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Pets: Good for Business


Dog chasing a ball.

Many renters are concerned about finding a pet-friendly property.

Pets are big business. According to the American Pet Product Association, about 85 million American households have either a dog or a cat. And Americans spent $52.9 billion on their pets last year. If you're having trouble leasing your apartments, maybe it's time to consider letting Fido or Felix into the building.

Pets: Good for Renters and Owners

It's no secret that people are attached to their pets. MSN Real Estate reported that 63 percent of American households have pets, and surveys show that between half and three-quarters of renters currently have or would like a pet. By alienating pet owners, you could be missing out on attracting responsible, respectful community members who are seeking animal-friendly communities.

Pets aren't all bad news for property owners. While some may imagine a dog or cat will destroy a unit and cause trouble, that's often not the case. A survey by the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare found that the average worst pet damage is nearly always covered by the security deposit, and amounts to far less than the average damage cause by children living in a unit. Additionally, it discovered that pet-friendly properties enjoy lower vacancy rates and tenancies that are significantly longer than buildings that forbid pets.

Attracting Pet Owners

Many renters have a hard time finding a property that will welcome their pets. If your properties are pet-friendly, this is definitely a great perk to add to your advertising campaigns — you may be able to attract prospects who have been unsuccessfully searching for an animal-friendly apartment.

Make sure to mention your pet-friendly status on your website, blog and any social media websites. It's also a great idea to mention any amenities that pet owners may enjoy, such as a fenced-in yard, dog run, nearby park or even a dog-washing station. This will allow prospective renters searching for a new property to see that if they choose your property, it will be easy for them to walk their pets and let dogs enjoy some outdoor time. These special features may also help your property stand out when prospects are making a final decision on a building.

Many young renters are finding new places through social media websites, so don't merely mention that your property welcomes pets on a website or blog. Encourage residents to post pictures of their pets at play on their social networking profiles, or even feature your own photos of residents' dogs and cats on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Your renters' animal-owning friends can check out the photos and see just how welcoming a property is to dogs, cats, or even nontraditional pets. Publicizing a tolerant pet policy is a great way to attract animal-lovers in a market that isn't always friendly to pet-owning renters.

Do you currently allow pets in your rental units? Do you think the animal-friendly environment attracts more renters?

Brought to you by G5, the leading provider of Digital Experience Management (DXM) software and services in the property management sector.