package” that includes high-speed internet. Property owners can use distributed Wi-Fi to attract higher paying renters and potentially charge a premium for convenience, ultimately delivering a better overall experience. For renters, this could mean an easier time moving in, as they won’t need to worry about selecting a service provider, scheduling installation, obtaining hardware and any potential downtime before having Internet access. They may also enjoy Wi-Fi around the property, which can be a perk for someone who works remotely but wants a change of scenery, for example.
Property owners also have a lot to gain from connected Wi-Fi. Some providers let the properties earn monthly revenue from Wi-Fi subscriptions instead of a one-time payback when a resident signs up.
Things to consider:
How secure is the network? Cybersecurity is often a major concern for multifamily property owners since residents’ valuable information is exchanged over these networks. Ask providers how they keep resident data separate and encrypted from the rest of the community. Property-wide Wi-Fi is not the same as a shared public network.
Does it support smart apartments? If your property features smart apartment technology throughout, you’ll need Wi-Fi, a low-power network to connect devices locally, and an operating system to control and manage the property. Consider providers that can integrate with these systems and future proof your property.
Can multifamily properties make money from Wi-Fi subscriptions? If the property pays for installation and the Wi-Fi provider earns subscription revenue, you may receive a one-time bonus for residents who sign up, but it’s not guaranteed. If the Wi-Fi provider pays for installation and the vendor earns subscription revenue, they may use existing wiring to deliver Wi-Fi to resident units, but you’ll lose the opportunity for recurring revenue. If the property pays for installation and gets subscription revenue, you’ll own the resident relationship and earn recurring monthly revenue, but it’s a large cost up front.
What happens if there’s a power outage? Determine who is responsible for handling the reconnection of Wi-Fi. Unless you have an IT person on staff, it might be more convenient to go with a managed Wi-Fi service provider.
Wi-Fi is just one of many important functions when adopting Proptech.