To entice quality tenants and improve income, some property owners employ popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have been keen to cover the extra cost. However, as public demand for cable TV goes down, some Lebanon property managers are starting to wonder if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s check the 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 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 become the primary alternatives to cable for numerous individuals.
Despite that, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, illustrating that while streaming services are widely popular, many still prefer cable services. Therefore, if you’re thinking about cutting your rental property’s cable TV, it’s a good idea to consult with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate appears reasonable for several locations and demographics. For instance, if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they are more likely to appreciate live television services and will typically be willing to pay a bit more rent to have it included.
Since they are not sure how long they will be staying in the home, several tenants resist signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts. They may also hate the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home eager to supply 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 a higher rent. And this is supported by the recent survey data. As an 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 many who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Although there is a cost associated with using streaming services, several young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services give these people the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have a good reason 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 for certain places and demographics may gain property owners a competitive edge. The best approach to determine if offering cable TV is right for your situation is to ask your tenants. They know better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may respond to including “free” cable TV.
Communicate with your tenants, and if they say they do not want 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 relatively easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then give a slightly lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.
Deciding whether to retain cable TV service at your Lebanon rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you employed Real Property Management Beacon to manage your portfolio and make those tough 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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