The race is on for installing high-speed internet connectivity in multifamily developments and single-family neighborhoods. The good news is despite supply chain woes, radical shifts in workplace operations and other challenges, internet providers continue to advance the broadband infrastructure, services, and technologies of US residential communities at a faster pace than ever.
But to thrive in these perplexing times, residential developers, owners, HOA/management firms and broadband providers need to predict and plan. It’s essential for them to focus on the intersecting economic, technological, social, and environmental key trends of 2023. This blog will focus on the economic and technological trends. Social and environmental trends will be covered in Part 2.
Economic trend: Challenges will poise top internet providers to triumph
Housing availability shrunk considerably in U.S. cities throughout 2022, and as a result, multifamily rents soared. Despite a slight dip in early 2022, fundamentals remain strong for multifamily developments. This is due to an ongoing strong job market, increasing mortgage rates, and a scarcity of housing. Increasingly, high-speed internet is no longer considered an amenity or basic commodity, but a must-have to be competitive. Fiber as table stakes is only going to get stronger in the new year.
COVID-19 did a number on everyone and everything. But the supply chain disruptions top the list for raising challenges for many industries—broadband providers included—and those problems are expected to continue. Manufacturing shutdowns of key supply lines caused a shortage of critical components, such as semiconductor chips. These are needed in almost every digitally connected device, including internet modems. Transportation bottlenecks exacerbated the problems.
Getting sufficient labor to fulfill contracts will continue to be an issue, both at the provider and supplier levels. Construction firms report 66% of projects have been delayed due to worker shortages. And they expect the shortages to get worse in 2023 as more older workers retire.
In 2023, we expect top providers of end-to-end internet solutions will triumph in residential communities. Foundationally strong internet providers can negotiate better deals for materials, then warehouse and spread resources around as needed. Their labor teams have smart systems that allow them to synch up and accommodate developers’ and builders’ irregular phases of development. And post-development, residents want simplicity. Always-connected lives and communities need more advanced, digitally connected amenities. Therefore, the most robust of technologies, such as fiber, will win. Robust services such as digital customer self-service apps will thrive as well.
Technological trend: Everything will need greater security
We’ve already talked about technologies that enhance lifestyles, but these come with equal demand for higher levels of physical security and cybersecurity in residents’ lives.
Cybersecurity will take front and center stage in 2023 and beyond. Residents need to know their online activities are safeguarded as hundreds of thousands of national and global threats are handled by their service provider. These threats must be mitigated before their experiences and data are compromised. Mitigation tactics include safeguarding new digital takes on physical security, such as access sensors, smart doorbells, smart lighting, and other IoT devices.
Security is rising in importance, with threats of break-ins driving owners, managers, and homeowners to beef up Internet of Things (IoT) security devices on the network. These devices will require even more bandwidth over what was needed to handle the COVID work-from-home juggernaut, which now has assumed a momentum of its own, independent of the pandemic.
We predict in 2023 a growing competitive amenity for multifamily communities will be leading security protections. Relieve residents’ concerns by choosing a Tier 1 internet provider with layered cybersecurity measures. This can be a way to enhance resident satisfaction. It ultimately may improve occupancy rates and net operating income (NOI), even in today’s highly competitive markets. By working with a Tier 1 internet provider like Quantum Fiber, your community can enjoy robust, layered protection that keeps your residents safe—and your reputation in good standing.
What more will it take for residents to call their houses and apartments “home”? These trends are intended to help multifamily owners, managers, and developers prepare for what lies ahead and seize the opportunities to profoundly advance residents’ internet connected lives.
Part 2 of this series focuses on residential lifestyles (social) and emerging real estate opportunities (environmental). The residential industry and internet providers have new reasons to embark on early stakeholder engagement and unique partnerships. Even then, there are bound to be surprises, so it’s critical to choose your provider carefully.
To read about upcoming social and environmental trends for 2023, go to Part 2.