The new 5G network is taking the United States by storm. This network has the potential to change how we use the internet for good. But have you considered how 5G might affect your day-to-day life as a real estate developer, owner, or manager?
In this post, we explain what 5G is and how it works. Then, we go over the effects that 5G will have on different parts of the real estate industry and why you should invest in property technology (proptech) to take advantage of everything 5G has to offer.
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What is 5G?
A 5G network is a new type of cellular network that’s more powerful than its predecessors. ‘5G’ stands for fifth-generation, and 5G networks are the result of decades of innovation and new inventions.
Up until recently, much of the world depended on 3G and 4G cellular networks to perform internet-based tasks like loading websites, downloading movies, and sending information. While these networks worked well in their time, today’s hyper-connected world requires much more bandwidth than these past-generation networks can provide. So, telecommunications providers agreed to create a new network with increased capabilities.
How does 5G work?
5G is more powerful than other cellular networks because it uses higher spectrum radio frequencies. By using higher spectrum frequencies, 5G reduces lag and reaches download speeds that are 100 times faster than its predecessors!
All cellular networks use radio frequencies to transmit information. The technology we need to use higher radio frequencies used to be expensive and out of reach. But innovations in cell tower technology have made accessing these higher frequencies cheaper and more convenient.
There are different types of 5G that all work together depending on the location of a user’s device. The highest frequencies are very powerful but don’t travel very far. The low frequencies — while still more powerful than predecessors like 4G — don’t offer all the power of a high-range 5G connection. However, low-frequency spectrums can cover a larger area and pass through walls. So, different types of 5G work together to offer users all the reliability of a wired connection.
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How will 5G impact real estate?
5G will make internet connectivity a much larger priority for real estate professionals.
One reason property managers might have deprioritized wireless connections in the past is the simple, physical reality of building management. Property managers, after all, manage buildings — and buildings are made of concrete, steel, and other materials that dampen or otherwise weaken wireless signals.
With 5G, however, it’s easier to maintain a powerful internet connection throughout an entire building. 5G represents a significant upgrade in the power, scope, and availability of wireless networks. And different aspects of 5G will appeal to different sections of the real estate industry.
For example, residents, property managers, and leasing agents will all use 5G in different ways.
5G and the resident experience
Residents will appreciate 5G because it’s going to improve their online experiences. The internet is increasingly a significant factor in residents’ lives (and their decision to move into or out of a property), especially for younger generations like millennials and Gen Z. Whether it’s social media or online shopping, 5G networks will be a crucial foundation for internet access for all of your residents.
There’s another benefit of 5G that your residents will enjoy. As residents embrace remote work, a steady internet connection is crucial. And while WiFi connections will still be important, 5G will play a critical part by handling some of the connections that might have otherwise overloaded a WiFi network.
Pro tip: To bolster the power of 5G within your building, install a series of small network cells. These will ensure that the highest, most powerful frequency of 5G is always easily accessible throughout your property. Small additions to your building like this one go a long way in improving the resident experience at your property.
The Internet of Things: 5G proptech for property managers
The Internet of Things (IoT) is how devices with internet-connected sensors exchange data and optimize their own functionality.
IoT devices already shape much of our world, and you can find them doing all kinds of jobs. For example, the IoT powers underground sensors that direct the flow of traffic for an entire city. It also helps you manage your own household if you have a voice assistant like a Google Nest or an Amazon Echo.
For property managers, the Internet of Things can be found in places like smart pipe sensors, which communicate with each other to anticipate any possible structural failures. These sensors can notify staff and even shut off your water system automatically in cases of emergency.
The IoT also powers products like smart glass windows. Smart glass interfaces with your building’s lighting system to brighten or dim the lights depending on how much natural light you’re getting.
The IoT has simplified the lives of tech-savvy property managers everywhere. And 5G proptech devices will be able to collect data and exchange information much faster, improving the lives of residents thanks to your forward-thinking investments.
5G proptech for leasing agents
During the COVID-19 pandemic, leasing agents innovated. They found that they didn’t necessarily have to be in an apartment to give a tour to a prospective tenant. A popular option was a virtual tour, enabled by a camera on a smartphone. Self-guided touring also skyrocketed in popularity.
5G eliminates latency and allows for the transmission of much larger amounts of data. As technology advances, 5G proptech will even allow for virtual and augmented reality feeds that give prospective tenants a comprehensive, real-time vision of the building — even if that prospect is across the country.
How can you adapt to incoming 5G upgrades?
Now that you know that 5G will be a significant disruptor in the way real estate professionals work, interact, and exchange information, you’re ready to take advantage of the upcoming 5G revolution.
As a property manager, one of the best ways you can take advantage of the potential of 5G is to invest in proptech. Proptech for property management is the term for all the innovations, inventions, and services that optimize property management, construction, and administration. And one of the strongest movements within proptech is the embrace of the Internet of Things.
A smart apartment powered by the Internet of Things can monitor important systems and anticipate the needs of residents. And proptech companies are enthusiastically looking forward to 5G for a faster, more reliable way to make the Internet of Things work for building managers.
ButterflyMX, for example, is a mobile access control system that residents can connect to with their smartphones. This increases convenience for residents and staff alike. Residents can remotely open doors, send virtual keys to guests, and provide access codes for delivery carriers. And property staff can manage the entire system from a mobile device or laptop.
The rollout of 5G across the world will revolutionize countless industries — and real estate is no exception. Now that you know how 5G will positively impact every sector of real estate, you can take advantage of 5G’s improved capabilities by investing in proptech.
Proptech from smart sensors to solar panels is creating a next-generation smart building experience that saves time for property staff and improves the resident’s living experience. And you can depend on 5G networks to power that proptech.