Ramp up your residential fiber internet strategy with ease
Strong demand for multifamily homes made large builders, portfolio managers, and consultants headily optimistic about the future. However, the market is still soft—primarily due to rising construction costs—which that has somewhat eroded confidence, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Even so, fiber national account managers are poised and ready for the challenges ahead.
The discussion around which amenities builders should put into their various projects is intensifying. That choice, of course, is highly localized, dependent on the type of community, market conditions, geographic factors, and budget. Getting the mix of amenities right is critical. Otherwise, you’ve wasted both money and opportunities.
But today, any amenity menu must include fiber internet. Fiber is no longer a luxury. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that. Large multifamily properties with high-quality broadband networks have higher residency rates because so many residents need to work remotely. According to the Multifamily Amenities Report 2021, nearly half of builders and portfolio managers (47.3 percent) have installed high-speed fiber-optic services. And according to the 2022 NMHC/Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report, 89 percent of those planning to change residencies when their leases expire demand high-speed internet and are willing to pay, on average, $47.93 more in monthly rent for it. These days, high-speed internet means fiber.
National partnerships can be essential to large multifamily properties
The logistics of choosing and managing fiber suppliers across large multifamily portfolios is complex. Top builders and consultants are simultaneously building thousands of units across multiple markets, giving them lengthy supplier lists to manage. They must be diligent in ensuring high quality and uniformity across these scattered properties under development. But this is difficult because they often work with local suppliers unfamiliar with their business operations and who don’t grasp their (frequently unwritten) expectations.
Many internet providers will dedicate an account manager to their larger builder and community customers. But these programs are not all created equal. Some account manager teams act more like extended salesforces, more intent on maximizing revenue for their company than making recommendations in their customers’ best interests. Or they check in with the customer occasionally, but beyond that, they don’t provide much value. They’re also transient. Once a contract is signed, they consider their job done and move on to the next customer. For the next project, the customer gets a new account manager. Explaining its business model and requirements begins all over again.
Why some partnerships stand out
Here is where the Quantum Fiber National Account Manager (NAM) program stands out. As an independent group within Quantum Fiber, the NAM team is on a customer-centric mission to get each multifamily community builder or owner the best connectivity services possible—tailored to their needs. Quantum Fiber national account managers take residential fiber delivery to a whole new level. They cut through red tape by establishing mutually agreed-upon contractual and implementation processes. They ensure Quantum Fiber and its customers work in lockstep, making it simple to do business together. Whether that means helping design connectivity for a new complex, delivering the highest-speed fiber connection possible, or providing managed WiFi that extends throughout your community, Quantum Fiber’s representatives help you every step of the way with true white-glove service.
How much better is it? Quantum Fiber NAMs elevate the experience to new heights for a critical amenity like the internet. To illustrate how, we interviewed Aileen Kramer, manager of the National Account Management team.
1. What differentiates Quantum Fiber’s NAM team from other internet providers?
Our people. We have highly experienced fiber national account managers with outstanding communication skills who have forged win-win partnerships with builders and consultants. We have outstanding follow-up strategies for every step of the buying and deploying lifecycle, along with deep knowledge of their accounts’ businesses.
Our account managers work directly with their assigned builders and consultants. They focus entirely on their clients’ needs over the long term. If that client takes on a new development, our specialist is there, with all their acquired knowledge and experience. It’s a completely different kind of relationship than other suppliers have with their customers. Perhaps most importantly, unlike other account managers, our NAMs’ compensation is not tied to sales. That’s not their job description. Instead, building partnerships is their top priority. Over time, this enables our fiber national account managers to be eminently trusted, as our history of transparency and collaboration strengthens these long-term partnerships.
2. What does it take to qualify for a NAM, and what’s the value of working with one?
Clients who manage or construct at least 3,500 new living units a year get assigned a fiber national account manager. We also work with national consultants who manage property portfolios of at least 5,000 living units annually. These national builders and consulting firms have unique operational needs and working with a designated national account manager streamlines their contractual and implementation efficiencies. The net result is that clients get the right services and save considerable time and money in the process. Our experts on this level understand the connectivity business inside and out and “get” the sense of urgency our customers have when it comes to delivering high-speed internet to their communities.
3. What are builders’ / consultants’ biggest pain points when it comes to installing high-speed internet?
Today, with accelerating rates of innovation, I’d say it is keeping up to speed on the latest technologies and wiring requirements.
4. How does the Quantum Fiber NAM team address that pain?
First, we consult with the client early in the life of the project to develop a customized solution that meets their particular needs. We discuss the building and installation requirements, coordinating collaborative sessions with our engineering, implementation, and product teams to answer all questions up front and ensure a good delivery plan. And because our NAMs work closely with executive leadership and R&D teams, they’re on top of advancements coming down the pike and which innovations will impact their clients most.
5. What NAM activities deliver the most value to clients?
Acting as a single point of contact is the biggest one. National account managers guide the intake of new projects, do the job costing, create proposals, and manage the contracting. As liaisons between the customer and our internal teams, they are an integral part of the project from start to finish and can “direct the traffic” to ensure they involve the right team members at the right time. This helps boost net operating income (NOI) by minimizing the downtime that can stop projects dead because of poor coordination of contractors, saving time and ultimately a lot of money for developers and builders.
6. What Quantum Fiber services do clients appreciate most?
Without a doubt, our fiber-fed internet. It is reliable, consistent, and secure. It also delivers symmetric connections—very important, as upload speeds have become critical with more people working from home.
7. What about cybersecurity? Is that a concern that NAMs hear?
People are very concerned that their data remains safe when they access the network, and that they’re protected from malware, hackers, and other online threats. Quantum Fiber takes cybersecurity very seriously. Our national account managers can educate customers on all the measures we take to protect their investments. We carefully monitor and sniff out threats across our 500,000 route miles of fiber, and our network is designed for global visibility. Our network is an active defense platform that blocks malicious outsiders before they reach your residents and their devices.
8. What are your future plans?
We created our NAM program at the request of clients, who told us their challenges, and what they’d like from us. We continue to listen carefully as we build our team and quickly respond when asked to develop and enhance products to meet our customers’ needs—which are changing all the time. The Internet of Things (IoT) is of interest to the property managers, and the residents are interested in smart home technology like smart lighting, heating, and locks. These are technologies that require a lot of bandwidth and integration with our on-site equipment, which connects to our robust global network. We’re also working on how best to manage those integrations to give residents the best experiences. From the first contacts with builders and consultants to the ultimate tests of success—satisfied residents and a solid ROI—our NAMs are dedicated to being true partners.
Contact a Quantum Fiber Connected Communities expert to learn about connectivity solutions tailored to your multifamily community.
Quantum Fiber® Connected Communities provides customized fiber solutions for apartments and communities.