By:  Rush Blakely

I have written before about the Managed Wi-Fi Evolution, and how many of our clients are considering property-wide Managed Wi-Fi for their communities to enhance the resident experience, add management efficiency for property staff, and increase property value and NOI.  Perhaps the most important benefit is the foundational nature of an Owner-owned network for new proptech deployments and future flexibility.

Many companies provide Managed Wi-Fi services.  There are those who provide the circuit and backhaul “fiber in the ground” and those who provide the customer-facing products and support, as well as those who may act as intermediaries between the resident and service provider. As you consider whether Managed Wi-Fi is right for your assets, here are some of our takeaways to consider when choosing a provider:

    • Property Considerations – Choose providers that have significant experience with your property type. For example, garden-style properties can pose obstacles.  Often, they lack climate-controlled telecom closets at each building, opting instead for lockboxes or spaces that are not climate-controlled.  This can impact the Home Run cabling type used in the deployment.  In addition, proofing existing conduit structures or potentially installing new conduits between buildings may be required.  Microwave or point-to-point may be required to supplement service across the entire property and multiple buildings. We have found that some providers excel in overcoming these obstacles.
    • Geographic Considerations – Choose providers that have deployed other projects in your geographic area. Some providers do not have geographic restrictions, but many focus on specific areas of the country to leverage existing network, resources and local construction teams.
    • Provider Expertise – Choose providers with extensive experience deploying Managed Wi-Fi. The list of potential providers is long, and increased demand regularly attracts new entrants.  Growth among providers is a good thing, it creates healthy competition.  RealtyCom evaluates all new entrants before including them in any potential Request for Proposals (RFP’s).
    • Risk Assessment – If a proposal seems “too good to be true” it may lead to issues in the future with construction/design plan changes in the field, or longer-term customer service or equipment constraints. Consider potential red flags upfront like equipment type, recurring rate and CapEx payments that are significantly lower than competitors, or an over simplified Scope of Work that could lead to challenges on-site. This could also be an indication of provider experience or longevity in the market.

RealtyCom maintains a Managed Wi-Fi provider list and regularly updates it to guide our clients on potential provider solutions.  Before conducting an RFP for a property, we review specific details about the property and our client’s requirements.  We then review our provider list and select providers that we feel can meet those needs of our clients.  Moreover, our RFP outlines the necessary equipment and technical requirements that providers must adhere to for a potential deployment on your property.

If you would like to discuss property-wide Managed Wi-Fi and how it might add value to your portfolio, please contact RealtyCom at

RealtyCom Partners is a telecom and technology consulting firm serving nearly 200 apartment owners, managers and developers.  Learn more about us at and read more about Managed Wi-Fi and other bulk internet programs here: