A few property owners utilize well-known strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to lure prospective tenants and improve profitability. And in the past, tenants have been happy to pay for the extra cost. However, the decreasing public demand for cable TV has led some Stone Oak property managers to think about if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s study some pros and cons of retaining or stopping your rental property’s cable TV service.
Cable on the Way Out?
According to a 2021 survey, 56% of Americans say they watch cable or satellite TV. Compare that to 76% who said the same thing in 2015. Paid TV lost just around 5.1 million customers in 2020 alone while streaming services have continued to grow. Streaming services like Netflix (75 million subscribers), Amazon Prime (50 million subscribers), and Disney+ (45 million subscribers) seem to be the principal alternatives to cable for several people.
Despite everything, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which illustrates that while streaming services are widely popular, numerous people still prefer cable services. Therefore, before you choose to cancel your rental property’s cable TV, you should communicate with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate can be helpful in several locations and demographics. For example, if your target renters include avid sports fans, they are more likely to appreciate live television services and often won’t mind spending a bit more rent to have it included.
Several tenants don’t like signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts since they are undecided about how long they will reside in the home. They may also keep away from the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to supply cable TV provides a good incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
However, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data support this report. For instance, 81% of Americans age 65 and older say they still have cable service, while only 34% of American age 18 to 29 do. Streaming services are becoming the go-to choice for those who find cable TV lacking viewing options. While streaming services are not free, many young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services provide these individuals the freedom to select when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners frequently have valid reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For example, internet providers will typically bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for particular locations and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The most efficient way to determine if offering cable TV is acceptable for your situation is to ask your tenants. They know better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may respond to including “free” cable TV.
If you talk with your tenants and they tell you that they do not want cable TV, it may be possible to discontinue your cable service temporarily while leaving the cables intact. Depending on the service provider, you may be able to suspend or even cancel service quite easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a slightly lower rent or, if you want, pocket the savings.
Opting on whether to continue cable TV service at your Stone Oak rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you recruited Real Property Management Campanas to manage your portfolio and make those hard decisions for you, all while you enjoy passive income! Contact us online to learn more.
Originally published on Nov 1, 2019
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