“Pet friendly” is more than a feel-good label to stick on your vacation rental listing; it’s a strategy for increasing income. Pet-friendly rentals attract more guests, who are willing to pay more money. But pets create worries for rental owners, too. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
1. More Guests
Going pet-friendly can increase the number of guests who choose your cabin. Currently, 69 million households in the United States own dogs and 45 million cats. Pets increasingly join owners on vacation, too: About 78 percent of Americans who own pets travel with them. These vacationers want to stay where they know their animals will be welcome.
2. Higher Revenues
Research shows that pet-friendly properties have lower vacancy rates and are, on average, 16 percent more expensive than rentals that ban pets, according to iGMS. You can raise your nightly rate and charge a separate, nonrefundable “pet fee” if you choose, and most pet fees are between $10 and $50 a night.
3. Good Reviews
Pet owners will let friends know about the cabin that welcomed their animals. And they’ll leave online reviews telling others how your cabin was a hit with furry family members.
4. Competitive Advantage
Pet lovers plug “pet friendly” into their online searches and won’t even see listings for cabins that don’t allow pets. Being pet-friendly makes your rental more visible.
Damage is the No. 1 concern. Owners can picture everything that could go wrong, from a cat clawing a window screen to a dog chewing furniture.
Ease your worries by adding a pet deposit, a charge you return to guests when you confirm your cabin is undamaged. Furnish your cabin with stain-resistant furniture. Stipulate that your rental only allows dogs below a certain weight, so your guests don’t bring large dogs that might cause more wear and tear.
2. Cleaning Costs
Housekeepers might charge more for cleaning between guests. Even the best-behaved animals can shed fur and dander, which creates extra work for cleaners.
3. Potential Liability
Does the property owner have any liability if a dog dashes out and bites a neighbor? If a pet damages your cabin, does insurance cover it when it isn’t the owners? Consult with your insurer and property manager about how to protect yourself.
Is a pet-friendly policy the best choice for your investment property? Let us help you decide. Contact Colonial Properties Cabin & Resort Rentals today to find out more!