If you’ve ever owned a pet, you know how important they can become in your life. American writer Caroline Knapp summed up pet ownership as “before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.” Everyone from famous celebrities to noteworthy politicians has indicated pet ownership – and an overwhelming amount of pet owners (91% in one study) consider their pet to be a member of the family. With National ‘Love your Pet’ Day on Tuesday, February 20th, this might be the best time to show your resident’s pets a little love. After all, a happier pet makes for happier renters.
According to the American Pet Products Association pet ownership is high, with 68% of U.S. households (about 84.6 million homes) owning a pet – 60.2 million owning dogs and 47.1 million owning cats. Pet expenditures have consistently risen—from $55.72 billion in 2013 to an estimated $69.36 billion in 2017 – showing an overall willingness of pet owners to spend more on their pet if they have to. If your rental property is taking advantage of the overwhelming need for pet-friendly rental housing by marketing to pet owning applicants, then celebrating this national day might gain you few bonus points with your community.
Not sure how to celebrate National ‘Love your Pet’ Day in your community? Here are a few ideas and a free downloadable infographic to get you started:
1. Boost your Relationship with your Pet Owning Residents
If your rental community is overwhelmingly pet-friendly, you might want to keep some pet treats at your leasing office. While you can certainly give out free cat and dog treats on National ‘Love your Pet’ day, you can also do this year-round. Not only is it a great promotion during the holidays, but it can be an instant relationship booster with new move-ins and dog-walking renters. Small pet toys like balls and laser pointers can also be a good substitute if you want to mix things up.
2. Enable Residents to Divert Pet Poop Emergencies
Let’s face it – pet poop can quickly decrease the value of a rental property. To encourage renters to make sure they maintain their pet’s litterbox and the grassy areas on the property, keep one or two emergency pet supplies at your office. If you don’t have dog poop bag dispensers scattered across your community, consider keeping a roll of free dog poop bags in your office. Offering up a super-strength, pet odor eliminating carpet cleaner can also help divert emergencies. It can also encourage your residents to purchase emergency supplies that you know will work.
3. Get Some Extra Pet-Related PR
If your social media channels need a boost in engagement, consider throwing a pet-themed raffle. Encourage your residents to tag your rental property’s social media handles in their pet pictures (or post directly on your Facebook page). Whether you determine the winner randomly or based on the amount of likes the resident’s picture got, this contest is an easy way to engage with your renters more, potentially boost your social media channel’s follower and like count, and attract new pet-loving rental applicants.
4. Use Our ‘Pet Facts and Stats’ Infographic
If you’re too busy to plan out an event or contest, download our ‘Pet Facts and Stats’ Infographic for free! You can easily share this on your social media pages or post it near pet-areas like near doggy wash bins or next to your dog poop bag stations. While this is a small gesture, it’s a step in the right direction to showing your residents you appreciate them and their furry friends.
With approximately 3.2 million shelter animals adopted each year and a low estimate of more than 4,000 service dogs in the U.S. (study by UC Davis in 2013-2014), you’re going to see pets on your property in one way or another. In light of National ‘Love your Pet’ Day, take the time to show a little love towards your pet-owning residents. Your rental property will reap the benefits in the long run.
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