Multi-Family Developers and Internet
We are at a precipice in WIFI technologies; finally reliability, affordability and consumer demand have all converged. Like a perfect storm; the possibility of the perfect, flawless WiFi system is now available. Hotels and resorts have been trying desperately to provide WiFi at a level of perfection. In the last few years with the improvements made by equipment manufactures like Ruckus (NYSE:RKUS) we now see this being done on a regular basics. Ruckus is taking over Cisco as the leader in enterprise and carrier class WiFi, not only for Hotels but for the Multi-Family industry as well. In fact they are making huge strides and plan to dominate the emerging Multi-Family sector as it enters its growth phase.
Integrators such as Fiber Stream are poised to implement this cutting edge equipment.
If we were to look back at everything that was being built in this era (2015 to 2020), are we going to wonder why fiber was not used to in every project possible; connecting every new apartment, unit, and home? Further, why didn’t we have the foresight to install at least the pre-wiring for a WiFi overlay (i.e. Property-Wide WiFi)? It makes no sense based on the Internet demand we see today.
Developers now have the opportunity to be considered visionaries; to be forward thinking enough to see that everybody wants fast, reliable Internet and the current solutions being implemented today are simply not good enough! Developers now have the chance to not only be looked upon as visionaries but also be the person who provides a revenue generating amenity for their company; while increasing the property value overnight.
Not only do we have the technological solution, but we have the business solution to boot. By including Internet services into the rent, the monthly utility billing or HOA dues; the residents will not only pay for the infrastructure and the amenity but they will thank you for it too. By buying in bulk, using the synergy and buying power of every resident, you can NOW offer better Internet for less.
The business solution allows for property owners to easily see a return on investment in 12-18 months, fully owning the future proofed infrastructure. This infrastructure is the catalyst to higher property values, saleability and monthly ancillary income for generations to come (for more see “How Do You Get a Return on Investment from Bulk Internet”). If it’s the future for Multi-Family property owners to capitalize on NEW revenue streams; Internet will easily be the "no-brainer" mechanism in which this is realized.
Unfortunately for new-build Multi-Family projects, waiting to implement fiber and WiFi till after construction may have costly and detrimental effects. The property will literally be built and launched with an antiquated infrastructure from day one; leaving future resell opportunities and overall desirability in major jeopardy. The good news for apartment investors is that you could prey on these antiquated apartment buildings as an easy flip scenario with the aforementioned business strategy. Although 20% more costly to implement after construction; retrofit WiFi systems are in general extremely affordable and they ROI fast. In comparison to other upgrades and improvements developers use to improve the desirability and attractiveness of the property; WiFi and fiber are a guaranteed hit every time.
Waiting till after construction raises the ROI and creates disruption to the residents during the installation phase. Additionally, converting from big box cable Internet to a bulk Internet service for your residents can take up to one year before full adoption is taken on. Obviously, installing at least the pre-wiring during construction is a great idea to combat some of these problems. There is presumably a budget for telecommunication type improvements for most developments, see How-to-Set-Up-Multifamily-WiFi-Internet-Service—That-Works will outline how to consider the use of it.