Apartment Owners Craft Amenities for Dog Owners
Digested from Bisnow
Apartment owners can gain occupancy and boost income by catering to pets.
Apartment developers and managers should not see their residents’ dog as pets. They need to view them as extended family members, writes Bisnow’s Kyle Hagerty.
“The number of households owning at least one pet jumped 35 percent during the past decade to 74.1 million, according to the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, published by the American Veterinary Medical Association,” Hagerty writes. “Dogs are America’s favorite pet, with 43.3 million households owning one, and dog ownership is surging among singles and renters.”
For many years, the apartment industry prohibited pets and residents often snuck them into buildings. During the 90s, things changed and apartment operators began accepting them. Now, AMLI Management CEO Steve Hallsey, says being pet-friendly can net you at least 200 basis points in occupancy, according to Multifamily Executive. In the process, pet-friendly apartments can often earn a nonrefundable deposit between $250 and $500, pet rent of $25 to $50 and a pet-floor premium of $25 to $35.
But apartment owners are going further than just being pet friendly. They are courting pet owners by offering pet-friendly amenities such as grooming stations, spas and boarding.
“Dog City, a proprietary program offering daycare, training, vets and grooming, has been a huge hit at Abington House and MiMA in New York,” Hagerty writes. “Members pay a $250 annual membership fee plus monthly add-ons ranging from $40 [for self-service use of the facilities in the off-hours] to $750 [daily daycare with walks and report cards written by handlers, plus an ear wash and ‘pawdicure’].
The best part? These pet services are often offered by separate businesses, meaning an apartment manager does not need to devote staff resources for pets. And many of today’s pet amenities, such as dog runs and parks, are cheaper and more flexible, which allows developers to be more space-conscious and often design dog-friendly areas in parking garages or on roofs.