The Preiss Company, one of the largest off-campus student housing providers in the nation, has received a Student Housing Business “Innovator Award”. The Raleigh real estate company won in the category of Best Bandwidth Solution for its student housing property in Georgia—University Village at Southern.
The Preiss Company purchased University Village at Southern in January, 2010. The 532-bed apartment property, formerly known as Bermuda Run, is located ½ mile from Georgia Southern University. At the time of purchase, the 30-year old property had no existing internet wiring and an erratic consumer-grade shared modem network.
A recent survey conducted by J Turner Research showed that nearly 64 percent of student housing residents would consider relocating if the Internet performance at their current housing community was performing below their expectations. The survey was conducted across 130 student housing communities nationwide and asked residents to provide information on their technology and bandwidth experiences. The survey confirmed that access to fast Internet speeds has moved from being a property amenity to a resident requirement.
“When we acquired University Village at Southern, the property’s Internet access mirrored its physical condition—antiquated,” explains property manager, Colton Lassinger. “With 532 beds within 164 units, stable connectivity was rare. Drops in connection were typically solved by residents knocking on the doors of neighbors who hosted hotspots to request a hard reset of either the modem or router.”
In an article entitled “Connectivity Q&A” that appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Student Housing Business Magazine, data and communication service providers were asked their insights into what residents need and expect regarding their service connectivity. David Daugherty, president of Korcett Holdings, Inc., says that the “demand for bandwidth from student housing is growing by as much as 20 percent per semester.” Lassinger said that having a solution that not only met current needs, but would also adapt to ever increasing demand was a major consideration.
After reviewing various alternatives in order to support Internet data and provide high-speed access while passing on no additional costs to residents, The Preiss Company decided to partner with a reputable telecom systems provider and installed a total of 50 enterprise-class intelligent wireless access points across the property’s 16 buildings. A traffic management system ensures that the 300 Mbps of available Internet capacity is shared fairly across all users.
The Preiss Company began the system overhaul in early March, 2010. By the end of June, just over three months later, the network was operational and had increased Internet capacity 10x. All equipment set up, management, and support was in the hands of a reliable third-party and costs were cut by 20 percent with a five-year commitment and no capital outlay.
“We continue to iron out issues as expected with network control and traffic management systems,” says Lassinger. “Overall, the connectivity solution turned out to be an outstanding upgrade to University Village at Southern, which now operates at almost 100 percent occupancy.”
Additionally, The Preiss Company received a second Student Housing Business “Innovator Award” for Most Creative Financing for their property in South Carolina—University Village at the Coast.
Contact: Amy Barger
Phone: (919) 291-9224