2009-04-08, 12:12

Wi-Fi, Rapidly Becoming the New-Age Dishwasher

By: Multifamily Real Estate Industry Team
Housing communities are offering an increasing number of amenities to entice renters, including wireless internet. Multi-Housing News recently reported that wireless internet has been an effective retention tool for several property management companies (read the full article here http://tiny.cc/MHNarticle ).

Given the state of the economy more and more people, either by choice or circumstance, are opting into the rental market. Inasmuch, the housing industry focus has shifted from buyers to renters. This shift is evident even in cable programming targeted at these groups. HGTV, a cable network dedicated almost exclusively to “home” improvement programming with shows like House Hunters and Design on a Dime, to name a few, recently launched its newest show all about renters ( http://tiny.cc/newtvshow ). Whatever the circumstance may be for an increased rental market, one thing is for sure, renters are getting a lot of attention.

Today, a dishwasher is a popular -normally standard- amenity that renters expect to be included as part of the lease. However, dishwashers were originally a luxury item. Although patented in the mid 1800’s the dishwasher was not widely manufactured and sold until the 1930’s to private wealthy families. By the 1970’s the dishwasher became more popular and was seen as a kitchen asset. The dishwasher has outgrown the luxury class and has become a common amenity, and we can are seeing the same happening with options like Wi-Fi.

From coffee shops, to airports, to hotels, organizations and business have offered wireless internet to successfully attract and assist clients. Providing wireless internet in multi-family housing communities is an inexpensive amenity to provide that renters will assuredly be looking for. Moreover, wireless internet can help to increase retention rates, resident satisfaction, and property value. Wireless internet has become the new-age dishwasher in that it is no longer a luxury reserved for the elite but a popular amenity to be enjoyed by the masses.

(This entry posted by Christina M. Thomas, a member of Womble Carlyle's Real Estate Development group)

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