What Renters Want with Jessica Fiur: Does Your Building Have this Critical Aspect to Attract Renters?

Does your community offer good cell service? It needs to.

jfiur thumbnailBy Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor

Quick, what’s the number one thing that prospective residents are looking for when they’re looking to lease a new apartment? It’s not a package management system. It’s not a pet amenity. It’s not a safe, affordable place to live. Wait, no, maybe that is the number one thing they’re looking for. OK, what’s the number two thing that prospective residents are looking for?

Good cell service. (Well, and Wi-Fi. But let’s concentrate on cell service now.)

Can you hear me now? Haha, love outdated references. They're so shagadelic!

Can you hear me now? Haha, I love outdated references. They’re so shagadelic!

Do you know anyone without a cellphone (and I’m including toddlers in this)? People barely even have landlines in their homes anymore. After all, what’s the point of paying for a phone that doesn’t even allow you to take an artistic picture of your latte?

In fact, when potential residents are touring a community, many will take out their phones to check on the service. And they might not rent from you if there’s poor service. It’s pretty much an invisible amenity. You don’t really think about having good cell service until you’re crouched at the top of the washing machine with your arm at an unnatural angle hoping just one bar will pop up so you can order your pad thai. Then, suddenly, it’s the most important thing in the world. Seriously, I wouldn’t even consider living in a place with bad cell service, and I hate talking on the phone. And tell any teenagers they can’t text, and I’ll show you a teenager-shaped hole in the wall. According to The New York Times, some communities are even constructing their own antenna systems so that their residents’ cell service is never interrupted.

That’s not to say you need to go out and spend a ton on an antenna for your community.

But go around one day with your phone, and see how the service is throughout the building. Do you have excellent service? Then that’s something you definitely should highlight in all of your marketing. Or, at the very least, have the leasing agents mention it on their tours. It’s essentially a major amenity for prospective renters, one that they all expect to have, that costs you nothing.

And, if you have bad cell service in your building, well, I hope you have a great gym, a doggy daycare and free margaritas. Because you’re going to need them.

How is the cell service in your community? Have you ever had any complaints? And have you ever taken any steps to improve cell service?


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