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84% are willing to pay more per square foot if a building has reliable connectivity

Once, commercial real estate leasing decisions came down to location. That’s still important. But another factor has joined location as critical: connectivity.

Today’s tenants don’t just want connectivity. They demand it, and will make their leasing decisions accordingly.

Why office tenants need connectivity

For most property managers, the idea that connectivity is important for commercial tenants isn’t news. But it’s still worth emphasizing just how important this amenity has become to tenants.

A recent survey of 150 office leasing decision-makers is instructive. All respondents make real estate leasing decisions in major American cities.

The survey, conducted on behalf of WiredScored, revealed that many tenants are frustrated with poor connectivity in their current locations, with 80% experiencing poor connectivity on a regular basis. On average, tenants experience more than four connectivity issues per month. This isn’t just annoying, but actively detrimental to profits, with 77% of respondents reporting that their businesses lost money as a result of technical problems.

And it’s not just the financial impact, considerable though that might be. As anyone who has ever experienced a connectivity failure knows, the problem has ripple effects on the entire workplace. 45% of decision-makers say that when connectivity problems occur, employees experience increase stress. Additionally, 45% are frustrated by their inability to assist customers, while 36% say that a bad connection results in lower productivity.

All of this makes it clear that connectivity has become a necessity for the modern workplace. Problems with connectivity create stress that negatively impacts the entire office, perhaps lasting throughout the entire day. It’s not just about technology, but managing employee morale.

The value of connectivity

WiredScored’s survey also demonstrates that tenants are willing to pay for better connectivity. 84% of respondents say they are willing to pay more per square foot of real estate if a building owner is able to prove that the building has reliable connectivity. 77% are willing to sign a longer lease if they feel reassured that a building’s infrastructure meets their technological requirements.

It’s important to note that connectivity isn’t just for tech companies any more. In today’s world, virtually every company is a tech company to an extent. Most companies in the financial sector, for example, need a dependable connection so they can transfer data and use complex applications hosted in the cloud. For these tenants, reliability is more important than pure speed.

Today, it’s not enough to have strong connectivity in some parts of the office. Workplaces are changing from the old model of cubicles. Most offices now use collaborative spaces on a daily basis, and those locations also require ongoing connectivity.

For most tenants, connectivity is now top-of-mind when they’re scouting potential office locations. 79% of leasers prefer to opt for buildings that are Wired Certified, with 77% saying that they will sign a lease faster for buildings that are so certified.

Connectivity: not just about Wi-Fi any more

Most of the conversation around connectivity has centered around Wi-Fi. But while Wi-Fi is critical, it’s not the only technology that makes a difference to tenants.

With the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), in-building cellular coverage has become critical. As of 2016, 60% of companies had BYOD-friendly policies in place. 87% depend on employees using personal devices to access business applications, ranging from basic email to more complex software programs. Because of BYOD, in-building cellular coverage is now critical. It’s not just annoying when an employee can’t make a call in her office. It’s actively detrimental to business operations. When you add that to the growing proportion of millennials in the office, good cellular access becomes particularly critical.

Unfortunately for businesses, most buildings are notoriously unfriendly to cellular coverage. Even in major, high-tech cities, it’s not uncommon for office buildings to feature large areas that are basically cellular dead zones. Working to full productivity in those areas is difficult if not impossible.

It’s easy to blame the cellular networks for the problem. But the fact of the matter is that cellular technology wasn’t originally designed for indoor usage. From the perspective of commercial tenants, the underlying cause of poor cellular coverage doesn’t matter; they just want to conduct business at a building that offers good coverage.

This means that when shoring up connectivity, CRE managers need to take cellular device usage into account.

IoT: the next frontier in connectivity

In the upcoming years, connectivity is going to become even more important because of the drive towards energy-efficiency and smart buildings. More and more devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), and businesses won’t be able to afford any lapses in connectivity.

To prepare for this trend, commercial building managers need to start shoring up their connectivity now, addressing both Wi-Fi and cellular coverage. Potential tenants will ask about connectivity before signing a lease. You want to be able to demonstrate that your building provides the connectivity tenants need, now and in the future.


Geoverse Media Contact: Carl Gunell This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (+1 714 350 3800)

About Geoverse

Geoverse LLC, a subsidiary of ATN International, Inc (NASDAQ: ATNI), is a mobile network operator focused on providing in-building cellular solutions for the enterprise. Geoverse leverages over 30 years of cellular experience and international carrier relationships to design, operate, and maintain state-of-the-art cellular solutions as a service. For more information, visit www.geoverse.ioG Icon 140x140

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