By Susan Knowles, Connexion TechnologiesWhen it comes to managing the needs of apartments residents, it can be nearly impossible to find solutions that please every resident all of the time. People take for granted the benefits derived from property management and they consider rent a mandatory assessment. As a result, no one raves to family and friends about the amazing trash collection service their management has selected, or the quality of the new vinyl siding on the building. Of course, all of these things are critical to the functionality of the community, but no one wants to get out their checkbook for a special assessment.When residents’ perspectives about rent shift from a set of “mandatory fees” to “amenity fees,” their opinion of the management may begin to change. Residents no longer see the management as purveyors of arbitrary code who rubber stamp fees if the amenities included are suited to residents’ needs and bring a sense of pride to the community as a whole.Many management companies have begun to think outside the box when it comes to which amenities to include in rent. Outside of pools and pet parks (amenities that are used occasionally by a subset of the residents) one option to consider is upgrading the property’s entertainment and communications networks.According to a recent survey, an amenity package that includes more luxury services, such as a powerful broadband connection, is considered “important to very important” by 35 percent of those polled. By upgrading to a fiber-optic network, which is capable of delivering multiple services to a resident’s door, properties can bring cutting-edge services to the property as well as provide an overall cost savings to residents by including monthly service fees into rent—all without spending any upfront capital. The value—and convenience—of a technology upgradeUnlike the traditional copper wiring in most apartments, which has many limitations, fiber-optic wiring offers virtually unlimited bandwidth within fine strands of glass. Optical electronics transmit data through each strand at the speed of light, and advances in this technology continue to push more information through the same glass fibers. As future applications drive bandwidth demands, the capacity of fiber-optic networks is readily available to accommodate them. Fiber does not conduct electricity, so it is more reliable than coax and copper cable. This means fewer service interruptions during storms and power outages. With the growth of bandwidth-hungry technologies, the demand for fiber has risen dramatically. Demand will continue to grow for services such as more HD channels, faster Internet, more Video on Demand content and VoIP and other applications in the future, and fiber is the only way to meet that demand.Since rent is a fact of life, many residents around the country enjoy the convenience of having services like telephone, television and Internet covered by their rent. By purchasing a set of services for the entire property, tremendous cost savings and performance guarantees can be realized for both the resident and the property. “Fiber-optic technology and infrastructure allows our residents the best of worlds, the most advanced performance and services at a cost that cannot be matched in a conventionally engineered building,” said Chris Crosby of SPIRE, a luxury high rise in Denver. “Robust content and ultra-high-speed services are an expectation of our buyers, and we enjoy delivering that technology at a value.”With a more powerful fiber-optic network, demand will continue to grow to more HD content, faster Internet, as well as almost any new telecommunications amenity that comes to market. In a turbulent market, finding cost effective means to add value and reduce overall monthly spending is not only a performance advantage, but also a means to increase residents’ pride in their community.Susan Knowles is the media relations coordinator for Connexion Technologies, based in Cary, N.C.
Creating Amenities Residents Can get Excited About
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