by Mike Shytle
They say that it’s all in the amenities. However, certain amenities have a more profound impact than others.
And while the traditional amenities you would think are important to prospects and residents may still be on their list, it’s the pet-related amenities that are becoming increasingly more of a necessity.
According to the 2020 Pet Policies and Amenities in Multifamily report by PetScreening and J Turner Research, pet owners said that where they choose to live is significantly based upon the types of pet amenities that a community offers its residents.
When pet-owning residents, or those intending to get a pet within the next year, were asked on a scale from 0 to 10 how important pet-related amenities are when considering renewing a lease or moving into a community, the average rating was an impressive 7.11 out of 10.
Knowing that pet-related amenities are so important to a resident’s decision when choosing to renew their lease or to a prospect who is considering moving-in, it’s critical that apartment communities have the pet-related features that truly matter to renters.
While many operators might fear that introducing such amenities in their community will be expensive, that isn’t the case with the three most desired pet-related features.
The three most-desired pet-related amenities found in the survey, which features the feedback of more than 22,000 apartment residents, were:
Pet-waste Stations: These came in at number one with 65% of respondents saying this was a top amenity for them.
A fully stocked waste station will ensure that, other than the actions of an irresponsible pet owner, there will be no reason for unattended pet waste.
Onsite Pet Parks: This amenity ranked second but almost tying number one in importance, with 64% of those surveyed considering them to be crucial when seeking a pet-friendly home.
Dog owners appreciate having a dedicated area to play with their pets. Additionally, by making a portion of the animal park shaded, it will be comfortable any time of the year, stretching your investment even further.
Onsite Dog Run: Finally, the third-most important amenity, cited by 45% of respondents, was a community dog run that residents can easily access.
A dog run provides a much needed outlet for pets to expel their energy, making for a more tranquil environment for all residents once those animals get some exercise. A dog who can run freely for a bit will be better behaved around the community, and every resident takes delight in that.
Based upon the results, it’s not the over-the-top, experiential amenities such as onsite pet grooming spas and concierge dog walking services residents want most. It’s physical, convenience-based pet amenities that will help differentiate a community from others for both new and current residents who own a pet. Communities can set themselves apart by adding cost-effective amenities, or simply by updating existing pet amenities around their community.
The most important thing to remember is that less is more. By investing in a few pet-related amenities, operators will appeal to a broader audience as opposed to trying to implement an array of amenities that many residents may not even utilize.
Pet owner or not, communities that welcome pets and that cultivate a friendly environment for all residents have a broader appeal.
One key way to create a pet-friendly environment is through the amenities. It does not have to break the bank and can be kept simple. And when the right pet-related amenities exist in a community, responsible pet ownership and happier residents will follow suit and will create the financial impact that any operator will be pleased to see.