Water, food, oxygen, shelter, WiFi and Internet service. Seems weird when you bunch them together like that but it’s becoming more and more evident that Internet connectivity is essential in order to survive in today’s world. As a property manager of an apartment complex, residential building or multi-dwelling unit (MDU), you already provide water and shelter. Why not provide WiFi Internet for tenants?
You may be thinking “why would I want to get involved with Internet and WiFi service? I’m not a network engineer” – you don’t have to be. In fact, many newer buildings are jumping ahead of the curve and beginning to offer free or even monetized WiFi and Internet services in common areas, like gyms and lounges. Some property managers even offer WiFi and Internet for tenants’ units and man, are they glad they do.
Indeed, there are several benefits to providing WiFi for apartment complexes or other types of MDUs and we cover them all in this article.
5 Reasons Why Landlords should Provide WiFi Internet for Tenants
1. Generate More Revenue
It’s the 21st century. Sure there are some stragglers that try to connect to their neighbor’s open WiFi network and maybe some senior citizens that just don’t believe in the Internet but for the most part, every one of your tenants is coughing up $100+ to traditional Internet service providers (ISPs) on a monthly basis and they’re doing so happily.
Let’s do the math.
You’re apartment building has 300 units.
Each unit is paying $120 per month for Internet service.
Each year has 12 months, so each unit is paying $1,440 per year for Internet.
You have 300 units, so collectively your building’s tenants are paying $432,000 a year for Internet services every year.
$432,000 a year. Let that sink in for a minute.
Internet service providers have very little overhead and are making huge margins selling Internet service to tenants in your apartment complex. Fiber only needs to be run in your building once. The per-floor infrastructure is also installed only once and rarely maintenanced. When a new tenant orders Internet service for their unit, the ISP may send a technician to run coaxial or fiber from the floor’s distribution unit in your tenant’s apartment to provision service, but that on-site visit rarely lasts longer than 2 hours. The ISP typically installs a modem and sometimes a wireless router and guest what? They bill your tenant on a monthly basis for that equipment and make even more money. As you can see, it’s a very profitable business to be in.
As a property manager, you owe it yourself to explore providing Internet and WiFi for your apartment complex. Just like the big ISPs, the cabling work is a one-time investment and the core infrastructure only needs to be installed once and occasionally maintenanced. It doesn’t cost that much to get started and the financial reward far outweighs the risk.
2. Attract and Retain Tenants
Take it from this blogger: one of the main reasons I moved into my apartment complex is the value-added amenities. Gas and electricity are included in my maintenance and there is a large laundry room in the basement. The building even offers a BBQ area and outdoor patio for residents. All value-added amenities. Offering WiFi in your apartment building is no different. Whether in the resident’s units or in public areas like gyms and lounges, WiFi will be highly utilized and very much appreciated by tenants.
If you choose to offer Internet and WiFi for individual units, you’ll be providing the extra benefit of allowing residents to purchase Internet immediately upon move-in. By offering Internet and WiFi in your apartment complex, your access points will already be mounted and Ethernet ports pre-installed. Your residents simply use their own preferred devices to access your building’s WiFi captive portal splash page, through which they can purchase and activate their service on the spot. Tenants can browse a selection of multiple Internet plans and choose the service that best fits their needs. Service is activated automatically and provisioned sans operator intervention. Way easier than buying products on Amazon or via other online vendors! Tenants will appreciate not having to book an appointment with a cable company and taking a day off from work to wait for the technician to arrive.
3. Keep Up Appearances
ISPs usually install their core equipment in an apartment building’s basement and then install distribution units on each floor. Once a tenant purchases service, the ISP runs coaxial or fiber optic cable from the distribution unit and into the tenant’s apartment unit. Getting the cable into the unit typically involves drilling an unsightly hole and additional cable management is required to hide ugly visible cables in the public hallways and lobbies. Once in the tenant’s unit, the ISP will continue securing the coaxial or fiber optic cable against the tenant’s wall using a hammer and nails or a staple gun until they reach the location where the tenant wants their modem. This process is a noisy one that leaves holes in the apartment walls. The damage doesn’t end there. The tenant may then decide to run cable in order to place access points in optimal locations or perhaps connect network printers and other equipment. Hope the neighbors have ear plugs!
Avoid noise, damages and costly repairs by providing Internet and WiFi for the apartment building yourself. Running cable and mounting access points in the walls is a discreet and effective way to install WiFi while maintaining your building’s aesthetic. Residents will never be disturbed by loud noises caused by Internet installations and network technicians. It also eliminates any security-related anxiety tenants may have about strange WiFi and Internet installation technicians entering the building.
