No matter where your property management firm currently sits on the technology curve, these days a fast and reliable internet connection is critical to your day-to-day business operations.
At the very least, your employees likely use the Internet for work-related research and access to online resources, while a number of property management companies rely heavily on the Internet to run their cloud-based ERP systems and customer service portals.
On top of this, the demand for bandwidth continues to grow, as many companies now have BYOD policies in place and the majority of visitors to your office will expect reliable Wi-Fi access in order to use their own devices.
72% of organizations polled permit BYOD or are planning to do so. Tech Pro Research report, 2016
Continually increasing demand for bandwidth means that the internet service and capacity that served you well a couple of years ago, may not be adequately supporting your business needs today. A slow and/or spotty internet connection results in frustration, lower morale and reduced productivity for employees, while customers may experience slower response rates — all of which are bad for your business reputation and bottom line.
Find out how technology can make life easier for your customers, your staff, and YOU! — with The Property Manager's Guide to Technology in the Management Office.
There are a few different options available when it comes to selecting the internet connection technology that will best meet your organization’s needs and budget:
DSL – Short for Digital Subscriber Line, this connection type uses traditional telephone lines to provide web access. Available speeds vary, but in general, DSL can only support a relatively small number of users simultaneously. Overall performance can also be iffy, as it’s dependent upon the business’ proximity to the ISPs exchange. In terms of price, DSL tends to be the most affordable, but as they say, you get what you pay for.
Cable – Cable internet technology also uses standard telephone lines, but offers higher speeds and support for a greater number of users. Average download speeds range from 50 to 100 mbps and uploads from 2 to 10 mbps. Because this type of connection requires the shared use of bandwidth among others in a certain geographical area, speeds may be markedly slower with maximum usage, such as during peak business hours. Prices for cable connections typically fall within the mid-price range.
Fiber Optics – This newest of the available internet connection options uses fiber-optic cabling to deliver high-speed connectivity and superior performance to the end-user. Fiber-optic connections facilitate download speeds of up to 150 mbps and upload speeds of up to 35 mbps. Because this type of connection provides such high bandwidth, it can support a greater number of simultaneous users. Not surprisingly, fiber is among the higher priced options.
There are also a variety of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from which to choose, each offering varying packages and pricing models. One key area to consider when comparing ISPs is whether the available bandwidth speed will adequately meet your business needs. Generally speaking, the greater the number of users in your property management office, the more bandwidth you’ll need. This is of critical importance, because it can directly impact the overall performance, productivity and efficiency levels of your organization.
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In terms of cost, remember to factor in the expenses associated with any equipment installation, leasing and maintenance. Many ISPs will offer to waive the installation fee in exchange for retaining you as a customer. However, there are often monthly, quarterly or annual charges assessed for things like router usage. It’s important to account for these added costs when determining budget.
And last but not least... Dedicated Wi-Fi Access Points
Also known as APs or WAPs, dedicated Wi-Fi access points provide wireless internet connections to computers and mobile devices within a certain radius. Dedicated Wi-Fi Access Points are critical in supporting the trend towards BYOD policies in the workplace, as well as providing the convenience of secure internet access to your guests and visitors.
Find out how technology can make life easier for your customers, your staff, and YOU! Download a free copy of The Property Manager's Guide to Technology in the Management Office.