To acquire excellent tenants and improve profits, some property owners adopt popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have gladly paid the extra cost. But public demand for cable TV is falling, causing some Edina property managers to question if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. We’ll go through some pros and cons of retaining or canceling 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 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) have appeared as the primary alternatives to cable for numerous individuals.
At the same time, nevertheless, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, proving that while streaming services are growing popular, many still prefer cable services. Therefore, before you choose to stop your rental property’s cable TV, you must speak with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate might be advantageous for some locations and demographics. For example, if your target renters include big sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and typically won’t mind paying a little more rent to have it included.
Since they are not aware of how long they will be living in the home, numerous tenants resist signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts. They may also dislike the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home prepared to provide cable TV offers a strong incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
On the flip side, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And this is confirmed in recent survey data. 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 consumers who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services do incur a fee, many young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services give people the freedom to choose when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have compelling grounds to include cable TV as part of the rent. For example, internet providers will frequently bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for selected places and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The quickest way to see if offering cable TV is ideal for you is to ask your tenants. They can determine better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may react to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve spoken to your tenants and found that they do not want to have 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 pretty quickly, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a slightly lower rent or, if you choose, pocket the savings.
Deciding whether to keep cable TV service at your Edina rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you hired Real Property Management Viking to manage your portfolio and take those important 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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