Some property owners use well-liked strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to draw in quality tenants and improve income. And in the past, tenants have happily compensated for the extra cost. However, as public demand for cable TV is diminishing, some North Providence property managers are starting to consider if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s talk about some pros and cons of sustaining or stopping 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 primary alternatives to cable for numerous consumers.
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, it is important to talk to your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate seems reasonable for numerous locations and demographics. As an illustration, if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and will regularly spend a bit more rent to have it included.
Since they are unsure how long they will reside in the home, several tenants dislike signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts. They could also avoid the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to deliver cable TV gives a strong incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
However, younger tenants might or might not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data validates this. 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 many who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services are not cheap, various young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services offer these consumers the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners usually have strong reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For illustration, 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 simplest approach to knowing if offering cable TV benefits your situation is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants could react to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve addressed your tenants and they say they don’t need 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. Then, you might choose to pocket the savings or offer a slightly lower rent.
Selecting whether to continue cable TV service at your North Providence rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you appointed Real Property Management Providence to manage your portfolio and make the 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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