BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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8 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MARCH/APRIL 2016 PROVIDER PERSPECTIVE H ave you walked around some of the recently developed apartment communities in your market? Te amenities packages are simply incredible. Some of my company's clients, for instance, are adding rock- climbing walls, tanning salons, yoga centers and hot tubs that face large Jumbotron TVs. Apartment residents are enjoying amenities found historically only in fve-star hotels. On a recent property visit, I spotted a wine cellar of the lobby, a ftness center equipped for a professionally trained modern athlete and a rooftop lounge with great city views surrounded by a beautiful organic garden (no, not that kind). Business centers have had extreme makeovers, too. What used to be a small OfceMax desk sitting in the corner of an empty storage closet with a dusty PC and a broken printer has become a true cybercafe that one might expect to see in a break area of a top Silicon Valley software company. Last year, the magazine Building Design + Construction called this the "amenities arms race." Sue Ansel, CEO of Gables Residential, explained during a recent panel discussion why her residents craved (and actually expected) these types of amenities. Some millennials enjoyed country-club features in their student housing communities years earlier. Now, as they move to the city, they still expect them – and they want more. Tis efort to ramp up the feature set to attract today's residents afects service providers as well. Many owners and developers see the benefts of making technology the key component of these upscale appointments. AN IMAGINARY TOUR Let's take an imaginary tour of one of these recently opened high-end buildings. We begin in the lobby. Residents are at the front desk picking up Amazon packages. One says, "I just received a text notifying me of my delivery." Another resident is sitting across the lobby with her feet up in a lounge chair, using her laptop. We take the elevator to the fourth foor and stop in the ftness center. An Internet-connected instructor is teaching a spinning class to a group of 20-somethings while others scroll through Facebook on their tablets as they use the elliptical machines (not easy to do without falling of ). Now we head to the cybercafe on the ffth foor. Wireless printers are on one side. Te smell of cofee is everywhere. Some residents quietly watch movies with headphones on; another shops for holiday gifts on her smartphone. Ten we go up to the rooftop, where we see several residents huddled around an open fre pit, looking at the city skyline and enjoying Pandora music on their wireless speaker, while others use Netfix on their iPads. Finally, we see a few people in the hot tub watching a ball game on the big-screen TV nearby. Pretty cool. Such an array of amenities being enjoyed by so many residents. Of course, when the rent is more than $2,000 a month, you would maximize these services too, right? Tere is one common theme: All these great features require a service provider that ofers reliable, top-quality, customizable digital TV services, managed wireless networks with excess bandwidth and, of course, technical support. How can you enjoy a rooftop view without a Wi-Fi connected tablet streaming a movie? Tough many service providers grow their businesses by touting economic incentives such as door fees and revenue- sharing programs, I strongly suggest that you also focus on the amenity needs of developers and apartment owners. As they open more buildings in a competitive marketplace, trying to win the heart and mind of the next $2,000-a-month renter, keep in mind how important service providers are to their businesses. By understanding this amenities arms race and aligning their capabilities around clients' needs, service providers are in a better spot to capture greater market share moving forward. Just be sure you don't catch one of your technicians popping into a yoga class or scaling a climbing wall between service calls! v Bryan Rader is CEO of Bandwidth Consulting LLC, which assists providers in the multifamily market. You can reach Bryan at email@example.com or at 636-536-0011. Learn more at www.bandwidthconsultingllc.com. The Amenities Arms Race Property developers are outftting new communities with amenities worthy of fve-star hotels. Technology amenities have to meet that standard. By Bryan Rader / Bandwidth Consulting LLC