Skip to main content

Property Management Blog

Real Estates Investors: You're leaving thousands on the table by not accepting pets.

Mistake #3 - No Pets

Your no pet policy is costing you. Not accepting residents with pets is mistake #3 in our series of five mistakes that cost rental owners money.

I kept repeatedly running into some of the same issues, and they all dealt with pets. I had to turn away many good applicants because of our no pet policy. We would find unauthorized pets in our properties, and a no pet policy led to many pets becoming an ESA.

Our real problem is that our country loves pets. The pet industry in the U.S. is a 76.8 billion dollar industry. In 2020 alone, sales in the pet industry increased by 28%. Sales for the pet industry have more than doubled in the last ten years. All of this to say, there are a lot of pet owners in our country.

My role for my clients is to be their strategic partner. In 2020, as the world started melting down during COVID, I had to start looking at changes we might need to make if the market flipped upside down. We needed to broaden our pool of potential residents, and pet owners were the answer.

I started looking at everyone around me - my friends, family, and co-workers - and we realized that everyone we knew had a pet. I would deny them if they moved and needed a home because of our no pet policy. But these were the people we wanted as residents. They have good, stable jobs. They make good money. They're responsible. They take care of their homes. They're your ideal resident. And we were screening them out with a no pet policy.

With the help of some of the best in our industry from around the country, we developed a phenomenal pet program that's a win for everyone. Last year, we cut our average days on the market to 15.71 days and raised rates on properties that historically have never seen any rent growth.

But there is risk associated with accepting pets. The first and most crucial step is to make sure that you have objective rental criteria and that you're not trusting too much so that you get good, responsible residents. You must also develop a solid pet policy like you do for applicants. Our extensive program is designed to protect our property owners through damage guarantees, dog bite insurance, and legal documentation. We use a grading system to score pets and their owners based on their shot records, breed, and whether the dog has had training and habits. If it sounds like a lot, it is, but those are all things that most responsible pet owners have and already do. And we want those responsible residents.

We can't eliminate risks, but we can do our best to minimize them. Statistically speaking, we have very few issues with pets, but that comes with hard work. I could talk tons more about pets, but we'll save that for later videos.

If you have any questions about pets and how to handle them, contact me, and I'll be glad. 

Don't cost yourself the best residents by making mistake #3 and not accepting pets.