In High-rise Environments, It Makes Sense to Treat Connectivity as Another Utility Until recently, residents or property owners typically set up their own WiFi connections in their individual units. Now property management companies are increasingly facing the challenge of providing buildingwide WiFi. This is especially the case in places like South Florida that have a higher percentage of vacation rentals. Guests and residents in these buildings already expect essential offerings like water and electricity to be included and are now classifying internet access as an essential service.
Let’s say you are a property manager of a high rise condominium on Miami Beach. You want to implement building-wide WiFi because it means a secure and reliable broadband connection anywhere in your building, on-demand and expertly managed. It can also add to the value of your property management fee. What would you need to ensure that your building has the IT infrastructure in place to support a building-wide WiFi system that works as reliably as any residential utility service? You will need to have the building prewired throughout and have commercial- grade access points deployed according to a professional WiFi assessment. These access points then need to be tested (and managed) for optimal coverage in actual high-use situations.
Once implemented, your access points, network switches and security firewalls will need to keep up with advancement in mobile devices and, increasingly, the Internet of Things. Smart access points and cloud managed switches can be implemented to improve site security by providing you with real time application visibility at a user level. This keeps you informed and in control of who and what is using your network at any time. The right technology can also help you reap the financial benefits of load balancing according to usage, offering incremental revenue opportunities through pre-paid access, or placing “splash” advertising to users on WiFi login pages.
Miami-based IT solution provider United Data Technologies provides WiFi-as-a- Service in order to help property managers make a building’s WiFi coverage as reliable and convenient as any other utility service.
Thinking about implementing WiFi-asa- Service in the properties you manage? Looking for a strong business case to show the benefits of doing so? If so, there is a three-pronged case for offering managed WiFi-as-a-Service in high-density living environments such as luxury apartments:
It makes the property manager’s life easier. WiFi-as-a-Service offloads all responsibility for wireless connectivity to a capable provider measured by a Service Level Agreement (SLA), enabling property managers to concentrate on what they do best.
It can be packaged as an attractive amenity. Rather than having to process hundreds of individual customer accounts, WiFi-as-a-Service can be bundled as part of the building’s monthly management fee. According to Hugo Perez, Managing Director at UDT, “Say you’re a renter or buyer, you love the place and ask what concierge services are included with the management fee? You’d be thrilled to learn that wireless is covered. That ‘free’ service could help close the sale.”
It offers a new revenue stream. Aportion of the monthly cost that UDT charges for each user account is redirected to the management company, creating a new source of incremental revenue, and mutually- rewarding partnership.
“The bottom line is this: your management company can benefit from turning WiFi into a utility service” said Hugo. “Residents benefit while the management company makes money every month on a recurring basis. That’s a win-win.”