Some property owners used well-liked strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to lure good tenants and improve revenue. And in the past, tenants have happily paid the extra cost. But public demand for cable TV is decreasing, leading some Hanover County property managers to question if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s look at some pros and cons of keeping or cutting 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 is expected to have lost 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 numerous individuals.
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 makes sense for many locations and demographics. For illustration, if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they are more inclined to need live television services and will often eagerly pay a bit more rent to have it included.
Since they may not know how long they will live in the home, numerous tenants hate signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts. They may also don’t like the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to offer cable TV provides a strong 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 confirms this. For 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 several who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services are expensive, most young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services offer these people the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel if they like.
Property owners often have strong reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For illustration, internet providers will regularly bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for specific places and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The ideal approach to recognize if offering cable TV is suitable for your scenario is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may respond to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve spoken to your tenants and they say they don’t want cable TV, you might be able 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 easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then propose a relatively lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.
Determining whether to retain cable TV service at your Hanover County rentals is a tough call. Consider life if you recruited Real Property Management Richmond Metro 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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