After a year of working from home, streaming from home, and learning from home, multifamily tenants agree that one of the most important things landlords can offer is a fast, reliable internet connection. Staying connected has never been more important for tenants. This is why it has never been more important for building owners to choose the right internet provider.
However, choosing an internet provider can be easier said than done. What should property owners be looking for in their internet provider? How can they know they are providing their tenants with the best possible connection?
“I believe it is important for owners to understand that one of the top amenities that residents look for in a community or property is the internet capability,” said Sarah Jordan, director of sales with Quantum Fiber, a fiber optic internet network provider. “It is imperative that internet service providers deliver a seamless, ubiquitous, customer experience.”
Bisnow recently spoke with Jordan to learn some of the key things building owners should look for when choosing an internet provider. And how they can find a company that will be able to go above and beyond to give their tenants what they need.
Bisnow: What are the first steps property owners should take when they begin their search for an internet provider?
Automation, instant connectivity and simplicity are the driving forces in the amenities that residents expect from their internet experience today. Internet companies must deliver a white-glove customer experience that reflects a true partnership between the community and the internet service provider.
That can also include next-gen, fully digital property features like Quantum Fiber’s bulk service, property-wide, private connectivity and resident instantaneous WiFi activation. Plus, our proposal planning can include residential-level research and infrastructure solutions to help meet a community’s needs. We help eliminate the guesswork and build tailored solutions.
Bisnow: How should speed and reliability factor into property owner decisions?
Jordan: The pandemic has accelerated the demand for bandwidth within our communities. As organizations embrace the remote workforce trend, the speed and reliability of internet connections are crucial pieces of their decision process. Residents need speeds that will allow them to power multiple devices throughout their homes. And they need to have a strong, reliable connection.
The reality is that residents’ online needs are changing at a rapid rate. That’s why we decided to leap forward with our new Quantum Fiber brand. Business and resident needs are changing, and so are we. This opens new possibilities for property owners. Quantum Fiber delivers tomorrow’s speed today, giving residents the freedom to work from home, learn, shop, game, keep up with telehealth, really anything that demands a fast internet connection. Working together with property owners and their teams, we can keep residents’ smart-connected worlds in motion.
Bisnow: What security features should they look for?
Jordan: Properties are beginning to entertain multiple security features in their communities. These include biometric screening, automated door locks, security systems, camera systems, and future systems that haven’t even been invented yet. It’s important for properties to have the fiber connection and bandwidth to power these features as automation and IoT trends continue to grow. I’ve worked with property owners who have come to realize their security features are lacking. Not all internet providers or fiber installers provide robust networking support.
It’s always a pressing matter. Being vulnerable to cyber-attacks and their aftermath keeps many owners up at night. From an internet perspective, Quantum Fiber has built-in security features that protect our users from cyber-attacks. Quantum Fiber uses the power of Lumen’s extensive fiber network, infrastructure and global cyber monitoring to provide exceptional service.
Bisnow: How should property owners be approaching cost considerations?
Jordan: Cost considerations are a vital part of a company’s ability to deliver on its net operating income. Focusing your capital investments on the most important amenities is key. This includes bringing in a fiber-optic network to allow residents to enhance the technology experience.
Many property owners determine returns on their investments in key ways. First, by improving property values through their fiber investment. Then, by their ability to retain highly satisfied residents and attract tech-savvy residents who are eager to move in. Additionally, selecting bulk services can provide properties with revenue generation opportunities. From my experience, properties that account for all the benefits of their investment have greater assurances with their investors or future property buyers.
Bisnow: Are there any other factors building owners should be looking for?
Jordan: I want to stress the importance of finding a true partner. While the speed, reliability, and security of an internet service provider are all very important, it’s equally important for building owners and developers to work with a company they can trust. A company that will build a lasting relationship with them and establishes a true partnership.
Automation is amazing, but you want to make sure you have that personal touch as well. At Quantum Fiber, we strive to create a relationship where we offer strong technical support and a continuous, positive white-glove experience.
Quantum Fiber® Connected Communities provides customized fiber solutions for apartments and communities.
This article was originally posted on https://www.bisnow.com/blogs/quantumfiber on July 7, 2021, and was produced in collaboration between the Bisnow Branded Content Studio and Quantum Fiber.
Slow internet in a multi-family community isn’t just irritating. Today, it can negatively impact how residents work, shop, inform, and entertain themselves. It’s simple. Residents see fast, reliable internet as a “must-have.” And they’ll gladly pay more for a property that provides it. Today, however, HOAs, residential property managers, and multi-family property owners may see the appeal of their communities disintegrate without high-quality internet connectivity.
With insight and expertise from Quantum Fiber Sales Engineering Manager Justin Johnson, we’ll explore options for developers and owners to ratchet up their multi-family property and single-family development internet and pull their communities out of the online “slow lane.”
High-speed, reliable internet moves from “want” to “need”
Once a “nice-to-have” amenity, fast, dependable broadband is now a “must-have” for residents and property owners. ” Today’s residents look for the most robust internet speeds they can find,” says Quantum Fiber’s Justin Johnson. And the numbers agree.