4. Provide High Quality Services
In apartment buildings or MDUs where residents purchase their own Internet and WiFi service, tenants typically place their modems and wireless routers wherever they want. Most of the time, the locations they choose do not provide them with the best wireless coverage. This can create an interference nightmare that not only impacts the performance of their devices, but their neighbors’. If you’re pre installing WiFi for a multi-tenant unit, you have the ability to place access points in their most optimal locations for flawless wireless coverage.
You know what they say: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. By providing WiFi in the apartment complex yourself, you are able to install access points in locations that ensure the entire apartment complex enjoys perfect WiFi coverage. If you work with a professional WiFi installation company like Made By WiFi, our specialists may recommend that you use a unified management system, like the Ruckus Wireless SmartZone platform. All access points respond to one central controller. A unified management system drastically reduces and potentially eliminates wireless interference, as all access points acknowledge one another as well as the channels on which they are broadcasting. The access points automatically adjust for nearby interference, always performing at peak levels.
When it comes to installation, many ISPs leave the heavy lifting to tenants, creating ample opportunity for failure and improper installations. Alleviate tenants of the burden of Internet and WiFi and instead entrust the job to a knowledgeable WiFi installation company. They’ll help you deliver a superior product and service that your tenants will be grateful for.
5. Differentiate Yourself
Despite Internet and WiFi’s integral role in tenants’ everyday lives, there aren’t many apartment complexes or MDUs that offer any type of WiFi or Internet service directly to their residents. Stand-out from the bunch! We touched upon this earlier, but the importance of your apartment complex offering unique products and services, like WiFi cannot be stressed enough. Value-added amenities are a critical factor in apartment hunters’ decision to buy or rent in your building.
Think of your target market. The types of tenants that can afford to live in your luxury apartment complex are accustomed to modern conveniences and interested in the latest technology. Being one of the first to provide WiFi and Internet will contribute to an air of exclusivity that separates your property from the one next door.
Why Provide WiFi Internet for Tenants?
We’ve just gone over 5 key benefits of providing WiFi Internet for residents of apartment complexes and MDUs. It’s clear that every residential building should be doing this. But why don’t they?
Unfounded fear. You see, there are a few misconceptions about providing WiFi Internet for tenants that may have prevented your building from exploring this type of opportunity in the past. Let’s address them.
- You don’t have to be an IT specialist – As with every endeavor worth pursuing, supplying your apartment building with Internet and WiFi presents some risks. Risks that the network installation experts at Made By WiFi can help you prepare for and mitigate. For example, property owners understandably fear that if they choose to provide WiFi Internet for tenants, they’ll be hounded by 24/7/365 technical support calls from tenants. Yes, support calls will happen, but if you partner with a wireless network installation company, like Made By WiFi, you’ll have minimal technical issues and someone to answer the phone if something does go wrong. Made By WiFi understands that you’re a property manager, not a network engineer. We handle equipment installation, post-installation support and everything in between.
- You don’t have to make a hefty investment – Equipment is expensive and pricing can often kill deals, but offering WiFi Internet for tenants in apartment complexes can be extremely lucrative. It’s very likely that your initial investment will be fully recovered and exceeded exponentially within the first year of implementation. Sure, spending several thousands of dollars on WiFi and Internet equipment can be a scary proposition, but the opportunity to generate significant revenue through an untapped avenue is too good to pass up.
- You don’t have to worry about network security – Security is a huge concern for end users and networks operators alike. Your tenants want to make sure that their personal networks are secure and their most sensitive information safe. As a network operator, you want to make sure that your network is only used for legal activities. If you partner with an experienced wireless network installation company and purchase the right equipment, security will be automated and reliable. The equipment we use to provide WiFi in apartment complexes is enterprise grade and trusted by the biggest ISPs worldwide—so much more secure than anything your tenants can by at Best Buy or on Amazon.
- You don’t have to worry about sales and customer management – Using their preferred device, tenants will visit a branded WiFi splash page and will be presented with available service plans and pricing. Setting-up service is super quick and easy. Tenants can literally be online within 5 minutes of entering their information. The wireless network installation company that you partner with should provide you with marketing and sales materials to help educate your tenants on network security and direct them to the proper phone numbers to call for support or upgrades.
As you can see, there are a lot of pros and very few cons that come with providing WiFi Internet for residents of your apartment complex. It’s astonishing that this type of service isn’t more widely offered. Why not blaze the trail?
Questions? Concerns? Leave a comment below or contact the wireless experts at Made By WiFi today to learn more about our wireless solutions for apartment complexes and MDUs.