For student housing and millennials, WiFi is clearly the make or break amenity. Not only is WiFi ranked #1 as the most requested amenity, but the popularity of the traditional amenity areas is relying on WiFi as well. Fitness centers that could once get away with only providing access to fitness equipment are now utilizing WiFi based equipment and need to provide fast and reliable signal for WiFi use on mobile devices. Laundry rooms are alerting residents via WiFi monitoring when their laundry is done. Business centers, cafes and lounges have become hubs for social media networking, selfie posting, checking email and mobile workstations. We recently encountered a property where the lounge “fireplace” was being show on a SmartTV (Awesome feature, by the way).
It’s no longer enough to have a fitness center, a pool or a spa. Now, developers have turned toward enhancing their amenities and improving the ‘lifestyle’ of their residences with such amenities as virtual gold installations, lazy rivers, jumbotrons and decked-out fitness rooms. ‘The most important thing in student housing has become the internet,” says Richard Holtz, CEO of Infinisys Electronic Architects, “and the second-most important thing is the Internet and the third most-important thing is the Internet.'” – “Head of the Class: 5 Key Student Housing Amenities” Multifamily Executive
According to Multifamily Executive’s Key Student Housing Amenities list, 4 out of the 5 amenities utilize WiFi and NEED managed WiFi to function well. This list of amenities included: 1)WiFi Internet 2)Digital Fitness 3) Increased Outdoor Space (this is the one on the list that did not specify WiFi, however WiFi in amenity areas is clearly a necessity for student housing and MDUs housing millennials 4) Tech-Equipped Study Rooms 5) Keyless Room Entry via Smartphone
Obviously with Student Housing residents becoming so dependent on wireless, hi-tech amenities, residential complexes will have to follow suit to maintain the expectations of residents. These high-tech expectations will require serious network management as many of the features mentioned in the Multifamily article simply will not offer a good user experience without a great wireless network to back them up.