Pet Owners and Savvy Real Estate Agents in Oregon Rejoice
Approximately 85 million American families own a pet, and it’s no wonder why. Pets are scientifically proven to make us happier and can even help us live longer. On a more local level, more than half of Oregon households include at least one pet.
With such a prevalent penchant for pets, it’s no wonder that owners across the country seek out the very best for their four-legged friends. As it turns out, a survey completed by SafeWise ranked Oregon the fourth most pet-friendly state in the nation. Here’s what sets the Beaver State apart and how Oregon’s pet population affects your real estate practice.
A staggering 72% of pets are surrendered to shelters because their owners are unable to house them. So, in determining the most pet-friendly states, SafeWise allotted a sizable 30% of the score to the number and availability of pet-friendly rentals. Oregon ranks in the middle of the pack, with roughly 20% of rentals allowing pets, although breed restrictions and weight limits may apply. Pet owners can also expect to pay roughly 16% more to house their furry (or feathered) friends compared to renters without pets.
If you’re a property manager or real estate agent, this provides a great pawportunity. Welcoming all pets, regardless of breed or size, is good for business. Renters often have trouble finding housing that welcomes their pets, and restrictions like these turn away potential long-term clients. Pet-friendly policies differentiate you from the competition and, with the higher sticker price, could mean higher earnings for property owners and managers. The kicker? Pet-friendly housing is more attractive to potential renters, with over 4% of clients choosing a pet-friendly rental over a comparable non-pet-friendly rental. Pet lovers are also more likely to stay longer in one location, resulting in higher overall occupancy rates.
Agents can throw pet lovers a bone, too. When it comes to house hunting, nearly 95% of homebuyers actually consider the wants and needs of their pets. Sell clients on the space afforded by a house, the fenced-in yard, or, if your listing happens to be a pet lover's dream, the dedicated dog wash. Plus, owning a home means no security deposit, breed restrictions, or limit on the number of pets your client can adopt! For many Oregon pet lovers, purchasing a home may be a no-brainer. You can help them scratch that itch.
SafeWise also allotted 20% of the score to a state’s pet population. A lofty 59% of Oregon households contain at least one pet, with 37% opting for dogs and 30% favoring cats. While those figures place Oregon slightly below the national average pet population, this category is about much more than the numbers. SafeWise considered how welcoming neighbors and local businesses might be as well as the likelihood of available pet-friendly provisions. The Beaver State offers plenty of dog-friendly shopping, restaurants, and hotels. Plus, with a plethora of dog parks and high walk scores, Oregon’s pet population enjoys a higher standard of living, bumping the state up in the rankings.
The fact that nearly 60% of Oregonians own a pet is powerful for real estate agents. Knowing your local market like the back of your paw can help steer clients to the right home and close the sale that much sooner. Plus, that sizable chunk of pet-owning buyers are sure to wag their tails with appreciation at your pet-focused local market expertise.
SafeWise allotted the remaining 50% of scores to various laws concerning pet health and wellbeing. 10% came from animal-left-in-car laws, which help mitigate danger due to heat and lack of ventilation, food, and water. In 2017, Oregon was the 11th state to enact a “Good Samaritan Law,” expanding protections for dogs in locked cars.
Another 10% of the state’s score came from veterinary reporting requirement law, where veterinary professionals are required or encouraged to report signs of abuse and cruelty. In Oregon, professionals are required by law to report animal abuse as punishable by fine.
Another 10% comes from tether laws, which dictate that an animal cannot be tethered or chained to a stationary object for unreasonably long periods, in severe weather, or with painful collars. Oregon has successfully outlawed tethering for more than 10 hours a day on a chain or more than 15 hours a day on a runner.
A sizable 15% of the score came from the presence of anti-cruelty laws, particularly “possession bans,” which ban or seriously restrict future animal ownership or possession by anyone convicted of animal cruelty. Oregon is one of 38 states that has successfully enacted a possession ban in the hope of mitigating further animal cruelty and mistreatment.
Finally, 5% of each state’s score came from animal fighting paraphernalia law. These regulations ban any equipment used in animal fighting, including blades, breaking sticks, and some treadmills. In Oregon, possessing dog fighting paraphernalia is designated as a Class C felony.
Basically, the Beaver State checks all the legal boxes. This could be a major selling point if you have clients that are waffling between Oregon and another state. For example, states like Utah and Montana have no specific laws to address puppy mills, and Idaho still allows those convicted of animal abuse to possess pets. Oregon’s dedication to animal health and wellbeing through legislature sets it apart from many nearby states, and just goes to show why pet-owners should sit, stay, and roll over right here.
Pets and Real Estate
So, how does this animal-focused info apply to your real estate practice? As it turns out, there’s much more to pet-friendly real estate than just yapping. Catering to the majority of Oregon homeseekers who happen to have pets and being recognized as a pet-friendly business will help you stand out and create buzz around your services. In addition to showing listings or rental properties that allow pets, try adding these easy pet-friendly perks 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.
- Consider a pet-friendly closing gift.
As a real estate professional, listening to your clients’ needs, including those of their pets, is critical in getting them into the right home. You can also illustrate your love for pets by being an information hub when it comes to your community’s dog parks, vet offices, groomers, kennels, and boarders. Help them paint the picture of enjoying their new property with their furry friend by their side, and you’re sure to be the top dog!
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