To recruit quality tenants and improve revenue, some property owners use conventional strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have opted to pay the extra cost. Yet, public demand for cable TV is lessening, pushing some Suffolk property managers to think about if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s review some pros and cons of keeping or terminating 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 about 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 eventually been the main alternatives to cable for several individuals.
Despite that, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, proving that while streaming services are getting more popular, many still prefer cable services. For this reason, before deciding to cut your rental property’s cable TV, it is a good idea to talk to 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 instance, if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they’ll appreciate live television services and even be willing to spend a bit more rent to have it included.
Various tenants avoid signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts since they are uncertain how long they will reside in the home. They may also hate the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home able to provide cable TV gives a strong incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
On the other hand, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And this is confirmed by the recent survey data. For illustration, 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 individuals who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though you need to pay for streaming services, multiple young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services provide these users the freedom to pick when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have strong motivations to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will generally bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for certain areas and demographics may earn property owners a competitive edge. The best way to find out if offering cable TV is a good idea for your situation is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants would react to including “free” cable TV.
You need to consult your tenants, and if they say that they do not prefer cable TV, it may be possible to discontinue your cable service temporarily while leaving the cables intact. Depending on the service provider, you might have the option to suspend or even cancel service right away, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then suggest a slightly lower rent or, if you choose, pocket the savings.
Selecting whether to continue cable TV service at your Suffolk rentals is a tough call. Envision life if you hired Real Property Management Hampton Roads to manage your portfolio and make those big 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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