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Community WiFi Report: Only 1% of Renters Have the Internet Service They Want
[October 31, 2023]

Community WiFi Report: Only 1% of Renters Have the Internet Service They Want


SmartRent, Inc. (NYSE: SMRT), the leading provider of smart home and property operations solutions for the rental housing industry, today announced the release of a new research report, "Community WiFi: A Tactical Guide for the Multifamily Market."

The third-party study, conducted by Parks Associates and available for download, sought to better understand the current competitive landscape and provide guidance to multifamily owners and operators on how to best meet the demand for connectivity in the industry. The report includes insights from 2,000 apartment residents in the United States and 12 technology leaders in the multifamily housing market. Highlights include the importance of Wi-Fi service selection, renter preferences, insights from operators and opportunities to create operational efficiencies via Community WiFi.

"As an industry, rental housing is falling short of renters' Wi-Fi needs and expectations, and those demands will only continue to grow," said SmartRent CEO Lucas Haldeman. "Renters not only need reliable service, but the flexibility to move about their communities without losing connectivity. A lot of people now have flexible jobs, but their apartment communities aren't supporting that flexibility and catering to that lifestyle. Renters need full-time connectivity that follows them wherever they go, and it is up to operators to meet that demand."

The report revealed an opportunity for communities to differentiate themselves and create a competitive advantage through superior connectivity. Research data revealed that only 1% of renters have the freedom to roam their apartment communities with uninterrupted Wi-Fi service, despite 79% sharing that they have interest in seamless connectivity. Among market rate renters, 48% reported a willingness to pay $79.99 a month for a gigabit Wi-Fi service.

Furthermore, when compared to properties with trditional retail internet, modern managed Wi-Fi offers a 26-point boost to apartment net promoter scores (NPS) - a measure of resident satisfaction and willingness to recommend their residential community. Communities with modern managed Wi-Fi see a 33-point NPS improvement over communities with legacy Wi-Fi (single access point for multiple units).



"The Community WiFi report provides operators with actionable data and insights to recognize renters' Wi-Fi requirements and how to meet those evolving demands," said Elizabeth Parks, president and chief marketing officer for Parks Associates. "Operators can attract more residents, improve both staff and resident retention and streamline operations with seamless Wi-Fi service that encompasses an entire property. The report points not only to operational savings but potential revenue generation, beyond what antiquated retail and bulk Wi-Fi can offer. We are proud to partner with SmartRent to bring this invaluable resource to the industry and highlight the potential and current shortcomings of this essential amenity offering."

The report also examines:


  • renter preferences, expectations and expense thresholds for Wi-Fi;
  • the competitive landscape, including the various internet and Wi-Fi options on the market today;
  • insights from operators, deployment considerations and the implementation processes for various property types, and on-site team and resident on-boarding;
  • the revenue opportunities of operator-provided Wi-Fi service versus third-party providers; and
  • infrastructure models and ROI timeframe

"As we're rolling technology out through our properties, from security cameras to EV chargers, we need connectivity across the board for systems to talk," said the VP of technology services for a top 10 multifamily REIT interviewed for the report. "While we're deploying solutions, we bring connectivity from corner to corner in a property. It makes sense to make the network available for residents to use and make their connectivity consistent from in-unit through all amenity spaces, using the same network with no need to connect to a different guest network. It's a win-win for both [residents and owners]."

Review the full report to learn more. For more information about SmartRent, visit smartrent.com.

About SmartRent

Founded in 2017, SmartRent, Inc. (NYSE: SMRT) is a leading provider of smart home and smart property solutions for the multifamily industry. The company's unmatched platform, comprised of smart hardware and cloud-based SaaS solutions, gives operators seamless visibility and control over real estate assets, empowering them to simplify operations, automate workflows, benefit from additional revenue opportunities and deliver exceptional site team and resident experiences. SmartRent serves 15 of the top 20 multifamily owners and operators, and its solutions enable millions of users to live smarter every day. For more information, please visit www.smartrent.com.

About Park Associates

Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.


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