Consumers love their pets. According to the Associated Press, Americans were projected to spend an all-time high of $60 billion on their furry friends in 2014 — a total that’s not shocking when you consider that Doga (yes, Dog Yoga) is an actual thing and that innovative companies like New York’s Bark & Co. are developing one doggy-centric tech tool after another. Oh, and don’t forget these adorable puppy polos!
All jokes aside, pets enjoy status as important family members in today’s society. Apartment amenities like on-site child care, playgrounds, and proximity to local schools can convince families to pay premium rent for a property. In this same way, amenities like dog-walking, access to a dog-washing station, and proximity to a dog park are very appealing to pet owners. And to live comfortably and happily with their furry family members, they may be willing to spend a bit more on rent.
When looking for pet-friendly apartments, animal lovers expect a struggle to find a place that will even allow pets, let alone go above and beyond the call of duty to cater to their needs. The New York City apartment management company, Rose Associates, saw this as an opportunity when they decided to partner with a local dog-care group, the Spot Experience, to provide dog-walking services to their residents. And they’re not the only ones to embrace this trend.
According to Urbanland.com, the Magazine of the Urban Land Institute, apartments with doggy pools shaped like bones, rooftop dog parks (complete with, you guessed it, fire hydrants), and dog-grooming stations dot the U.S. in 2015.
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And while transforming your units into pet-friendly rentals requires an up-front investment, you can cover the cost by charging additional fees for these goodies and services, or by simply baking the amenities’ cost into the rent.
Ready to turn your units into pet-friendly apartments?
- Focus on marketing. Maybe your property already has a fenced-in yard. Or maybe it’s across the street from a nice dog park. Just make sure to market these features in your listings to attract pet owners.
- Find a partner. Is there a local pet store that already offers pet training or dog-walking services? Form a partnership with them and give them the opportunity to market to your tenants. And in turn, ask them to provide discounted rates on some of their services.
- Start small. Alright, the bone-shaped swimming pool might be a bit much to start. Focus on the simplest changes first. For example, do you have a small outdoor space? Lay down some lush sod and outfit the space with complimentary doggy bags, a trash can, and a water dish.
What’s your take? Do you allow pets at your properties? If not, would you consider changing your ways? Let us know what you think in the comments section!Read more on Resident Management