Wooing Pet Lovers With Pet Amenities
More and more luxury apartment developers are providing innovative spaces for animal lovers. Carey Armstrong, director of rentals at Zillow.com, confirms, "There's a bit of an arms race going on among apartment buildings as to who can provide the most and the coolest pet amenities." Among the more creative amenities being offered are outdoor dog runs, pet washing stations, full-service pet spas, and places to walk one's dog indoors. Some urban communities are even offering canine agility courses for those residents who didn't think they could own a truly active dog in the city. All of Greystar's 750 apartment communities nationwide cater to pet owners. Most have a room to wash and groom dogs, while some even have rooftop dog walks. The company brings in pet trainers to work with residents and holds frequent pet events, including "yappy hours" where residents and their animals get to mix and mingle. Kevin Sheehan, managing director of real estate at Greystar, explains, "This gives us a distinct competitive advantage. We highlight this on our website and make it part of the leasing presentation."
To be sure, there are restrictions on the breed and size of the dog at some of the apartment communities Greystar manages. In addition, residents with a pet pay an additional $30 to $50 a month. Of course, it was not that long ago that most apartment owners and managers didn't allow pets, especially dogs, on the premises due to concerns about possible damage and the added liability. Studies have shown, though, that Americans are spending more time and money on their furry companions than ever before. The apartment sector is merely adapting to accommodate this trend.
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