By now it's no secret that being pet-friendly is crucial to attracting today's renters. According to a recent study by apartment operator Cortland, 82% of Gen Z apartment renters say having a dog influences the decisions they make related to housing.
Many operators have responded by modifying their policies to become exceedingly pet-friendly, including easing restrictions, offering pet-fee incentives and bolstering their properties’ pet amenities and services. They can take it one step further by prominently featuring their pet-centric initiatives in their marketing efforts.
For instance, if the property partners with a local shelter or veterinarian, teams should not be shy to include it in their online materials about the community. The Cortland survey indicated that 70% of respondents are more likely to do business with a company that openly supports dog causes and charities, so including any such efforts in marketing materials can help sway these potential renters.
That is not the only way, naturally, to effectively include pets in marketing efforts. Here are a few additional ideas:
While social media is a useful and sometimes entertaining tool for existing residents, prospective residents often peruse these outlets as well. When these prospects observe pets and their owners regularly featured on these channels, it could help sway them to live there. It’s a chance for their Newfoundland, Chad, to have his turn in the spotlight. It conveys a decidedly pet-friendly vibe, as well.
A current debate in the industry is whether it’s better to display photos of amenities with or without people on community websites. While the trend had moved to including people, as to showcase the lifestyle and living experience, it is pulling back to some degree, as many are opting to display clean spaces. That debate can rage on, but properties can also augment their online photos by including their pet amenities and pet residents. It’s another way prospective pet-owning residents can envision themselves and their furry friends in the space.
A common complaint is that properties often bury their pet policies on community websites. That alone can be the difference between a renter taking a deeper look at the community or moving on. Pet policies should be comprehensive, clearly stated and easy to find online. Inaccessible pet policies force the prospect to interrupt the online search and contact the community—if they are willing to do that without moving along. It also forces onsite teams to interrupt their daily tasks to provide answers that should be readily available.
Whether it’s the dog park, pet wash, grooming station, relief area or obstacle course for the next pet Olympics, properties should make sure the spaces are part of the tour process. Whether the tour is a traditional guided walk of the property, remote tour, virtual tour or any other type, any pet amenities or relevant onsite facilities should be included. It’s yet another way to communicate that a prospective resident’s pet will be happy there.
While showcasing pets, owners and spaces in marketing materials can provide a boost in attracting pet-owning residents, properties will also have to make sure they follow through and deliver the experience they are touting. According to the Cortland study, 70% of Gen Z dog-owning renters say they would consider moving if they could tell their dog was unhappy.