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Pets and Ancillary Revenue

Pets and Ancillary Revenue

The global pandemic has created a battery of operational crises in the apartment world. Like many industries, multifamily professionals are vetting solutions designed to mitigate loss rather than generate revenue. 

Most apartment communities have paused renewal increases to current residents, which significantly impacts planned budgeting and revenue goals. But one way apartment operators can recover lost income is through ancillary revenue.

Pets create several opportunities for this auxiliary form of revenue, particularly with pet ownership and pet fostering experiencing a significant uptick during the pandemic. Pets are recession-proof, according to a recent article by Entrepreneur outlining the recent rise in pet ownership. Pet rent, pet amenities and concierge pet services are among the ways operators can drive ancillary revenue in hopes of recovering some lost income. 

Here is a closer look at each: 

Pet rent

Good fees and bad fees exist in the apartment world. Pet rent falls into the former category. Residents never want to feel nickeled and dimed by extraneous charges such as a monthly pool-cleaning fee and a charge for the onsite tanning bed that nobody uses. Pet rent, however, is a reasonable expectation and pet owners typically have no problems paying a little extra to have their furry friends in their home. 

While most apartment communities already charge pet rent, they could increase the intake by modifying limits of pets per apartment home. According to data from the Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative, a research and resource development initiative that promotes access to the joy of pets, 33% of pet owners in restricted pet-friendly housing said they would get another pet if restrictions were lifted.

Pet amenities

Many amenities spaces are shut down or limited due to the pandemic. And more and more communities have multipurpose amenity spaces that can be transformed to various social spaces. With pets one of the everyday remaining forms of joy during the pandemic, communities could consider repurposing some of their dormant amenity spaces into pet-play areas. 

Even if the community already has a dog park, dog runs, pet-wash stations and similar pet-centric spaces are very attractive to pet owners. While instituting new fees to existing residents might not be feasible at the moment, boosted pet amenities make communities attractive to pet-owning prospects, many of which would pay a stipend for a better pet experience. 

Concierge pet services

Pet lovers often will pamper their animals to no end whenever the opportunity arises. Granted, some pet concierge services might be relegated to more contemporary apartment communities. But with many pet owners at home more than ever in 2020, onsite pet services have increased value. 

Whether it’s walking, pet sitting, grooming or anything else pet-related, the ability for residents to access the service from onsite carries immense appeal in the era of social distancing. The best thing about these type of services is that they are elective. They represent something a pet owner can opt for on a per-visit basis as opposed to a service that requires a monthly fee. 

As the multifamily industry clamors to endure during the pandemic, every little bit helps. Operators have an ancillary revenue source already within their walls—pets—and can consider expanding their pet reach in an effort to generate auxiliary revenue.

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