Mobile Home Park Cable Bundling: A Primer

In the quest to create win/win opportunities with community residents, one that has become particularly appealing is called “cable bundling”. It allows you to offer the resident internet, telephone and cable TV inclusive in their monthly rent, at an incredibly low price. So what is “cable bundling” all about and how can it benefit your customers?

Where the idea came from

We’re not sure if it was a park owner or a utility company that came up with this idea. All we know is that it was a great one. Park owners have been trying to monetize the existence of cable in parks for decades, and the only outcome was the occasional door fee or revenue share – neither of which was a significant victory and was strictly one-sided. However, “cable bundling” is a huge long-term success that both the park owner and resident enjoy.

How it works

In a cable “bundle” you typically provide internet, telephone and cable television to your residents all inclusive in their rent. You buy this bundle for maybe $30 from the provider and can price that into the rent at perhaps $70 – which is still a savings to your customer of around $50 to $100 per month over what they were paying for these services individually. Think about how much you pay at your own home for cable tv, telephone and internet and then deduct from that $70 or so and see how much you saved – it’s pretty impressive.

Why it’s a huge win for residents

It’s all a matter of economics. The average resident would pay $100 to $200 per month for these three services. But you can include them in the rent, raise the rent a much smaller amount, and the resident just got their overall monthly cost lowered significantly. Since what’s important for the resident is their overall housing expense, this is a great idea that is a winner.

Why it’s a huge win for park owners

As higher lot rents are inevitable as part of the process of bringing old mobile home parks back to life and investing in needed infrastructure repair, finding methods to lower the overall cost of living in the property is important and well received by the customer. It’s essentially harnessing the power of “volume” at its finest and flexing the muscle of win/win deal making.

Conclusion

Cable bundling is an important step in the park owner playbook of trying to discover new concepts that lower overall housing costs for residents which allows room for lot rent growth. With higher lot rents a necessity to keep parks in proper working order and free of the wrecking ball, these type of initiatives will be an important part of park owner strategies going forward.

Frank Rolfe has been an investor in mobile home parks for almost 30 years, and has owned and operated hundreds of mobile home parks during that time. He is currently ranked, with his partner Dave Reynolds, as the 5th largest mobile home park owner in the U.S., with over 250 communities spread out over 25 states. Along the way, Frank began writing about the industry, and his books, coupled with those of his partner Dave Reynolds, evolved into a course and boot camp on mobile home park investing that has become the leader in this niche of commercial real estate.