There’s a new determining factor in choosing a place to live that’s threatening to de-throne the long reigning “location” king. And that is; the quality of cellular reception! This really should come as no surprise, given the passionate connection that the Millennial generation has with their mobile devices.
And the bad news is, apartments and condos are notorious for having poor cell phone reception, predominantly because the amount of steel and concrete used in their construction interferes with cellular signals.
So these days while taking a tour, a prospective renter or condo buyer will often test their cell phone reception inside the unit, to determine if that property is a contender in their search for a place to live. And no one can really blame them for wanting to make sure the cellular service is stellar, since mobile devices have become such an important facilitator of communication, entertainment and work for this generation.
But what if some of the condo or apartment buildings in your portfolio just don’t measure up to today’s high standards of connectivity? You certainly don’t want to automatically eliminate a large percentage of your prospect pool, or have frustrated residents look elsewhere when their lease is up. So you need to proactively address the issue.
Of course the ideal solution would be to install a cell tower on top of any buildings with sub-par reception. However there may be limitations due to either budget or the building structure. So the alternative is to be upfront about the issue and make both potential and existing residents aware of the following options available to boost their reception:
Cell phone signal booster
This may be the best option for many, because a signal booster will take a strong cellular signal from somewhere nearby, let’s say just outside your window, amplify it and rebroadcast it inside. This method is independent of service provider and works for multiple users, so everyone in the household plus visiting friends will experience a good connection. However in order for this to work, nearby access to a strong signal is needed.
If no strong signal is available nearby, a microcell is the next best option. A microcell will connect to broadband Internet and create a local cell signal inside of the unit. The drawback is that microcells are sold by the corresponding wireless service company, so they will only work in the registered location, for authorized devices that use that carrier.
Additional tips that you can share with prospects and residents to help them capture a stronger signal:
Keep cell phones fully charged
Mobile devices use a lot more power when attempting to connect a call. Sometimes they have enough power to attempt the call, but not quite enough to find a signal. Keep cell phones charged above 50% for better reception and service.
Avoid electronic interference
When using a mobile device, stay away from other electronic devices that can interfere with the signal, such as a microwave or laptop.
In conclusion, if one or more of the properties under your management is suffering from weak cellular service, the worst thing you can do is underestimate the importance of this invisible amenity in attracting and retaining today’s connected customers.