In order to best serve your communities, you need to know who is renting and what motivates their decisions. After all, what they want will affect the amenities they prioritize during their online apartment hunt.
According to our recent study on trends in the multifamily rental industry, 66% of renters are pet owners. This statistic drives home the importance of being pet friendly. By valuing and caring for their community’s pets, property managers can maximize resident satisfaction, increase the value of their units, and attract more residents to their communities.
The Advantages of Being Pet Friendly
By appealing to a wide pool of pet owners, you can unlock growth potential and gains. In fact, according to the National Apartment Association’s recent report Adding Value in the Age of Amenities Wars, pet-friendly amenities were in the top five most desired features of a community. Property managers also benefit financially because residents are willing to pay top dollar for pet amenities. In fact, according to the NAA, adding pet-friendly amenities doesn’t cost as much as other upgrades but it increases rent rates the most, translating into a high ROI.
The Most Desired Amenities
If you know your community is lacking in pet amenities, don’t worry. It is never too late to get started. Some of the most desirable features that pet owners crave include:
- Leash-free dog parks. Consider converting some unused grassy areas into fenced dog parks where owners and their pets can enjoy the outdoors unfettered. Because many apartments don’t have backyards, dog parks are alternative stress relievers for owners and their freedom-loving pets.
- Dog walking and pet sitting services. Do your residents worry about finding reliable care for their pets when they are at work or on vacation? Offering a concierge dog-walking service and in-house pet sitter would be a huge perk to pet owners.
- Pet washing and grooming stations. Grooming a pet can become a messy affair that can make small apartment bathrooms untidy. Consider offering a spacious salon-like experience for pets in a common area.
- Dog waste bag stations. Dispersing these convenient stations around the community makes cleaning up after pets easy.
Keeping All Residents Happy
As a property manager, you may be concerned about the added risks and challenges that come with making your community pet friendly. On one hand, you want to attract and please your pet owners. On the other hand, you have to also consider their neighbors. In order to circumvent potential issues like noise complaints and property damage, you can establish some community regulations before residents move in with their pets.
Consider enacting these precautions and restrictions on the lease:
- Breed restrictions. Many communities do not allow certain breeds. These precautions are set in place in consideration for other residents and for the overall safety of the community.
- Pet deposit. This extra security deposit is kept in escrow and can either be non-refundable or returned unless the pets damage the unit. You can then use this money to make repairs, experiencing minimal to no financial loss.
- Pet cleaning fee. You can also collect a non-refundable pet cleaning fee that can go toward deep cleaning the unit after the resident moves out.
- Weight restrictions. Heavier pets can make quite a stomp on upper floors that is just as disturbing as clunky boots and high heels. You can prevent noise complaints by restricting heavy breeds to the first floor and having a weight limit for pets on the upper floors.
- Noise regulations. Nobody likes a barking dog, especially when the barking is incessant. Enacting quiet hours and 24/7 courtesy regulations where both pets and residents are expected to be respectful of noise can contribute to the community’s overall happiness.
Reach Your Residents by Embracing What They Love
By reaching out to pet owners, you can win over a majority of renters to increase your ROI and resident satisfaction. Consider making your communities pet friendly in order to reap these benefits while nurturing a positive reputation online and in your area.