Renters: Nice place, but how's the WiFi?

Feb. 26, 2019
According to a recent Xfinity Communities survey, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) customers ranked technology as the most important ...

According to a recent Xfinity Communities survey, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) customers ranked technology as the most important consideration when selecting their residence after location and price. The nearly 800 multifamily residents who responded prioritized technology above gyms, clubhouses, outdoor spaces, common areas and even the quality of schools/districts. More specifically, the study shows that respondents of all ages (26-65+) rated Internet speeds as the single most important amenity a property could offer. Older residents indicated more interest in ubiquitous WiFi access, while younger residents (26-35) expressed more desire for smart home solutions, such as lights, door locks and thermostats.

Xfinity Communities' report "Product & Amenities Research" examined what residents look for when considering moving into a new residence or renewing their lease.

Adding to the importance of technology and the Internet, the survey results indicate an emerging trend in the property and real estate industry - the urgency for smart technologies and connected living experiences. Among those surveyed, 53% of Millennials (those in the 26-35 age group) showed interest in smart solutions, such as the ability to control lights, locks and thermostats.

Other findings indicate:

  • While seniors (65+) identified themselves as the slowest to embrace new technology, they rate technology importance higher than all other age segments.
  • Those 55 years and older are most interested in having a modem that's already installed in their new residence (55%). Interest in WiFi access anywhere on the property is higher among older residents as well as those in larger properties.
  • Millennial residents have higher expectations when it comes to Internet speeds. Their satisfaction with speeds is nearly 20 points lower than the satisfaction of seniors.
  • Streaming content and entertainment services are of significant interest across all age groups and more so in larger properties, with 61% ranking it important in communities of 75+ units as compared to 53% in smaller buildings.

"The results of this survey reaffirmed our belief that the desire and need for smart and connected living experiences has arrived and is growing," said Adrian Adriano, vice president of strategic initiatives at Xfinity Communities. "It's clear that residents require the convenience smart technologies afford and that this desire is an increasingly important consideration when selecting their future communities. Real estate developers, building owners and property managers need to prepare for the impending demands on their network and provide robust technology and amenities solutions throughout their properties."

The survey was conducted between Oct. 25-31, and the 791 multiple dwelling unit (MDU) residents who completed the survey matched the Rosetta Dwell Code "MDU," which excludes single-family and commercial units.

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