Connecting Your Community with Wi-Fi
By Timothy Phillips – Aletho Wireless Solutions
As a property manager, you are a business, and tenants are your customers! Although the term isn’t commonly used, the meaning is true. Your job, of course, is to keep your customers happy so they don’t move out. You have other customers too, of course – the property owner – and although there is sometimes a push and pull between the needs of the two, the end goals are really aligned: happy tenants who stay!
You put so much effort into maintaining a property in order to satisfy and retain customers – including maintenance, improvements, marketing, signage, and more. Knowing what your customers’ needs and wants are is part of the landscape of running your business. And keeping your business competitive begins with the very act of asking yourself, “How can I improve service and value for my customers?”
Providing Wi-Fi to your tenants is an important tool in your toolbox that will not only increase customer retention and satisfaction, but also differentiate your property from your competitors’. Imagine the value of being able to market “free” quality high-speed internet with free tech support to your tenants! The trend is starting, and you can be one of the first to provide internet to your customers. (If you don’t, your competitors will!)
Consider all the benefits of offering Wi-Fi:
Reduce Turnover Rate: Tenants will think twice about relocating when they realize that they also have to find their own, pricy internet access at other locations. By offering a higher level of service, you will be giving tenants one less reason to leave.
Improved Customer Relationships: Adding Wi-Fi service shows that you are committed to taking care of your customers. When you take the initiative to meet their needs, it tells tenants that you value them.
Higher Customer Satisfaction: Broadband internet is not an option, but a requirement for the vast majority of tenants. Getting it, however, can be costly and full of hassles – even before they get to the actual installation! Tenants find themselves scrambling for the best deal with the best speed they can find. Often they are locked into high-priced “bundled” packages that leave them wishing for more options. They will be relieved and grateful to have this off their plate.
More Affordable: In the current economic climate, tenants are watching their bottom dollar more than ever. If you can help them save money, it will put you ahead of your competitors.
New Revenue Stream: The property has an opportunity to make money instead of the cable or DSL company. You can offer Wi-Fi to current tenants as a value-added proposition, and marginally increase rents as new tenants come on board that will more than cover the cost of the service.
It’s Easier Than You Think!
We know that as a property manager, your first response to the idea of offering Wi-Fi might be: “I don’t understand it and I don’t have time to support it.” That’s understandable – you probably have only a high-level view of what it is and the technology behind it. But here’s the good news: offering Wi-Fi isn’t cost prohibitive or even difficult, thanks to something called Wi-Fi Meshing technology.
Here’s how it works: a wireless mesh network is like a spiderweb of access points (routers) that talk to each other and rebroadcast the wireless signal. This means that the wireless network can extend itself much further – even across very large properties – than traditional over-the-counter wireless solutions. By doing this, it is possible to have one large broadband internet connection spread over a larger area within your complex, providing wireless internet to your tenants.
Plus, the network is fast and highly reliable. These systems are self-healing and have redundant pathways for failover. If an access point were to go down – for example, if your painter unplugs it! – the other access points will take over. The technology is advanced and being upgraded regularly.
In terms of compatibility, your tenants will be able to use their multimedia devices (Blu-ray players) and gaming consoles (like Xbox) as well. Everything from smartphones to laptops work with the wireless system as it adheres to the current 802.11n wireless standards. It is also backwards compatible.
Support agreements are available to provide your tenants with the technical support to connect to the wireless network. This means that it is hassle-free and that all internet-related service calls would go to the provider, not to you. In addition, should hardware need maintenance, it is covered and taken care of. Hardware replacement is even built into the support agreement!
We can’t talk about cost savings without giving some real-world numbers. Statistics show that the amount of bandwidth people use is only a fraction of what they pay for. So by getting a 50mb/5mb connection and splitting it with 20 units, we can bring the cost down. In this scenario, a $100 per month, 50mb/5mb and $9 per month per unit service brings the total monthly cost down to $14 per month per unit for high-speed internet – much less than the tenant would pay to a cable or DSL internet provider. Actual installments will vary, but the price tends to go down in larger complexes. This is a very scalable solution that works even better, the larger the complex!
As many companies have learned the hard way, businesses grow through continuous improvement. Adding wireless internet to your complex is a value-added service that increases the quality of the services you offer. You’ve learned the many benefits of offering free quality high-speed internet with free tech support to your tenants, and now is the time to act – before your competitors beat you to it! The beauty is that your service provider can handle all of the work for you to make this all happen.
www.AlethoTech.com | 877-266-0355