Investors Find Pet-Friendly Properties More Profitable

February 25, 2020

Today, American households are more likely to include pets than children under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey. The share of households with kids stands at 27%, while the share of households with pets is at 68%. As a result, investors in residential real estate are targeting this large demographic of pet owners by making their rental properties more appealing and pet-friendly.

Pet-friendly rentals can also increase investors’ profits, suggests a study conducted by FIREPAW Inc., an animal welfare nonprofit research firm. Also, vacancy rates for rentals that allow pets tend to be lower than those that don’t allow pets. Furthermore, landlords spent less than half as much money on advertising their pet-friendly units, and were able to increase their profit by charging separate pet deposits.

This has made more investors want to make their properties appeal to pet-owning tenants. So, they’re taking on a variety of upgrades, such as swapping out carpet for ceramic tile, using pet-safe lawn products, and adding features like cat and dog doors or adjustable shower heads to bathe pets.

Pets also appear to be heavily on the minds of home shoppers. A survey by realtor.com® showed that 87% of home buyers with pets say they take their pets’ needs into account when searching for a home.

“To target the pet parents themselves, investors can provide information about local services such as pet sitters and dog walkers, plus leave pet-centric gifts such as toys and treats upon move-in,” Christopher Long, founder and chief executive at Radius Realty, wrote in a column for Forbes.com.

Certainly, damage to a property from pets is a chief concern among landlords. The FIREPAW study, however, found that tenants with pets tended to cause less damage than tenants with children. Further, even the worst of damages caused by pets tended to be “far less than the average rent or the average pet deposit,” the report notes.

Source: 
Is Residential Real Estate Going to the Dogs?” Forbes.com (Feb. 24, 2020)