To draw in quality tenants and improve productivity, some property owners go to well-known strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have willingly paid the extra cost. Yet, public demand for cable TV is lessening, driving some Lancaster property managers to contemplate if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s inspect some pros and cons of keeping or removing 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 an expected 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 turned into the main alternatives to cable for some individuals.
At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, showing that while streaming services are generally popular, many still prefer cable services. Along these lines, before you choose to cut your rental property’s cable TV, it is advisable to communicate with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate seems okay for several locations and demographics. For instance, if your target renters include avid sports fans, they are bound to need live television services and will often love to pay a bit more rent to have it included.
Various tenants detest signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts since they are worried about how long they will reside in the home. They may also dislike the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home able to give cable TV offers 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 the higher rent. And recent survey data supports this. For example, 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 are not free, many young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services offer these individuals the freedom to choose when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners are usually enticed to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will commonly bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for particular areas and demographics may grant property owners a competitive edge. The best procedure to determine if offering cable TV is appropriate for your circumstance is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants might respond to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve spoken with your tenants and 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 rather effortlessly, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a slightly lower rent or, if you decide, pocket the savings.
Choosing whether to continue cable TV service at your Lancaster rentals is a tough call. Envision life if you employed Real Property Management Traditions to manage your portfolio and make those hard choices for you, all while you enjoy passive income! Contact us online to learn more.
Originally published on Nov 1, 2019
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