To get good tenants and improve profitability, some property owners utilize popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants used to be glad to pay the extra cost. But public demand for cable TV is going down, causing some Caroline County property managers to question if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s look over some pros and cons of keeping or disposing of 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 dropped roughly 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 subscribers.
At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which reveals that while streaming services are widely popular, multiple people still prefer cable services. To that end, before you begin terminating your rental property’s cable TV, it is necessary to ask your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate seems sensible for many locations and demographics. For instance, if your target renters include avid sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and will usually be willing to pay a bit more rent to have it included.
Many tenants oppose signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts because they don’t know how long they will reside in the home. Also, they may not enjoy the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home that offers cable TV gives a solid 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 recent survey data proves this. For illustration, 81% of Americans age 65 and older say they still have cable service, while only 34% of Americans age 18 to 29 do. Streaming services are becoming the go-to choice for several who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services cost money, several young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services grant these users the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have strong incentives to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will usually bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV in a few places and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The fastest method to determine if offering cable TV is a good option is to ask your tenants. They know better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants might react to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve talked to your tenants and discovered that they don’t want cable TV, you might be able 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 relatively easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a little lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.
Deciding whether to retain cable TV service at your Caroline County rentals is a tough call. Envision life if you accepted Real Property Management Regions to manage your portfolio and handle the difficult 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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