by Joel McIntyre
Leasing has become more competitive than ever, and apartment operators have been rethinking the types of amenities they’re offering. Residents, like operators, have new apartment needs. With a greater number of residents working from home, there is increasing demand for high-speed internet and community-wide WiFi. High-speed internet and community WiFi is very important to residents and it powers other highly desired amenities, like co-working spaces and interactive fitness programs.
Ubiquitous WiFi provides seamless connectivity throughout the entire apartment community, from common spaces to inside individual homes. Residents have constant access and reliable coverage and the service eliminates “dead zones” in certain areas of the community.
Community-wide WiFi has become an essential part of enhancing the resident experience. Here are three considerations as to why operators need to make this a priority amenity:
WiFi for Work
Community-wide WiFi and faster internet service have become a necessity for modern renters, especially if they work from home. Many companies are continuing to support remote work or at least implement a hybrid work schedule. There is also a growing gig economy and increasing number of U.S. workers shifting to independent contract work. These residents will typically work from home or in a business center. Operators have started to switch gears to cater to these residents by offering more co-working space or offering two-bedroom apartments as one-bedrooms with an office.
High-speed internet and WiFi mean a lot to residents and typically factor into their search for an apartment home. A 2020 survey by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Kingsley Associates found that more than 90% of participants reported that high-speed internet is important to them. Whether residents need reliable connectivity for their work, smart home tech in their apartments or for streaming services, this amenity should be at the forefront of operators’ minds.
WiFi for Play
A Statista survey from May 2020 found 62% percent of participants said that either they or someone in their household was subscribed to a streaming service. Streaming services can include different types of media, like music, TV, movies and podcasts. Subscription-based streaming, like Netflix, HBO Max and Amazon Prime are very popular, and it’s safe to say most residents use these platforms for entertainment.
However, many residents streaming all at once can definitely cause some connectivity issues within the community. Many operators have free community WiFi, but all those residents streaming at once can lead to slower speeds or the internet to crash. No one likes to see that spinning buffer wheel in the middle of the best scene of the movie. These internet issues, if persistent, can be enough for a resident to look elsewhere that has faster, more reliable WiFi.
WiFi Powering Other Amenities
Additional amenity offerings at apartment communities may require internet access, like interactive fitness services and smart home technology. Residents have more IoT devices and services that require fast, reliable connectivity at all times. If the WiFi isn’t there, these amenities don’t exactly work.
If operators have additional amenities that need WiFi, community-wide connectivity can either bolster these offerings or render them ineffective. No resident wants to pay for amenities that they can’t use or don’t function properly. Again, these residents will look elsewhere for a community that includes robust WiFi to power the community and all its lifestyle-enhancing amenities.
The world is connected by the internet. We have access to anything we want at the tips of our fingers. Residents expect the same experience when it comes to living in an apartment home. It’s time to upgrade amenities for the experience modern residents want, and it all starts with WiFi.