One of the unfortunate aspects of writing this investor blog is repeated confessions I have to make. Here’s the latest: I am woefully inadequate when it comes to technology.
There, I’ve said in a sort of vague and perhaps pretentious manner. But I try. And so should you.
Whatever you are doing in your real estate investments, you need to consider the personal touch, of course. But please don’t neglect the technology that users of your property want (and often need).
This is particularly true of apartments. But, as usual, we all have help.
This time from the National Multi-Housing Council, where a vp commented:
“In the future, apartment properties may be branded as much for the quality of their Internet services as they are today for their curb appeal.”
What did their 1,000 residents in the survey want?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all technology-conscious renters are 100% technology-savvy. And while a whopping 94% in the survey said they did not choose their location because of its technology, they reported that there were features they wanted.
—Never forget that most renters don’t even know what a landline telephone is. They all have cells. ”The widespread use of cell phones poses new challenges for apartment owner whose structures block cell reception or are in a particular service provider’s dead spot,” points out VP David Cardwell. Some potential renters will balk at your building if their cell phones don’t work (and they won’t recommend it to others as well).
—Renters also want high speed Internet access. It’s a must for many. And they are accustomed to having it.
—Renters do not want their services bundled with a single service provider. Only 15% said they were “likely” or “every likely” to bundle their phone, video and Internet services with one provider.
—Wireless hot spots are also much sought-after (two-thirds of respondents say they wanted it).
—If you happen to own a lower income property, don’t think your tenants are less tech-conscious than the upper end rent-payers. Service penetration rates and rankings of importance are almost identical no matter the income range, the survey found.
—Does all this mean your renters want technology over the personal touch? No, not at all. Those surveyed overwhelmingly said they preferred talking personally to landlords
Instead of emails or using a web portal.
As the survey sponsors say, keeping up with increasingly complicated technology is always difficult. But balancing tech with the personal touch is all-important. And if you want to be a landlord, there’s little choice if you want to keep collecting those rents.