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Why the Internet is a Property Owner’s Most Important Utility

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Multi-dwelling unit (MDU) residents no longer just expect a roof over their heads; they demand a reliable connected existence. Connectivity is key. The internet is not only an indispensable utility, but one that MDU residents expect property owners to provide. This post explores why a reliable internet service is crucial for property management and the potential consequences of dead spots, slow speeds, and internet downtime.

Benefits of a Reliable Network

Before we get to the negatives of poor internet service, let’s explore the benefits of reliable managed WiFi. A fast and stable internet connection for apartment residents means speedy downloads, smooth video streaming, on-demand music streaming, and lag-free online gaming. It also ensures 24x7 access for students and remote workers: seamless video calls, smooth collaboration, and dependable file sharing. Plus, smart home devices and home automation systems work best when connected to a high-bandwidth, stable network. 

Internet Downtime is Expensive 

We all know the frustration that comes when our internet service slows down or stops completely in the middle of a work meeting or during an online class. For property owners, slow or unreliable internet service can also hit the wallet and damage your property’s reputation. On the monetary side, you might see a drop in property value, as people consider good internet to be a basic utility. You might also face higher turnover rates if your tenants start jumping ship for places with better connectivity.  

Non-monetarily, brace yourself for some bad online reviews and a not-so-great reputation. Word spreads fast, especially when it comes to lackluster internet. Happy tenants stick around and recommend your property, while dissatisfied ones become online critics.  

 

Tenant Turnover 

One major consequence of internet downtime is the potential for tenant turnover. In an era where connectivity is non-negotiable, tenants may seek alternatives if they experience prolonged or frequent network outages. 

Studies suggest that a significant percentage, around 50-60%, of tenants consider good internet to be a dealmaker or a dealbreaker. Slow speeds and dropped connections can send them packing. In the age of remote work and endless streaming options, internet access is much more than a luxury; it's a lifestyle necessity, just like running water. So, if your property’s Wi-Fi is not up to par, your residents might start apartment hunting. 

IT Consulting & Maintenance 

Internet downtime often necessitates additional expenses in the form of IT consulting and maintenance. Property owners may find themselves scrambling to address issues and seeking professional assistance to restore connectivity. 

For sure, replacing or repairing an internet network in a multi-tenant building can rack up some serious costs: equipment expenses, labor costs for technicians, and the potential headache of downtime during the upgrade. Do it right, however, and you will see a quick ROI through higher tenant satisfaction and rising long-term value of your property.  

angry-tenantTenant Refund  

Slow or unreliable internet for apartment residents is a constant annoyance, more than an obnoxiously loud neighbor. 

For starters, entertainment becomes a headache. Streaming videos? More like a pixelated slideshow. Online gaming? Prepare for lag-induced defeats. And if you're working from home, brace yourself for the frustration of endless loading screens during important video calls. 

When tenants experience slow speeds, dead spots, and internet outages, dissatisfaction grows, leading to potential requests for refunds when high-speed internet service is a promised amenity. Property owners may need to compensate tenants for the inconvenience caused by failure to provide reliable internet services. 

Some leases have clauses about providing a certain level of service, and if the internet is included as part of the deal, tenants might have a case for reimbursement or a rent reduction. Even if internet service at your property is more of a "best effort" amenity rather than a guaranteed service, you can lose a lot of goodwill when that service fails to meet resident expectations.  

Clear and transparent lease agreements may provide a financial safety net, but they won’t prevent resident dissatisfaction.

 

Updating a Current Network is Expensive  

Can your property’s internet issues be resolved by updating your existing infrastructure, or will you be better off starting fresh?  

The answer often depends on the current state of the network. If it's still got some life left in it and a simple upgrade—like Dojo Networks’ WiFi Rescue Program—can boost speeds and provide reliability, that might be the most cost-effective route.  

On the other hand, if the network is outdated or inadequate, requiring you to constantly play catch-up, it might be wiser to bite the bullet and replace it with new technology that’s designed, installed, and maintained by a qualified vendor. It's an upfront cost, sure, but think of it as an investment in the value of your property, one that can attract and keep tenants in the long run.  

It's all about an honest cost and benefit analysis, something a qualified managed WiFi vendor can help you with.  

How the Internet Affects Operational Efficiency 

A reliable internet connection is not only vital for tenant satisfaction but also for the efficient operation of the property. Staff may find themselves inadvertently taking on the role of tech support, diverting their attention from core responsibilities. Management may spend valuable time researching potential solutions to address connectivity issues or negotiating bulk service deals. 

Slow or unreliable internet can turn a property management team's day into a marathon of frustration, as they struggle to get tenant portals back online and respond to maintenance requests, all while being ignored by your local cable company or internet service provider.  

Communication breakdowns can also happen. If emails are taking forever to send or if video conferencing turns into a pixelated nightmare, it can hinder smooth collaboration. If your property management software requires a high-speed internet connection that’s not working, tasks can pile up, deadlines get missed, and stress levels rise. 

Is Your Internet Network Costing You? 

Clearly, the costs of internet downtime extend beyond the immediate inconveniences, impacting tenant satisfaction, property reputation, and operational efficiency.  

The internet service option you choose will depend on your property’s specific requirements and circumstances. However, for those seeking a flexible, high-performance, and hassle-free solution, true managed WiFi stands out as a reliable and future-proof choice in the realm of internet connectivity.  

Want to learn more? Here are some additional resources to help you make an informed decision regarding internet access for your property:  

 


About Dojo Networks®  

Dojo Networks is a rapidly growing internet service provider that specializes in Internet for apartments and multi-tenant housing, including student housing, low-income housing, senior housing, condominiums and multi-family housing and Homeowner Associations (HOAs). Providing amenity-based Internet services is our singular focus. We design and build our solutions to deliver maximum reliability and value for our customers and their residents. 

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