4 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing Bulk Internet

Larry Furr

April 4, 2024

Eighty-nine percent of renters cite high-speed internet access as one of the most important amenities they look for, with it ranking higher than garbage disposals, dishwashers, microwaves, and walk-in closets. In response to this growing demand, bulk internet deployment has become a strategic solution for property owners seeking to address the need for reliable Wi-Fi connectivity in multifamily housing complexes.

While there are many benefits of bulk internet, many property owners are wary of implementing the service due to common potential oversights that can occur. In this article, I’ll delve into four common mistakes that property owners can encounter with bulk internet: not thoroughly exploring options for the best service providers, not fully understanding how the technology works, not communicating transparently and effectively with residents, and uneconomical pricing. 

1. Not Exploring Service Provider Options

There are currently 2,905 internet service providers in the US. Depending on where your property is located, chances are there are a few different ISPs to choose from. When initiating bulk internet deployment, choosing the right ISP is crucial. Yet many property owners rush this decision, often settling for the first ISP they make contact with or the largest ISP in their footprint. This oversight can lead to missed opportunities for cost savings, service quality improvements, and resident satisfaction.

To avoid this pitfall, property owners should conduct thorough due diligence when selecting an ISP. This involves researching multiple ISPs in your area, comparing their offerings and bulk rates, and assessing their suitability for the property’s specific needs. Partnering with telecom industry experts can simplify this process, providing access to a wider range of options tailored to the property’s requirements. By exploring service provider options diligently, property owners can uncover hidden opportunities and negotiate competitive rates within their budgetary constraints. Leveraging industry connections and insights further enhances the decision-making process, ensuring optimal performance and value for residents.

2. Not Fully Understanding the Technology

Property owners may find themselves overwhelmed by the plethora of advancements in connectivity technology. This abundance of options can lead to confusion and make it challenging to align technology choices with the property’s goals and infrastructure.

To understand this complexity, property owners can partner with telecom specialists instead of navigating the process on their own. These experts should possess deep knowledge and expertise in the field, enabling them to guide owners and management groups through technology options confidently. By leveraging their insights, property owners can gain clarity on critical factors like scalability, compatibility, and long-term viability, both at a single property or across a portfolio of communities. 

Aligning technology solutions with the property’s specific needs and resident preferences ensures a smooth integration that boosts resident satisfaction and drives on-site operational efficiencies. Whether implementing managed Wi-Fi solutions or traditional bulk internet deployment models, partnering with telecom specialists empowers property owners to make informed decisions that yield tangible results.

Read more: 4 Ways Property Technology Benefits MDU Owners

3. Lack of Transparent Resident Communication

Over 70 percent of renters find the immediate availability of Wi-Fi or internet upon move-in to be important or very important. But providing bulk internet at scale for residents needs to be backed up with effective and transparent communication. Many property owners encounter challenges with this communication, resulting in misunderstanding, skepticism, and resident resistance to bulk programs.

To prevent these issues, property owners and on-site teams must prioritize proactive communication throughout the deployment process and beyond. This includes keeping residents consistently informed, engaged, and enthusiastic about the advantages of bulk internet programs. By establishing clear and accessible communication channels, property staff can cultivate trust and enthusiasm among residents, ultimately leading to higher overall satisfaction.

While many residents may appreciate the added convenience of bulk internet, some residents may harbor legitimate concerns regarding privacy, security, and service reliability, necessitating candid and transparent discourse. By delivering regular updates, addressing inquiries, and actively seeking resident feedback, property owners and their on-site teams can foster an environment of transparency and collaboration, thereby shaping a favorable perception of the program and the property overall.

Property owners can also leverage innovative communication platforms built for the multifamily space to augment their communication endeavors, ensuring residents remain well informed and engaged throughout the deployment process, facilitating a seamless transition to bulk internet services.

Read more: 4 Ways to Instantly Enhance the Resident Technology Experience at Your Multifamily Property


4. Uneconomical Pricing 

While savings vary depending on the deployment, bulk internet costs up to 50 percent less than a homeowner would pay for the same services individually. But how do property owners know that their bulk internet offering is priced just right? Not only are resident savings top of mind for property owners, but so is delivering a profitable program. It’s a tough balancing act. 

Not only is it challenging to determine the best pricing, but failing to offer the best price can break the program. If a property owner prices the service at a rate that’s too expensive, it can cause resident friction and poor reviews. On the other hand, going too low can leave money on the table and fail to bring in expected revenue—not to mention the long-term effects of failing to adjust rates for years to come.

Partnering with a telecom expert can empower property owners to strike the perfect balance between maximizing program profitability and offering excellent value for residents. Bringing market analysis and industry experience together, these experts can identify the best price for the property. Not only that, but they can also work with internet service providers to ensure that the property’s service quality is maintained or improved over the life of the contract. They’ll handle the contract negotiations to protect the property owner’s and residents’ best interests. 

Plus, industry experts can help property owners with pricing beyond setting the initial rate correctly. Telecom specialists can also help with making annual adjustments to the amenity program’s price based on market analysis and financial audits. A great partner won’t just offer you value before and during an implementation—they will help you drive success for years to come.  

Bulk internet deployment holds immense potential for building a strong connectivity infrastructure, driving new leases and retention, and increasing overall resident satisfaction in MDU communities. But avoiding common mistakes is crucial for realizing these benefits. By exploring service provider options, understanding technology solutions, and prioritizing transparent communication, property owners can navigate the complexities of bulk internet deployment with confidence.

Partnering with industry experts like Onboard provides property owners and MDU decision-makers with the knowledge, resources, and support needed to make informed decisions and deliver exceptional internet services to their communities. With a focus on avoiding common pitfalls and maximizing property value, Onboard can ensure a smooth and successful transition to bulk internet deployment, setting the stage for long-term success and resident satisfaction.

We Can Help

Onboard is your dedicated third-party partner in revolutionizing property technology. With Onboard, you can rely on tailor-made bulk tech and internet at exclusive rates, making program management a breeze. Our fully managed internet and media amenities empower you to seamlessly integrate tech across all units of your property, supercharge revenue, save time on relentless resident calls, and depend on ongoing service that pays for itself. 

Get started today.

About the Author

Larry Furr

Previously CPO at fintech Canopy, with 20+ years in product development at multiple tech companies, including unicorns Venafi, NICE InContact, and Solera. Currently serves as Chief Product Officer at Onboard.