To attract quality tenants and improve profitability, some property owners turn to popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have willingly covered the extra cost. But public demand for cable TV is declining, causing some Maize property managers to question if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. We will discuss some pros and cons of retaining 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 a projected 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 emerged as the primary alternatives to cable for many individuals.
Despite this, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which demonstrates that while streaming services are growing popular, many still prefer cable services. Therefore, before you choose to stop your rental property’s cable TV, it is necessary to have a discussion with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate might be beneficial for various locations and demographics. Specifically, if your target renters include big sports fans, they are more likely to be interested in having live television services and frequently won’t care to pay a bit more rent to have it included.
Because they do not know how long they will be living in the home, numerous tenants avoid 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 willing to provide 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 confirmed in 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 consumers who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services do incur a cost, many young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services give users the freedom to choose when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have compelling reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will often bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for specific communities and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The quickest approach to find out whether offering cable TV is appropriate for your setting 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 talked to your tenants and discovered that they do not wish 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 relatively easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You would then have the option of providing a bit lower rent or pocket the savings.
Opting whether to keep cable TV service at your Maize rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you were assigned Real Property Management First Choice to manage your portfolio and take those crucial 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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