Did you know that nearly 70% of U.S. households own a pet? Being a property owner or manager in today’s rental environment means that you might want to think about becoming pet friendly, if you aren’t already.
Some owners take being pet friendly a step further and include pet amenities to make their properties unique and attractive to potential tenants. Here are four low-cost pet amenities you can add to stand out from the competition. And keep in mind that these amenities can be used by renters with emotional support animals and service animals. (Assistance animals don’t qualify as pets, because their owners have a right to keep them under the Fair Housing Act.)
Add a treat station
Just like humans, pets like to be treated to something special. Offering dog treats or pet toys in the lobby can be an easy way to make a good impression on the tenants while making their pets extremely happy. It’s a win-win and very affordable to the property owner. Don’t forget to add water bowls too!
Create pet play areas
Many of our furry friends have a lot of energy, and they need to get some exercise. Because of the increasing number of dog owners that are looking for apartments, communities that offer pet play areas are becoming more and more popular, especially in cold-weather cities. Some complexes build dog parks and agility courses to help set themselves apart.
Provide a dog wash station
It’s a fact: dogs get dirty. Adding a dog-washing station will help your residents clean their dogs. It will also help the property owner because you’ll be able to keep more dirt out of the units and prevent pet hair from clogging bathroom drains. All you really need is a hose, some pet soap and a stack of inexpensive towels! You can also consider a pet spa or dog bath station. There are even all-in-one models that shampoo, condition and blow dry pets. The works! They’re more expensive, but they show you’re serious about pet care.
In fact, having a dog-washing station might even benefit your non-pet owning residents. Residents who don’t own pets probably don’t want the sand or dirt from neighbors’ dogs messing up their walkways or the property as a whole. Not only is this a trendy choice, but it is handy and practical pet amenity for everyone.
Survey your community before installing a wash station. Find out if it’s even something your renters are interested in, even the ones who own pets. The 2022 NMHC Renter Preferences Survey shows only 38% of renters want this amenity. If the service is free per use and included as part of everyone’s rent, that arrangement might not go over well with pet-free renters. On the other hand, if the wash station is pay-per-use, it can stand as a convenient amenity to have on-hand, will generate profit over time and won’t be a financial burden to those without animals.
Offer doggie daycare
Have you ever been in the situation where you want to get away for the weekend, but can’t find a person to watch your pet? If you have onsite management, offering doggie daycare services for an extra fee could be mutually beneficial for you and your tenants.