A late 2019 study of renter preferences by the National Multi-Family Housing Council showed a whopping 91.7 percent of residents feel high-speed, reliable internet was either important or very important when looking for a new place.
While most property owners and managers may agree that top-notch internet is a top amenity, Johnson says, “It’s up to the HOAs and multi-family property owners to know what they’re looking for when choosing an internet provider. And then working with that company to make sure they provide the fastest service possible.”
Could a property’s WiFi slow things down?
Optimal internet speeds can be affected by several things. One “wild card” owners shouldn’t overlook is their WiFi solution. But maintaining control over the WiFi speeds in a multi-family property or a single-family home development can be easier said than done in Johnson’s view. That, he says, requires customized solutions created by qualified engineers and professional equipment.
Sluggish WiFi can result from network equipment issues, how many people connect, walls and structural materials, or the property’s layout. A neighbor’s WiFi might even cause interference and make for a slower experience.
The good news for property owners, according to Johnson, is a provider like Quantum Fiber has various game plans for overcoming WiFi inadequacies. He highlights the Quantum Fiber Instant Internet WiFi system software as an example. It can correct specific disruptions in real-time by tracking a resident’s wireless connection speed and then fine-tuning their modem to enhance connectivity.
Closer = better connectivity
With fiber internet performance, proximity matters. “The closer you can get fiber to someone, the better,” Johnson says. “This helps reduce latency, making internet speeds much faster, and giving residents a much better overall online experience.” He explains a direct fiber connection to each residence is ideal with a service like Quantum Fiber. The most efficient way to make sure the fiber gets that close, is to lay out a community’s internet goals during construction. Then, fiber-optic lines can be built-in and connected to each home or apartment.
This strategy also plays to fiber internet’s role as an investment in a property’s future. As Johnson puts it, “Technology is always changing. But with fiber, building owners and internet providers are in a position to easily install new tools that can upgrade a building’s internet capabilities.” While the equipment on either end of the network will undoubtedly evolve, fiber still has unused capacity and won’t become quickly outdated. This expected longevity allows owners to position their properties well for new connectivity developments (and demands) without the need to re-wire or re-invest in new infrastructure. This type of “future-readiness” means fiber can yield improved value for properties and owners.
Fast is great, but how about instant?
Though internet speed is essential, residents also crave instant access. The on-demand, short-attention-span, do-it-all-online world we live in drives residents toward simplicity and control over their internet experience. As Johnson says, that’s exactly where a solution like Quantum Fiber Instant Internet comes in.
Tailored to individual communities, Instant Internet is a premier technology that allows residents and homeowners to activate service themselves—within minutes of moving in. Homes or apartments are pre-wired with modems, so residents aren’t required to place an order and wait for a technician to install and activate their internet. With Instant Internet, signing up and initiating service can be done online with a few taps on a smartphone. Instant internet is virtually instantaneous.
Sure, the benefits of surfing and streaming before unpacking a box are clear for new residents, but Instant Internet also has upsides for building operators.
According to Johnson, a developer or owner can leverage the technology as a differentiator for their property. With high-performance fiber internet and convenient, fully digital solutions, properties can enjoy the dual benefits of attracting new residents and standing out from their competition.
This type of service model can also bring in another indirect benefit. New efficiencies can be created by not sending as many technicians out on install appointments. Fewer service vehicles on the road can help lower emissions and increase sustainability.
Upgrading existing infrastructure
Other enhancements for improving connectivity aren’t just limited to new construction. Johnson points to several ways fiber internet can help the owners of established properties level up their internet game.
“We evaluate your building and find the best ways to boost your connection using the existing copper wiring,” he explains. “You don’t have to start from scratch. We have the tools and the expertise to work with what you already have and bring your internet speeds up to where residents need them.”
With more internet dependence than ever, the trick for property owners, managers, and internet providers is to build a tailored solution that allows for making upgrades with the least amount of disturbance in the community. “We work with owners and property managers to build customized solutions that are as unique as their buildings,” Johnson says. Quantum Fiber solves this with their fiber-based G.fast and G.hn technologies. These alternative approaches can couple with a property’s existing copper cable infrastructure, breathing new, high-performance life into it. Plus, they eliminate the need to run new cabling or disrupt residents’ connectivity. This meshing of newer and pre-existing equipment can provide property residents with typical fiber internet speeds—up to 940 Mbps.
Getting serious about serious connectivity
Innovative property owners know their best amenity investments are the ones residents benefit from most. High-quality internet access is essential to daily life and regularly tops resident amenity surveys. So, it follows that owners should take providing quality connectivity seriously. Along with fiber networks and easy-access solutions like Instant Internet, an all-inclusive bulk internet plan also has significant benefits. With favorable pricing and a rate that won’t change for their contract term, HOAs, developers, and owners can keep a lid on internet expenses while creating a new revenue stream by folding internet service costs into rent or HOA fees.
Sub-par connectivity means more than just occasional frustration for your residents. It can also make a real impact on your bottom line. Beyond creating attractive, genuinely connected communities for residents, excellent connectivity is just good for business.
Contact a Quantum Fiber Connected Communities expert to learn about connectivity solutions tailored to your multi-family community.
Quantum Fiber® Connected Communities provides customized fiber solutions for apartments and communities.
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