How Community WiFi Solves 5 Huge Issues

By: Kathryn Casna

As a multifamily owner and operator, you might have 99 problems, but we’re betting that Community WiFi isn’t one of them. That’s because, if you have Community WiFi, you’ve realized it can actually help solve some of your biggest issues.

Community WiFi also can solve technology-driven problems like dealing with internet troubleshooting, lengthy WiFi setup times, poor connectivity, and cellular dead spots.

Of all the problems Community WiFi can solve, here are the top five.

1. A competitive market that makes increasing revenue hard

If your community is located in a renter’s market, you know the pain of needing to increase revenue without raising rent. You may even have cut your rates or offered discounts to keep vacancies down. In situations like these, raising the rent to meet revenue goals is simply not an option. You need additional revenue streams.

Community WiFi can be one of those revenue streams. With Community WiFi, residents pay you for their internet service instead of an internet provider. Because most owners and operators can provide Community WiFi at a lower cost than residents are used to paying, the difference is a revenue opportunity.

Owners and operators tell us that they typically recoup their investment in Community WiFi infrastructure in two or three years, and fund upgraded equipment every five to seven years—all while adding revenue to their bottom lines.

2. Unreliable, pricey WiFi that drives renters away

Apartment dwellers are notoriously unhappy with their WiFi. Resident satisfaction scores for retail internet (in which the resident has an individual plan directly with the provider) sit at -20.2. That means, on average, residents are far more likely to recommend against retail internet in an apartment.

Apartment dwellers with legacy-managed WiFi (in which the owner or operator provides WiFi using shared routers and outdated technology) are even less happy, with satisfaction scores at -27.5. And since residents factor internet into their living decision as much as onsite laundry, scores like these can be deal breakers for prospects.

Managed WiFi, including Community WiFi, is the only kind of service that actually increases resident satisfaction. It scores a positive 6.4. Meanwhile, 79% of residents report being interested in Community WiFi specifically.

That means Community WiFi could not only stop you from losing residents—it could help you steal them away from competing communities that have less appealing internet options.

3. Tech support that drains staff time

If you’ve already invested in a WiFi solution, you might see this technology as more trouble than it’s worth. That’s because taking on WiFi service means taking on all its problems—like troubleshooting downed networks, helping get residents set up, and providing regular tech support.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

While plenty of site teams end up being a resident’s go-to for WiFi help, SmartRent’s Community WiFi solution comes with expert tech support. Community WiFi is integrated with our entire platform, and we back all of our solutions with 24/7 support for you, your teams, and your residents.

Your team won’t be bogged down with WiFi questions because we handle them all through the resident app and phone support.

4. WiFi setup that takes too long

Moving is a disruption for renters. It’s costly and time consuming, and new residents don’t always know what to expect in their new communities. Often, it also means a forced internet detox, since getting WiFi set up in a new place can take several days to several weeks.

Typically, residents have to shop around for service in their new homes, choose a plan, then call the internet provider to schedule installation and setup. Securing an appointment can take a week or more, especially if the resident wants to avoid taking time away from work.

With Community WiFi, residents can complete setup on their own in as little as a few seconds. Because the necessary infrastructure is already there and equipment is already in the unit, they can just download the SmartRent resident app, choose “Set up WiFi,” and start connecting devices.

5. Poor connectivity issues or cellular dead spots

Modern multifamily communities depend on internet connectivity to get the most out of their proptech. If their WiFi technology is outdated, or if their smart tech is forced to rely on a cellular signal, it invariably causes problems for residents and site teams.

Taking charge of your community’s WiFi comes with a whole host of benefits for you, your site teams, and your residents. With reliable property-wide connectivity, you can easily:

Can Community WiFi solve your multifamily issues?

Unreliable utilities and the need for new revenue streams are challenges multifamily communities have faced for many years. And problems like poor connectivity, overburdened tech support, and lengthy WiFi setup are becoming bigger issues as residents rely more on the internet in their daily lives.

Early iterations of internet-connectivity models, like retail and legacy-managed WiFi often created new problems as they solved others. But the latest version of managed WiFi—Community WiFi—solves both sets of problems. It even lays the groundwork for additional technology upgrades to your community.

Learn more about Community WiFi and whether it’s the right fit for your apartment communities.