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Embrace Your Pet Residents

Pet Residents
September 2018

With roughly two-thirds of your resident owning pets, animal retention policies are critical.

When Patrick Stanton realized that 70 percent of the residents at The Bernardin, a 200-apartment home luxury property in Chicago’s Gold Coast, were pet parents, he knew the time had come to expand the property’s pet amenities and services.

Stanton and The Bernardin aren’t the only ones in the rental housing industry arriving at this realization. According to a 2017 RentPath study, 66 percent of renters are pet owners, with “pet-friendly” ranking as one of the most-often searched amenity terms.

Stanton took over as Senior Sales Manager at the Bernardin, which is managed by Village Green, in early 2018. At that time the community already offered a covered dog walk, but as a pet parent himself, Stanton wanted to do more to better serve all of the community’s human and furry residents. In all, about 70 dogs live at the community.

“There was a clear opportunity to offer additional services to pet parents,” said Stanton. “With The Bernardin close to 100 percent occupied, we saw implementing new services geared toward our furry residents not as a competitive advantage but as a way to further build a sense of community.”

Shortly after arriving at the community, Stanton and his team evaluated ways they could expand their pet-friendly amenities. One such opportunity quickly arose through the property’s custom-branded mobile app from Mobile Doorman which partners with Rover, a provider of pet sitters and dog walkers, which connects dog owners with trusted pet care whenever they need it.

The partnership offers Bernardin residents and their pets access to exclusive perks, discounts and promotions.

“While a lot of our residents already have a trusted dog walker or pet sitter, we believe this partnership will offer our residents accessibility to a broader breadth of services designed to make their lives easier,” said Stanton. “It’s an extension of our customer service and our ability to create a sense of community that compels our residents to want to stay. I believe it will help improve our resident retention.”

Another feature Stanton has taken advantage of via the custom-branded mobile app is the ability to create a Pet of the Month. Each pet is personally selected by Stanton and his team and receives a custom-made gift basket with food, toys and other selected items from Bentley’s Pet Stuff – a local shop geared towards natural pet care. Every month, Stanton posts the featured Pet of the Month on the mobile app.

“Pets are obviously a huge part of the community at The Bernardin, so it’s important we celebrate that,” Stanton says. “Pet parents are just as proud of their pets as parents are of their children. Access to services like Rover and the ability to highlight pets via the Pet of the Month are simple but impactful ways for us to help create a sense of home and further celebrate our furry residents.” -- LTM