By Paul Spacek and Rush Blakely
As our clients evaluate new technology initiatives and formulate their strategy to deliver broadband, IoT and Smart home services to their residents, we are often asked what telecom providers they should partner with.
Our proposal negotiation process is designed to compare a variety of Service Providers, proposal terms and deal structures, that meet resident needs for reliable Internet, Wi-Fi and Television and maximize potential revenue benefits. The strategy is data-driven, with as many participants as possible that align with our client’s asset strategy. Because we only represent property owners and utilize flexible payment structures (contingency, fixed fee, subscription) we remain unbiased in the selection process.
With many decades of experience in the telecom industry, including working for some of the country’s largest franchise operators, our bidding team is well-versed in provider offerings, products, and trends. We have done significant work with franchise operators, fiber, wireless ISP’s, Private Cable Operators, and managed network services (including managed bulk Wi-Fi and IoT/Smart Home integrators). We routinely vet new entrants in any given market to better understand their business models, infrastructure needs and expertise in multifamily. This industry knowledge paired with long-standing relationships with providers position us to negotiate the best possible outcomes.
As for process, our first task is to collect and analyze all existing property agreements. The state of current telecom agreements and existing property infrastructure help determine what opportunities are possible with existing and prospective providers at a given property. Along with a detailed review of 30-40 datapoints from existing agreements in our proprietary Salesforce database, we work with our clients to determine the current infrastructure at a property including all inside wiring, and existing conduit/pathways between telecom closets/IDFs or buildings.
Once we’ve gained a full understanding of the possibilities and our client’s needs and preferences, we overlay that data with the geographic area which allows us to send detailed Requests for Proposals “RFPs” to a variety of providers. Certain providers may require a site visit that we can facilitate. At the same time, prior to finalizing new terms, it’s important to do a forensic review of any current contract revenue and collect unpaid amounts.
Before coming up with your own strategy, we urge clients to know these key components about your property:
- Existing contract(s), encumbrances that grant marketing and/or inside wiring use
- Type of wiring being utilized by existing providers and conduits/pathways available for future providers
- Bulk restrictions in current agreements, and if bulk services are provided the current rate, annual escalator, equipment provisions/ownership, and service level/speed commitment
- Automatic renewal terms and when Notice of Non-Renewals are due
- Early termination options, and any assignment obligations
- Current residents subscriptions and service trends
- It’s often helpful to know what your comps are doing in the market as well
Once new proposal options are negotiated to our satisfaction, we present a data-driven financial analysis to our clients that allows educated decisions to be made. Our role is to help execute on that plan in concert with the provider(s), client, and often their telecom attorney of choice. We monitor each step through proposal negotiation to contract execution, and beyond – to ensure our clients get paid accurately and services are installed in the manner agreed upon and activated on-time. While we have different members of the RealtyCom team working on each function (due diligence, bidding, financial modeling/accounting, IoT, low-voltage reviews and new construction) we maintain a dedicated Account Manager as a primary contact for any needs relating the property.
If you have questions about our process, provider mix, or would like us to evaluate a new provider you want to learn more about, we would be happy to connect with you! Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can help.