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Your Tenants’ Needs Are Changing. Can Your WiFi Keep Up?September 12, 2019
Whether you run an apartment community, student housing or senior living community, tenants of all ages expect fast, connected experiences that make their lives better and easier. But making these connected experiences a reality requires property owners to invest in innovative technology powered by high-speed WiFi.
Today, high-speed WiFi is at the top of many tenants’ list of must-have amenities. In fact, 59% of residents say that high-speed internet and WiFi is more important than clean underwear: that is, they believe WiFi is more important than an in-unit laundry.
Here are six ways tenants’ technology needs are changing and what real estate owners can do to ensure their community’s WiFi networks are able to keep pace.
- Residents want fast WiFi that works everywhere.
Having internet and WiFi in a unit is no longer enough: Residents expect that same secure, reliable and fast WiFi throughout the whole property. They might start the day streaming a movie through Netflix while working out at the property’s gym, play a playlist through Spotify while showering in their apartment, and check traffic through Waze while heading to the parking garage.
Informed property owners now realize that seamless, fast connectivity is essential to satisfying residents in all the scenarios where they use WiFi. They can design and implement a safe, reliable network that delivers a configurable experience for their residents, whether they’re using public or private area networks.
- Residents are embracing smart home technology.
The number of Americans between ages 25 and 44 is projected to grow by 7.3 million by 2030. Some 86% of millennials are willing to pay up to one-fifth more rent for smart apartments, and over 61% are likely to rent an apartment specifically because of electronic access features, such as keyless entry. Savvy property owners and managers will embrace smart HVAC and lighting systems to save money and energy, and use IoT to streamline tasks like accepting deliveries, collecting rent and maintaining building systems.
But smart home technology isn’t just for millennials. In senior living facilities, IoT-connected devices can track residents’ locations or alert emergency services if a resident falls. Such services can be monetized, and with the 65+ population projected to rise by 22.1 million by 2030, there’s plenty of opportunity for senior living communities to benefit.
Today’s influx of connected devices is just the beginning of the deluge. By 2025, there will be more than 75 billion IoT-connected devices worldwide. Take control of the chaos now by providing a managed WiFi network that can scale to handle new devices, meet resident expectations and future-proof your properties.
- Residents demand secure networks.
Daily news of data breaches raises residents’ cybersecurity awareness. But increased reliance on technology means residents, employees, guests and vendors all utilize your community’s network. As the number of connected devices grows, so do the security risks for end-users and liability concerns for real estate owners.
Can your WiFi network securely handle an influx of connected devices and users? By designing and implementing a network with built-in security and privacy, giving residents access control, and providing 24/7 monitoring, managed WiFi services can offer you and your residents peace of mind.
- Residents crave convenience.
New residents don’t want to skip work to wait for a service technician or hassle with setting up internet. But when residents set up their own internet service, it can introduce security risks and coverage problems. By providing your own WiFi network, you can simplify setup, customize the user’s connected experience and monetize your network investment.
Key questions that today’s owners should ask as they implement WiFi as an amenity in their buildings are: How easy is it for new tenants to onboard devices to the network? Do residents have to wait for internet equipment to be installed, or can they move in and connect instantly? How can wireless interference be mitigated when each tenant installs and manages their own wireless router? A progressive managed WiFi services provider can help new residents pre-register, create a network profile, add devices and services, and step into their new unit with WiFi up and running.
- Residents are hooked on streaming.
Bandwidth-hungry streaming apps are on the rise. Streaming video subscriptions grew 27% between 2017 and 2018, and video streaming is projected to grow by 19.6% annually through 2025. In addition, the market for streaming music is projected to more than double by 2026. The average resident has 3.2 connected devices, and often, all of them are streaming at once.
If you think that streaming video is only for millennials or just a secondary entertainment option for your residents, think again. More Americans now subscribe to streaming services than to cable TV—and it’s not just young people who are making the switch. Three in five Americans over age 50 get TV content from streaming sources, and 28% no longer have a traditional pay-TV service. Overall, streaming video revenues are projected to grow by 64% by 2023, while cable TV revenues are projected to shrink 16%.
Are you providing sufficient bandwidth for your residents’ streaming needs, both now and into the future, without paying for more bandwidth than you require? A managed WiFi services provider can determine the best way to manage bandwidth so you’re not overpaying.
- Residents are working from home.
Over 4.7 million Americans currently telecommute, up from 3.9 million in 2015, and with 99% of remote workers eager to keep telecommuting, the trend will only grow in the future. Remote workers require secure, reliable network access to attend web-based conferences, use VoIP and securely share files.
Since 85% of remote workers primarily work from home, the quality of their home WiFi is key to their job security. Does your WiFi network provide the speed, reliability and security remote workers need? A managed WiFi services provider that offers 24/7 monitoring and support helps ensure your network is always up, available and performing so residents can get work done.
Meeting Residents’ Expectations, Today and Tomorrow
Tenants’ expectations of the WiFi experience will continue to grow as IoT and streaming technologies evolve in the coming years. Additionally, new and emerging technologies like 5G and CBRS will add to the confusion surrounding real estate owners when they try to answer the question, “What is the right managed WiFi system for my properties?”
By partnering with a managed WiFi provider like Single Digits that understands the unique needs of multi-family properties to handle implementation, maintenance and support, you can focus on the traditional needs of your tenants instead of troubleshooting building technology. Experienced managed WiFi partners will enable you to rise to the challenge of meeting residents’ expectations to design and create a network that provides security, reliability and a connected experience your residents want, both today and in the future.