There are families who will tell you they could care less whether they have TV In their Cape Cod rental property.
But they are a decided minority. Most people want and expect to have television. For many, a vacation without TV would be more like a prison sentence. So do what the market wants — you need TV.
Here are five things about rentals and TV you should know:
It doesn’t fly if it isn’t flat.
We know, we know. You bought a nice, big flat screen HD TV for your primary residence and parked the old tube monster in your Cape rental home. What’s wrong with that? The old beast still works, even if the picture is kinda crummy. Do you really need to make out the fine print on every basketball player’s tattoo?
Here’s your problem. Prospective rental guests look at the photos of your rental property and see an old tube-type TV instead of a flattie. Know what they think?
Old and neglected, that’s what they think. For many, sending a signal like that is a deal breaker. You just lost a possible booking.
Don’t do it. Get a nice new flat screen high-definition TV and level the playing field with other properties they may be considering. Today, a new TV is not very expensive anyway.
How many is too many?
You don’t need a TV in every room. Many Moms and Dads will thank you for not installing a TV in bedrooms where children are likely to sleep. It can cause problems when the kiddos want to watch Teen-age Mutant Martians and Mom says it’s bedtime. If you have a big, beautiful home with one or more big, beautiful master bedroom suites, it’s probably a good thing to put a nice wall mounted flat screen in there. Your guests are no doubt paying enough to deserve it.
What’s in your bundle?
Whether you’re going with satellite or cable, choosing the right channel line-up is crucially important. While you don’t need the turbo-platinum package with every premium channel ever conjured up, make sure you get more than the rock bottom basic cable-type line-up. Makes you look cheap. Here’s a simple barometer to use: make sure you get NESN with the Boston Red Sox games or you will hear complaints. I mean, where are we, Cleveland?
Put it in writing
There’s nothing more frustrating for a rental guest than finally getting settled into the rental property on arrival day and wanting to kick back and watch the ball game or whatever – only to be confronted by a basket full of remotes with no clue how to make them work. First of all, dumb it down by removing any remotes not currently in use. Why do people collect those things, anyway? Most important, provide clear, simple operating instructions in writing. Put them in a clear vinyl sleeve so they don’t get
destroyed by too many impatient, even sticky hands. You’ll save yourself a lot of desperate evening calls from guests who simply must watch tonight’s episode of Jeopardy.
They won’t scream if they can’t stream.
Of course, streaming video content is the wave of the future, and for many of your guests, that wave has already made it to shore. Some folks stream just about everything they watch and you’ll be a hero if you provide the means for them to do that at your rental property. But it’s far from a necessity, at least so far.
There are multiple streaming products to choose from, none very pricey, from Apple TV to Roku and Amazon Fire. We are far from digital content gurus, but we found a guy who is, so if you’re interested in comparing the pros and cons – and prices of today’s top video streaming systems, here’s more information than you will probably ever want to know:
Put it on your punch list.
You need TV for your rental guests. You also need to check each turnover day to be sure any and all TVs are working properly. Add a TV test drive to your prep punch list and have your manager do it or do it yourself. More than once we bet you’ll discover that the last guest was watching a Sharks on Steroids DVD and the “source” or “input” command on your remote needs to be reset to the correct HDMI input for regular TV viewing. That arriving Red Sox fan will thank you.