To get the attention of quality tenants and improve income, some property owners rely on popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have readily paid the extra cost. Yet, as public demand for cable TV is lessening, some Royal Oak property managers are starting to wonder if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s talk about some pros and cons of keeping or discontinuing 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 is expected to lose 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) have become the main alternatives to cable for numerous users.
With that being said, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which demonstrates that while streaming services are extremely popular, many still prefer cable services. Therefore, before you attempt to cut 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 makes sense for several locations and demographics. For example, if your target renters include devoted sports fans, they are more inclined to want live television services and will usually eagerly pay a bit more rent to have it included.
Multiple tenants do not prefer signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts because they are doubtful about how long they will occupy the home. They may also dislike the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to offer cable TV gives a strong incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
Then again, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data confirms this. 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 many who find cable TV lacking viewing options. While streaming services charge money, several young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services give these consumers the freedom to select when to sign up or cancel if they need.
Property owners often have solid motivation to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will often bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for specific areas and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The simplest method for knowing if offering cable TV is ideal for your circumstance is to ask your tenants. They can inform you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may respond to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve communicated with your tenants and they don’t need 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 fairly easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then propose a slightly lower rent or, if you pick, pocket the savings.
Choosing whether to retain cable TV service at your Royal Oak rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you recruited Real Property Management Silverstone to manage your portfolio and make those difficult judgments for you, all while you enjoy passive income! Contact us online to learn more.
Originally published on Nov 1, 2019
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