Connecticut Real Estate Agents Can Capitalize on Pet Pawfits
Pets have become staples in most American homes with 67% of U.S. households owning pets. In Connecticut, about 50% of households own a pet, which is lower than rates found in the top ten states for pet ownership but understandable given the Nutmeg State’s more urban landscape. For business owners seeking a competitive advantage, being pet-friendly can bring in some big profits.
Pets and America
Americans 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.
As mentioned above, well over half of U.S. households own at least one pet with most people owning dogs (63.4 million households), though cats are a close second (42.7 million households).
Millennials make up the majority of renters today and are also the largest pet-owning demographic. So, how can you fetch your slice of this lucrative paw-portunity?
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.
Brian Harris, general manager of Kimpton’s Hotel says about 10% of his guests bring their pets. “Most pet owners consider their pets as part of their family, like their kids. They want to be able to travel with them and not being able to accommodate those guests would definitely affect our business.”
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.
Connecticut, Pets, and Renting
New Haven has the most renters of any city in the country, thanks in part to its proximity to the nearby University of New Haven. Cities like New Haven have an incredible opportunity to meet the needs of pet owners looking to rent. 72% of renters in the U.S. own pets, which is great news for those looking to rent out property in Connecticut.
Outside of renting to young professionals and college students, Connecticut’s shoreline attracts thousands of tourists annually, which brought in nearly $15.5 billion in 2019. The opportunity is there to cash in on pet-loving clients — now it just needs to be met.
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.
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