New research from Parks Associates finds that multi-family properties are increasingly turning to connected solutions and technologies, and managers are leveraging Wi-Fi and other solutions to attract new residents.
The consumer technology research firm–in partnership with Plume Design, a SaaS platform for communications service providers–finds that property managers are moving toward bulk internet offerings, 57% of property managers saying they offer bulk internet services to their residents. In addition, 89% of those who do not offer such services plan to do so in the next 12 months.
However, adoption among residents is relatively low. According to the research, 83% of residents contract directly with internet service providers, and just 16% get their internet through their property manager in one way or another.
Parks Associates finds that the reception of bulk internet among residents is generally positive, with 70% saying they are “satisfied” with their home internet. However, net promoter scores, which Parks defines as a measure of a customer’s willingness to recommend a product or service, are lower for bulk internet than traditional resident-procured internet.
In addition, just 43% of residents with bulk internet say that their internet service is reliable, and less than a third say they can easily connect smart home devices and printers to their network.
These issues can make residents less likely to renew their lease or recommend the property to others. They can also create headaches for the property owners, like more work for staff and damaging the property’s reputation.
Internet connectivity is the top amenity that tenants look for when evaluating a new home, according to research. This includes Wi-Fi within apartments and in common areas for resident use. Unsurprisingly, residents who work from home, stream video or play video games require strong internet connections.
According to Parks Associates, 87% of U.S. internet households subscribe to streaming services, 71% play video games weekly, and 36% work remotely at least one day a week.
“Such issues are much more common in older deployments using legacy solutions originally designed for public spaces, including captive portal strategies,” Parks Associates says in a LinkedIn post. “Newer deployments help to avoid this issue by using technologies and strategies specifically designed for multifamily situations – such as managed Wi-Fi.”
Managed Wi-Fi, according to Parks, offers improved performance, improved management features, and advanced cybersecurity solutions compared to legacy Wi-Fi deployments.
Offering multi-family residents bulk internet, Wi-Fi available at move-in, Wi-Fi in common areas and VLANs creates a seamless, always-connected environment that high-end smart homes offer, Parks Associates says.
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