Myths about Bulk Internet

Larry Furr

February 28, 2024

Bulk internet is becoming a hot commodity for property managers. According to research from Parks Associates, 57 percent of property managers and owners for multidwelling units already have bulk internet services in at least one of their properties. Among those property owners who do not yet offer bulk internet, nearly nine out of 10 plan to do so in the next 12 months. 

Even with its popularity rising, there are still some myths and questions concerning bulk internet. As a property owner, have you ever considered bulk internet but decided against it, fearing that it might be too expensive or your on-site staff or residents wouldn’t embrace the idea? Perhaps it seemed like an overwhelming task at the time.

In this blog, I’ll address three myths about bulk internet that are shaping the current narrative and how you can use the power of property technology to unlock increased value for your properties and residents alike.

Myth #1: Bulk is expensive.

Reality: It CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

With access to high-speed internet being nearly as important to residents as in-unit air conditioning, the question is no longer whether most residents need internet access—it’s a given. Whether provided through bulk internet services or individually subscribed, internet access has transitioned from being a nice-to-have to a fundamental necessity for residents.

With bulk internet, prices can be negotiated directly with technology providers to get the best bulk pricing. A tailored bulk program can fit your budget while still providing high-quality internet services through strategic partnerships with leading internet service providers. Unlocking new revenue streams is also possible with a well-designed amenity program. By collaborating with ISPs and streamlining the process with proptech, property owners can tailor a program that optimizes the use of existing infrastructure while ensuring high-quality internet services for residents.

The belief that bulk internet is inherently expensive stems from the misconception that deploying fiber in pre-existing developments is a mandatory requirement. Rather than undertaking the extensive and expensive process of laying new fiber, solutions that leverage the infrastructure already in place—typically coaxial cabling—in your property are much more cost-friendly. Not only is this approach less costly for property owners, but it also speeds up the deployment process. 

Myth #2: Bulk programs are not received well by residents.

Reality: It’s all about implementation and resident communication.

Because of its convenience and affordability, residents are seeking out units with pre-installed internet, providing a no-hassle, move-in ready experience. Sixty-nine percent of property managers who offer Wi-Fi services on property do so strategically to attract new residents. The negative perception of bulk internet programs arises when implemented poorly. 

By incorporating solutions focused on the resident experience into the implementation of bulk internet services, property owners not only dispel the myth of poor resident reception but also position their properties as innovative and resident-friendly hubs.

Here are three key elements your property technology programs should include to increase resident satisfaction:

    • Value-Add Technology

Deploying technology services in bulk often provides residents with access to top-tier connectivity at prices significantly below retail rates. By leveraging this connectivity foundation, smart technology solutions like remote access controls or utility sensors can be integrated into the property, enhancing the resident living experience, driving operational efficiencies, and making the property more appealing to tech-savvy residents.

    • Clear Communication

It’s human nature to distrust what we may not understand. By proactively, transparently, and clearly communicating with residents about the value of a bulk program (which is often provided at a lower rate than retail service), along with clear, concise steps on how to easily access and use their services, you can ease the transition for residents. Not only is this key when first rolling out the service, but it’s important to continue to offer that seamless communication with each new resident move-in. When you offer excellent service and transparency, residents will quickly realize the benefits provided to them by bulk tech amenities. 

    • Future-Ready Programs

Proactive adaptation to evolving technology is a hallmark of a forward-thinking property. By partnering with a trusted partner who understands evolving technologies and how they apply to multifamily communities, bulk programs can be designed to be future-ready. By ensuring that the property’s connectivity infrastructure and technology services are updated just as frequently as other property amenities, you can enhance resident satisfaction over the long term.

Myth #3: Bulk is a lot of work—and hard to manage.

Reality: With a dedicated proptech partner, it becomes manageable.

Let’s face it: Implementing bulk technology services of any kind can be overwhelming for property owners and on-site staff to tackle it alone. How do I market the new tech offering? How do I communicate to my residents its value and provide them with the service they expect? How can I take the burden of management and support off of my on-site team? 

Dedicated support is a cornerstone of resident satisfaction. By ensuring your property technology programs are supported by experts familiar not only with the service itself but also with the intricate details of the property and its bulk offering, you eliminate the need for residents to rely solely on overwhelmed site teams. Plus, a robust support team that provides dedicated representatives who manage each aspect of the service can alleviate the burden on-site staff teams often face when deploying a bulk program. 

What defines a great proptech partner? The ideal partner brings a multitude of benefits to the table. They can fit a property with the best technology based on its current infrastructure and needs while remaining future-oriented, ensuring that the property stays ahead of technological advancements and evolving resident needs. Proptech partners can also assist property owners in remaining compliant with new regulations. By consolidating all aspects of a bulk technology program under one platform, the process can be simplified, providing property owners with a comprehensive solution that optimizes both efficiency and resident satisfaction.

Read more: 4 Ways Property Technology Benefits MDU Owners

As the demand for bulk technology services (especially internet) continues to rise, property owners have the opportunity to leverage negotiation strategies that drive value-add pricing, strategic partnerships with ISPs, and the transformative power of smart technology services to optimize existing infrastructure and create well-designed, profitable bulk programs. By debunking myths and avoiding potential pitfalls, property owners can embrace bulk technology solutions with confidence, ensuring a seamless and successful deployment of the latest and greatest innovations that residents are increasingly demanding.

We Can Help

Onboard is your dedicated ally in managing and supporting your property technology. With Onboard, you can rely on tailor-made bulk tech programs at exclusive rates, providing value-add amenities to residents who demand them. Our fully managed, customized programs empower you to seamlessly integrate tech into your communities, supercharge revenue, drive operational efficiencies with on-site staff, and depend on reliable, ongoing support and management 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.