As a property manager, welcoming pets into your community could just be the business boost you’ve been looking for. Over three quarters of renters own pets, and making your community open to four-legged family members could encourage this segment of the population to start calling your property home. If you’ve been considering adding pet-parents to your list of potential future tenants, or are ready to make the switch, check out our top four implementation tips below.
When making the switch to a pet-friendly community, establishing ground rules is a must, but be mindful of the types of guidelines you institute. Pet policies should promote good habits for both pets and pet parents, as well as encourage the protection of your property. These policies should also be reasonably easy to follow, so if you’ve established a pick up policy (which you undoubtedly should), make sure there are plenty of DOGIPOT® Pet Stations, pet waste receptacles and litter pick up bags available in or around dog-walking areas.
It’s also important to know where to draw the line when establishing new rules, recognizing what you are asking of your current and future residents. For example, pet policies that require devocalization or declawing are not only far too extreme, they are also considered inhumane by many pet owners.
When it comes to pet policies, there’s no such thing as being “grandfathered in” and exceptions should be scarce, if not non-existent. Make sure your tenants are crystal clear on your expectations of them and how they will treat your property if they are bringing a pet into the equation, as well as what kind of repercussions they will face for failing to uphold your policies. If or when the time comes to enforce your policies, be sure you are treating all tenants the same and avoid sending mixed messages by opting for selective administration.
Most pet owners will understand the need for a reasonable pet fee or deposit when choosing your apartment community as a new home for them and their pups. However, an excessive or unreasonable amount can seriously discourage potentially good tenants from completing an application, or even considering your community. Do your research and ensure you’re requesting a fair, affordable, data-driven fee and/or a fully refundable deposit to maintain your property looking great for two- and four-legged residents.
We think this goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyways. If you’ve recently made the switch to being a pet-friendly community (or will soon welcome pets), make it known! This is a great way to attract good tenants and pet-loving families, and can go a long way in your advertising and marketing efforts.
Do you manage a pet-friendly property? Have any tips on how to make a community more welcoming to animals? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook!