For property management companies, it is no longer enough to tolerate pets in their buildings.  Offering amenities for pet owners is growing in popularity and importance, so much so that pet owners may even be asking rental agents questions about how pet-friendly their buildings actually are.

As tenant demographics continue to evolve, being pet-friendly will become even more important in meeting the needs of prospective tenants.  Millennials [aged 18-34] now make up the vast majority of tenants in the urban core.  In fact, they now own more pets than any other demographic group– even more than Boomers, the group you might think would own the most pets.  Like all pet owners, Millennials also tend to view their pets as part of their family and don’t think twice about spending a lot on their pets.

There are potential cost benefits to keeping both owners and their pets happy.  For one thing, research shows that tenants with pets tend to stay longer in their apartments.  Tenants with pets tend to require less attention from building staff and that can mean less staff turnover and the accompanying training and recruitment costs.

But most importantly, being pet-friendly means that you will not be turning away pet owners who are looking for amenities for their pets. In other words, you will have a larger tenant pool to draw from.  This is especially important as new condos and new purpose-built rental buildings offer more and more pet amenities.

What are some of these pet amenities?

Events that bring together residents and their dogs such as the Dog Days of Summer event at 59 Isabella Street in Toronto or the Pooch Party at 88 Erskine Avenue in Toronto.

Erskine - Pooch Party LR.jpg

 

Or what about profiling pets on the landlord’s web site as a way of building communities?Screenshot 2016-03-14 13.45.07

 

At 45 Dunfield Avenue in Toronto, residents were invited to bring their pets downstairs for a complimentary professional photo session just in time for holiday cards.

Shiplake - Torontonian Pet Portraits LR

 

For new builds, here’s a dog wash station that residents will love:

Coin operated Dog Wash Station

Making pets feel welcome in rental communities can be as simple as having a jar of treats in the management office or at the Concierge Desk, or using an ice-melt product instead of rock salt on your pathways in winter. It will make your property stand out from the competition and widen your potential tenant base.