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Cutting the Cord: Should You Keep Your Hurricane Rental Property’s Cable TV?

Hurricane Tenant Relaxing at Home Watching Cable TVTo recruit the ideal tenants and improve profitability, some property owners resort to tried-and-true strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have gladly paid the extra cost. Yet, as public demand for cable TVcontinues to decrease, some Hurricane property managers are now questioning if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s look at the 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 projected to lose 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 emerged as the most common alternatives to cable for numerous consumers.

At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, which means that while streaming services are quite popular, several still prefer cable services. Because of this, before you decide to remove your rental property’s cable TV, you need to have a conversation 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 several locations and demographics. Let’s say if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and more likely to be prepared to spend a bit more rent to have it included.

Numerous tenants resist signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts because they do not know how long they will dwell in the home. They may also despise the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to provide cable TV gives a significant 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 this is proven by the recent survey data. As an 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 many who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services charge fees, several young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services provide these people the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel whenever they want.

Property owners usually have strong reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For example, internet providers will often bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for particular locations and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The most effective method to discover if offering cable TV is beneficial for you is to ask your tenants. They can tell you 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 find out they dislike 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 rather simply, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. After that, you may suggest a little lower rent or, if you choose, pocket the savings.

Determining whether to hold cable TV service at your Hurricane rentals is a tough call. Picture life if you choose Real Property Management Southern Utah to manage your portfolio and make those tough 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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