To attract better tenants and improve revenue, some property owners refer to popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have been willing to pay the extra cost. However, as public demand for cable TV drops, some Semmes property managers are seriously wondering if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. So, let’s weigh the pros and cons of retaining or disconnecting 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 estimated 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 many people.
At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which shows that while streaming services are widely popular, many still prefer cable services. So, before you decide to cancel your rental property’s cable TV, you need to talk to your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate makes sense for various locations and demographics. For example, if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they are more likely to appreciate live television services and will often willingly 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 recent survey data verifies 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. Even though streaming services charge fees, various 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 valid reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. As an illustration, internet providers will often bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for particular places and demographics may gain property owners a competitive edge. The ideal procedure to distinguish 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 react to including “free” cable TV.
Talk to your tenants, and if 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 offer a slightly lower rent or, if you choose, pocket the savings.
Selecting whether to retain cable TV service at your Semmes rentals is a tough call. Visualize life if you work with Real Property Management Azalea City 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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