Some property owners use popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to entice desired tenants and improve profits. And in the past, tenants have willingly paid the extra cost. However, public demand for cable TV is decreasing, leading some Queens property managers to think about 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 retaining 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 nearly 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 turned out to be the primary alternatives to cable for several individuals.
At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which reveals that while streaming services are broadly popular, several still prefer cable services. Therefore, before you choose to get rid of your rental property’s cable TV, it is necessary to communicate with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate makes sense for numerous locations and demographics. For instance, if your target renters include devoted sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and will often joyfully pay a little more rent to have it included.
Numerous tenants dislike signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts because they may not know how long they will reside in the home. They may also hate the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home wanting to offer cable TV gives a solid incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
In contrast, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth the higher rent. And recent survey data agrees with this. As an alternative, 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 numerous who find cable TV lacking viewing options. While streaming services charge money, several young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services provide these people the freedom to select when to sign up or cancel if they prefer.
Property owners frequently have sufficient reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will usually bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for specific areas and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The simplest approach to determine if offering cable TV is appropriate for your case is to ask your tenants. They know better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may react to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve communicated with your tenants and they indicate that they don’t like 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 pretty quickly, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a slightly lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.
Determining whether to keep cable TV service at your Queens rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you work with Real Property Management New York Gold to manage your portfolio and make those difficult 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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