Some property owners employ well-known strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to attract prospective tenants and improve profitability. And in the past, tenants have eagerly compensated for the extra cost. However, the declining public demand for cable TV has led some Perrysburg property managers to wonder if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s analyze 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 approximately 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 main alternatives to cable for several consumers.
Despite everything, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which indicates that while streaming services are widely popular, numerous people still prefer cable services. So, before you decide to cancel your rental property’s cable TV, you need to discuss it with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate is beneficial for various locations and demographics. To be specific, if your target renters include avid sports fans, they are more likely to choose live television services and will often be okay with paying a bit more rent to have it included.
Many tenants despise signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts since they may not know how long they will stay in the home. They may also dislike the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to deliver cable TV provides a good incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
However, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth the higher rent. And recent survey data back up this statement. For instance, 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 those 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 give these people the freedom to choose when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have strong reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For example, internet providers will usually bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for particular sites and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The effective approach to check if offering cable TV is reasonable for your situation is to ask your tenants. They know better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may deal with including “free” cable TV.
If you communicate with your tenants and they say they do not want cable TV, it may be likely 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 Perrysburg rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you hired Real Property Management Clarity Team to manage your portfolio and make those hard 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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