Last modified on May 1st, 2017
By Rachel Jefferson
Have you ever been in a grocery store or at a sporting event and there was zero cell service? That feeling you get when you are separated from your friends and family and can’t send them a text, or check on a major developing news story—it’s frustrating and sometimes scary, right? Now imagine you are a renter and this was your experience every day from within your own home.
In the past, a renter’s only real requirement for a place to live was basic utilities: water, electricity, heat. Today, property managers need to provide another utility in order to attract renters; cell phone service has become a necessity that tenants demand and expect. If today’s renters can’t access the internet or make calls from their living rooms, they are not likely to choose your property over one that does.
Some renters are very proactive about checking connectivity before they rent a home or apartment. According to the New York Times, tech-addicted renters are likely to stop by to check the number of bars of cell phone reception before they make a decision to sign a lease. Landlords with properties that can’t offer good connections are likely to struggle attracting and retaining renters.
Wireless Connectivity as a Basic Utility
In the U.S., internet users use their cell phones and tablets to connect to the internet more than they use desktop computers. Even some people who use traditional computers still want to connect to the internet wirelessly. And many people don’t know what a landline is and only use their cell phone as their primary form of communication.
At the same time, many builders construct new apartment or condo complexes out of concrete, steel, and eco-friendly glass. These materials might make the buildings strong, safe, and energy efficient. However, they might also block cell phone signals. Certainly, people want to live in secure and comfortable buildings; however, they also want to text and browse the internet from their smart phones.
Fixing Wireless Connectivity Problems in Residential and Commercial Buildings
To solve this problem, building owners have turned to communications companies for solutions. Communication companies can visit to analyze parts of the building where signals are weak and strong. Once the technicians diagnose the problem, they can use fiber cables and antennas to strengthen the weak signals without interfering with places where reception is already strong. Unless you offer free wi-fi, landlords can’t usually control which providers that their customers use. Because of this, the communications company has to make sure that their solutions work for all local providers and not just one or a select few.
Tenants are likely to turn away from rental units that can’t offer them good connectivity. Once the problems with communication get remediated, landlords can turn the negative into a positive. Today’s renters keep their cell phones and tablets with them almost all of the time. When a property manager can advertise the building’s great reception, they are likely to have a selling point that can set them apart from competition. Obviously, this building feature will appeal to young adults. However, it’s also likely to draw in families with kids that need to do homework, older adults, and the majority of people who rely upon their smart phones in every aspect of their lives.
Check out the free eBook: Reply Yes: The Rise of Texting in Property Management.