A handful of RealtyCom Partners team members attended the recent NMHC Optech Conference in Dallas, Texas.  In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of some of the topics we think our clients will find interesting.  This is by no means a full list of topics, and I encourage you to visit NMHC’s website for more information.

My panel on Tuesday morning focused on how to navigate 21st Century Telecom issues.  I shared the stage with Greg McDonald of Greystar, Steve Sadler of RealPage, Kirk Taylor of Hubacher Ames & Taylor and Sean Sabia of New York Life Real Estate Investors.

We discussed many telecom topics including:

  • Managed WiFi was quite a hot topic at this year’s conference. As more providers are entering the space, property owners are looking at the benefits of a managed internet experience. There is a lot to consider and this is especially true with new construction projects, as managed property-wide WiFi (bulk) means you will often only have one provider onsite.
  • 5G and CBRS – Although a real wide-scale launch of 5G is two or three years away, many providers and property owners are talking about its potential to deliver up to 10Gbps speed, lower latency and less network congestion. CBRS is new public use spectrum, which along with WiFi and 5G may hold the keys to improving cell service within traditionally difficult mid-rise and high-rise MDU structures.  More to come on these subjects.
  • Always On / Instant On – More providers are vying to pre-provision their equipment in your units to improve resident satisfaction by allowing “instant” access to internet without having to wait for a scheduled appointment. This can dramatically improve subscription rates for the provider chosen to get this pole position.  Owners should consider which provider(s) they allow to pre-provision as adding hundreds of SSID’s can have negative impact on residents WiFi experience.
  • IoT / Smart Apartment – More and more apartment owners and developers are rolling out smart technology in their properties. There are many things to consider including device protocol (ie WiFi, Z-Wave or Zigbee), which devices should be resident controlled vs owner controlled and which partners to work with on your IoT strategy.

Outside of telecom, some other topics of note that were covered were:

  • Privacy and Cyber Security are now more important than ever with PropTech and IoT initiatives.
  • Flexible Rentals – As more owners are looking at ways to boost absorption on new builds and NOI on existing properties, flexible and short-term leasing is becoming the norm.

Our RCP teams will continue to investigate these new technologies and upcoming trends, stay tuned to our blogs and newsletters for future updates.