In your commercial property, tenants come and go over time. Along with them are various vendors such as Internet service providers, security and access control companies, automated garage parking systems… the list goes on. But, what do these connectivity components have in common?

Your building’s riser.

The older your building, the greater the likelihood that there are seemingly endless amounts of abandoned cables and unused equipment consuming space and creating possible hazards in one of the most critical components of your building’s infrastructure. Oftentimes, the resolution of this issue falls in the hands of the building’s ownership/management whose job descriptions don’t include telecom expertise. This is where riser management companies enter the scene, painting a very rosy picture for building owners and managers who have too much on their plate to deal with the technical complexities of cleaning up their building’s riser.

So… What is Riser Management?

Riser management companies are third party firms that promise to safeguard your building’s riser and telecommunications infrastructure, prevent rogue carriers from entering your property without permission, and provide advisory/maintenance/support services to your tenants. As a landlord, you want to offer quality services and amenities that lead to the highest level of tenant satisfaction, so bringing in a riser management company seems like a no-brainer, right? Not so fast!

Riser Management Comes at a High Cost

When considering riser management on the surface, as the landlord you seemingly pay nothing for a service that potentially lifts a significant burden off your shoulders and the result is a “one-stop-shop” to refer your tenants to for their telecom needs. However, your tenants are the ones that end up paying in the long run…quite literally. With a riser management company as the middleman, your tenants can end up paying eight to ten times the standard market rate for installing business Internet and/or phone cabling from your building’s telecom closet, through the riser, and into your tenant’s suite. That’s right. Your tenant could receive a proposal for up to eight to ten times the cost it would take if the installation was completed directly by the carrier themselves. Where is the value in that?

The Downsides of Riser Management

If you contract with a riser management company, you have to consider that:

  • Rather than having the freedom to shop and compare competitive rates between vendors, your tenants end up pigeonholed into obtaining services the riser management company (and paying their fees)
  • Your tenants are likely to pay exorbitant premiums for any installation work that’s required
  • You are relinquishing significant control of your telecommunications infrastructure
  • The riser manager may not have an adequate support system, tools, or possess the proper technical expertise to meet the established expectations
  • Entering an agreement with a riser management company could negatively impact the profitability of your asset(s)

Riser management companies are bad business for your tenants, and so, ultimately, they are bad business for you. If you wish to reduce your vacancies, retain your current tenants, increase tenant satisfaction, and enhance your building’s overall connectivity infrastructure, please consider the risks of entering an agreement with a riser management company. Instead, consider building and maintaining your own list of preferred vendors in order to virtually eliminate the need for riser management services.

Take Out the Middleman

A riser management company will try to convince you that you require their services to manage the telecom service providers in your building. But if you find the right ISPs to serve as preferred vendors to your tenants, there’s no need for a middleman (especially one that will exorbitantly upcharge your tenants). Give your tenants the right to choose find the right ISP (with the right price) for them. Allied Telecom has been providing telecom services to office buildings throughout the DC Metro Area since 1996, with reliable Internet and cloud voice service and responsive, locally-based support. Talk to our Commercial Real Estate specialist today to discuss how we can serve as a preferred vendor in your building.