Onboard’s Partnership with Leading Real Estate Firm

Denver Hollingsworth

June 26, 2024

In today’s competitive multifamily real estate landscape, bulk property technology—especially bulk internet connectivity—is a highly sought-after resident amenity. Not only is strong, reliable connectivity essential to renters, but it can also be a value-add resident offering for property owners in today’s competitive market.

Industry leader and COO of a prominent real estate firm, understands firsthand the value of implementing property technology, particularly bulk internet and TV services, into their extensive portfolio. “Bulk technology service is important as an additional income line item,” he explains, “allowing us to incentivize leasing as an additional service offering at a differentiated price, and as a valuation driver, adding incremental revenue that ultimately has an outsized impact on valuation.”

This firm spans across 15 states and oversees a varied portfolio of 49 properties, each offering between 80 to 250 units. As the COO, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of property and asset management, steering the company through the intricacies of the deal lifecycle.

Onboard serves as their primary partner for negotiating, implementing, and supporting the bulk technology programs in place across their portfolio. We had the opportunity to chat with the COO about how Onboard helps his team successfully manage their tech amenity programs from start to finish, and beyond.


Hands-off Contract Negotiation

The initial discovery process for identifying bulk technology opportunities within a portfolio can be complex and time-consuming for a company’s in-house resources, especially during the negotiation process. That process is made even more challenging by the complex mix of each individual resident’s existing telecom/media services in place at each property. “For early evaluation, understanding the in-place tenant service mix, and pricing against the in-place, was a bit of a ‘black-box’ for our team,” the COO says.

That’s where the firm began to leverage the Onboard team. Onboard’s expertise in negotiating telecom contracts, and their close integrations with the nation’s leading service providers, not only streamlined the negotiation process but also relieved the firm’s team from the complexities of telecommunications contract management. “Media and telecom contracts are evaluated and negotiated behind the scenes, with benchmark costs (such as current services vs. post-implementation) provided, and the ramp-up to profitability and relevant occupancy impact analysis are included in the standard proposal deal,” the COO explains.

Onboard’s team of telecom experts becomes particularly valuable during renegotiations of existing contracts. The COO illustrates this point with an example of how changes in the occupancy structure during a large renovation at a recently acquired property affected existing telecom contracts with service providers. “The Onboard team was able to step in and renegotiate telecom contracts with those service providers due to those occupation changes,” he says. “This allowed us to save money on this particular property in a muted cash flow environment.”


Unlocking Revenue Opportunities

For this real estate firm, Onboard has become an indispensable component of their operating structure, far after initial deployment. By leveraging the Onboard partnership, the firm not only generates additional revenue each month but also enhances property valuations substantially. “Generally we are generating $15-$20/door/month,” the COO explains. “A relatively small increase, but worth multiples of that on the valuation front.”

In fact, the COO highlights how Onboard is now largely a default component of their underwriting process, layering the partnership on as an essential service that is initiated during the takeover of any new market-rate opportunity for the company.

Not only does the partnership unlock additional revenue opportunities, but the COO also emphasizes the benefits to residents: “[Utilizing Onboard-managed programs] often creates differentiated pricing and incentivizing leasing for our residents.”

Looking ahead, the COO envisions continued revenue growth and valuation enhancement for the firm, underscoring the significance of strategic partnerships like the one with Onboard. With their expertise in telecom contract negotiation with providers, driving revenue opportunities by maximizing bulk enrollment, and seamless implementation for both residents and on-site staff, Onboard continues to empower the firm in maneuvering through the complexities of integrating bulk property technology successfully.


About the Author

Denver Hollingsworth

Former marketing lead at Comcast, with a decade of of marketing and communications experience in MDU/telecom. Currently serves as Director of Marketing at Onboard.