6 Reasons Multi-Family Apartment Complexes Should Consider Managed WiFi Services
Although managed WiFi options have become a popular choice for multi-family apartment complexes and other multi-dwelling units, plenty of owners are still in the dark and have reservations that keep them from making the switch.
The hesitancy to switch to managed WiFi is often due to the investment, existing cable contracts, or even just not knowing all the details about what this wireless technology offers. As it turns out, many of the reasons why property owners reject managed WiFi are more based in myth than fact.
Let’s take a look at six great reasons why managed WiFi services should be the top choice for multi-family apartment complexes:
- Managed WiFi Is WiFi on Steroids
On the surface, managed WiFi may appear no different than the bring your own technology (BYOT) WiFi or bulk modem Internet options that currently dominate apartment complexes and other MDUs. However, when you look beneath the surface, managed WiFi offers benefits that you simply can’t get from BYOT WiFi or bulk modem Internet.
Internet has become the fourth utility over the past decade; tenants expect it to work and to have uptimes similar to electricity, gas, and water. Yet, BYOT WiFi and bulk Internet with modems both run into the same issue: overlapping signals and outages.
Here’s the trouble with overlapping signals: If your apartment complex has 100 units and is at 100% occupancy, that means there are 100 routers and modems in close proximity. This forces the routers and modems to compete with each other for bandwidth and signal strength, which can create issues. It’s like a highway with only one lane open; congestion is inevitable.
Plus, if you offer bulk Internet and a tenant’s router is on the fritz, they’re out of luck until you get it fixed.
Managed WiFi, on the other hand, is sort of like taking the bulk Internet concept and putting it on steroids. Commercial-grade routers and switches are placed in data closets throughout the residence, and wireless access points (APs) are placed in every unit. This creates a property-wide WiFi environment where you connect to the network once and can access it anywhere on the premises. It also allow residents to take their private LAN with them throughout the property.
BYOT WiFi and Bulk modem Internet restricts access to a resident’s living space, while managed WiFi ensures residents can access the Internet everywhere. Plus, managed WiFi networks are self-healing; if a router or modem goes down, others in the vicinity will fill in the gap.
- Managed WiFi Offers a Great ROI
The upfront investment of managed WiFi infrastructure is often a deterrent for MDU property owners and managers. However, managed WiFi actually offers a great long-term ROI that property owners should consider taking advantage of.
The benefits of increased NOI and lower cap rates far outweigh the upfront costs associated with managed WiFi, making the investment worthwhile.
Managed WiFi will deliver a great ROI when implemented properly. First of all, our rates don’t increase annually, saving you thousands of dollars over the contract term.
Additionally, managed WiFi is an amenity that attracts tenants, making it easier for property owners to fill vacancies. Not only is managed WiFi a superior product for tenants, but it also saves them the hassle of having to go out and get Internet on their own. Managed WiFi services also offer higher bandwidth upgrades that residents can purchase, netting property owners a greater profit month after month.
- Existing Contracts Aren’t Always Set in Stone
Truthfully, it depends on your contract and your provider, but these agreements often are not exclusive. If you’re unhappy with the WiFi situation in your apartment complex, consider taking a closer look at your contract. If you’re interested in switching to managed WiFi for your MDU, don’t let this potential non-issue stop you.
- Managed WiFi Has Staying Power
Another area of hesitancy for property owners and managers is the fear of the unknown. If you invest in managed WiFi now, could it be made obsolete by technological advances in the next 10 to 20 years?
The great thing about managed WiFi services from companies like Dojo Networks® is that they effectively future-proof their offerings. Instead of installing new infrastructure and letting it become dated, Dojo Networks® is constantly researching and implementing new technologies.
Part of the cost of managed WiFi is used for software and firmware updates for all the hardware. Think of it like a cellphone getting the latest software updates. These updates not only keep phones functional longer, but they also add improved functionality over time. Without them, your phone would become a paperweight before long.
Managed WiFi companies like Dojo Networks® pride themselves on their resident support, and that support includes technological updates. These updates give managed WiFi staying power, ensuring property owners and their tenants will enjoy the service for many years to come.
- Residents Love Managed WiFi
It’s common for property owners to avoid managed WiFi because they want to give residents the power to choose their Internet providers. While giving residents the power to choose their own WiFi is admirable, it’s also an easy way for property owners to avoid conflict. They don’t want to be responsible for potentially bad service from an Internet provider, leading to unhappy residents.
However, letting residents pick their own providers doesn’t guarantee happiness. As discussed above, BYOT WiFi in apartment complexes creates a mess of overlapping signals where everyone is fighting for bandwidth. While this may keep tenants from being upset with the property owners, the end result is still frustratingly poor WiFi.
Managed WiFi gives property owners the opportunity to have their cake and eat it too. They get to provide excellent WiFi to their tenants, but they don’t bear any responsibility for WiFi issues. Managed WiFi providers like Dojo Networks® handle all the maintenance issues, from break/fix services to on-site resolutions when problems can’t be fixed remotely.
- Managed WiFi Is the Ultimate IT Staff
Some multi-family owners may prefer to have on-site staff to deploy and manage a WiFi solution. Not only does this sound impressive to residents, but it also ensures WiFi issues can be handled quickly in-house.
However, the cost of employing a good internal IT staff adds up over time, even if it’s just one employee. In the long run, paying the salary of one or multiple IT workers every year will easily surpass the cost of switching to a managed WiFi solution.
Managed WiFi providers are able to offer excellent resident support remotely and can also fix issues on-site when necessary. It’s the perfect solution for property owners who want to minimize costs while also guaranteeing residents excellent WiFi.
No matter how you slice it, managed WiFi is an excellent option for MDUs. If you think it’s time you made the switch, or if you still have questions about managed WiFi, contact Dojo Networks® today to hear from a member of our team.