Learn How You Can Be a Pet-Friendly Business
Pets have grown to be more than a fluffy companion that greets you after a long day at work; they’ve integrated into our societal fabric and often influence major household decisions, such as where to live. Over 67% of U.S. households report owning at least one pet, with 62% of Ohio households owning pets. This number is projected to grow, giving pet-friendly businesses more opportunities to capitalize on the booming pet industry. During the pandemic, revenue from pet products grew 63%. For property managers looking to house long-term tenants or vacationers, it’s important to know how to best serve this clientele and their furry companions.
Pet-Friendliness Can Bring Big Business
According to 2020 CoStar data, pet-friendliness ranks in the top three amenity searches across the U.S. and remains a competitive advantage for apartment communities, general rental properties, and vacation rentals alike. Bearing in mind the number of pet owners in the country, it’s fascinating to consider how many landlords and property owners limit their market by not allowing pets — especially given that pet owners are more likely to earn more money and spend that money on their pets. In 2020, there was an estimated $103.6 billion spent on pets, and projections for pet spending in 2021 sit around $109.6 billion.
Being pet-friendly can bring in more business by allowing shoppers with their pets inside with no judgment or concerns. Businesses like hotels, restaurants, brick-and-mortar stores, and even office buildings are reporting pawsitive upticks in business and productivity.
In Columbus, startups like Bark, which sells subscription boxes for dog toys, have designed their office not only for their human employees but also their employees’ pets. This might sound like a joke or even a PR stunt, but Bark has taken this very seriously. The office boasts:
- Indoor and outdoor play areas
- Custom-lined, impermeable membranes covering all furniture to prevent damage from any accidents that may happen during the day
- Bunk bed cubbies, which four-legged companions can share with their humans
“About 80 dogs actively come to the office,” Emily Muhl, Bark’s Vice President of Workplace Experience and People Operations. “We can have 40 to 50 in the office on a day sometimes, which is why it was critical to design with dogs first.”
More hard data will be available in the future, but we can say anecdotally that pet-friendly businesses are gaining more clients and profits by welcoming four-legged guests.
Pets and America
Americans clearly love their pets, and who can blame them? It’s no surprise so many of us long for the companionship that only a furry friend can provide. Pets are scientifically proven to make us happier and can even help us live longer. Studies have shown that having pets in the office can reduce workers’ stress, and can improve their focus and performance.
Millennials make up the majority of buyers and renters today and they’re also the largest pet-owning demographic. So, how can you fetch your slice of this lucrative paw-portunity? First, let’s review what makes pet-owning folks great long-term clients.
Ohio’s Pet-Friendly Business Potential
Cincinnati places in the top 20 U.S. cities with the most renters, highlighting the importance of being a pet-friendly business, whether your focus is apartment rentals, room-sharing rentals, retail, or hotels. Businesses in the Buckeye State that are pet-friendly can bring in more business, and the data can prove it.
Pet-friendly rentals cost more (roughly 16%) than non-pet-friendly housing, earning more for property owners and managers while providing a much-needed amenity to pet-pawsitive renters. Pet-friendly housing is also more attractive to potential renters. To cap it off, pet lovers are more likely to stay longer in one location, resulting in higher occupancy rates.
In urban environments like Cincinnati, it can be difficult for pet owners to find businesses that welcome their four-legged friends. Why not make it a little easier?
How to Be a Pet-Friendly Business
Welcoming all pets is good for business, regardless of breed or size. Renters often have trouble finding housing that welcomes their pets, with most rentals setting limits on the weight, breed, and number of pets in a unit. Restrictions like these turn away good business that can lead to lifetime clients. Being recognized as a pet-friendly business will help you stand out, and create buzz around your services, bringing in more clients. Try adding these easy pet-friendly services to your business:
- Keep water bowls out for thirsty pets
- Have a jar of treats ready for four-legged friends
- Make a sign that welcomes pets and their owners inside
As an agent, listening to your clients’ needs and their pets’ needs is important to get a balanced idea of what they’re looking for in a new home. Let your clients see your love for pets by being the information center on your community’s dog parks, vet offices, groomers, kennels, or even great pet watchers you know. Help them envision themselves enjoying their new property with their pet companion by their side.
Spring Into 2021 With the Best Ohio Real Estate Courses From The CE Shop
Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting your fellow residents with the home of their dreams. Or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to stay up to date on everything in Ohio? Join the Mid-Western Real Estate Facebook Group!