Marketing to and bringing in new tenants is a critical piece in the overall success of your rental property. Keeping existing tenants happy is also a major lifeline in your portfolio. What can you do as a landlord to make your rental property desirable for new tenants? Then, how do you keep them and existing tenants long-term and reduce your turnover rate?
These are possibly the most important, and at times most difficult to answer, questions for property owners and managers. Thankfully, you don’t have to leave it up to luck. There are specific steps you can take to appeal to and keep tenants, and there are beneficial, easy-to-use platforms such as OurPetPolicy to help you do so.
What makes a rental property desirable to tenants?
Studies show 75% of renters own at least one pet, and pet owners rent for an average of 8 months longer than non-pet-owners. This means allowing pets to live at your rental property is one way you can attract and keep long-term tenants. With that in mind, here are some specific policies and practices to consider if you want to take this step and allow pets at your rental property.
Make sure your property has the proper amenities. This includes grassy, clean outdoor areas, and easily accessible pet-waste management areas. A fenced-in area is not necessarily required for many complexes but can be a huge marketing boost if other properties do not have this feature. Regardless, having a designated pet area (or areas) outdoors for tenants with pets is extremely important, and having easy access to dispose of pet waste helps ensure that your property remains clean. When animals have the space to play, run, or “doo” their business they typically are happier and as a result, behave better.
Our blog post, “Five Ways to Keep your Landscape Looking Great When You Have Pet-Owning Tenants,” outlines some strategies you can use to have outdoor areas that are both practical for pet owners and still visually appealing and functional for non-pet-owners.
Next, develop a well-established pet policy. According to apartments.com, nine out of ten tenants with pets say the visibility of pet policies plays a role in their decision of where to live. Highlight some information about your pet policy in your listing(s) so it is easy for applicants to find. If it is unclear if your property allows pets or not, many pet owners will look elsewhere. Be descriptive and note any particulars of your pet policy so applicants know what to expect. Showing off pet area photos in the listing is a great strategy, too.
While a pet-friendly policy can make your property more desirable, it can often open the door to other potential issues. Cleanliness and noise may be issues that occur with pets on your property, so it is important that you or your staff are present, organized, and helpful. Having a manageable platform where tenants can report barking or other disruptive pet noises, unleashed pets in areas requiring leashes, and owners not cleaning up pet waste is an important part of keeping your tenants happy.
Additionally, outline rules and guidelines directly in the lease so pet owners are aware of their responsibilities and what you and the community expect of them and their animal companions. It will also help other tenants know what kind of behavior is unacceptable so they can report it to you. This ensures that your property runs smoothly and other tenants are not inconvenienced by pets.
How can OurPetPolicy help landlords make this happen?
OurPetPolicy offers a seamless solution for pet management that helps you process pet and assistance animal requests, save time and resources, and better track animal data on your property. OurPetPolicy has established a streamlined workflow and supporting services that provides your staff with better management capabilities, giving them more time to focus on customer service.
Besides noise and damage, another concern when allowing animals on your property is the proper handling of fraudulent emotional support animal (ESA) letters. Applicants will purchase fake ESA letters online to avoid paying pet fees and deposits or to force landlords into accepting their animals at a property that does not allow pets. OurPetPolicy has a bulletproof verification system for ESA letters so those residing on the property with pets and assistance animals are true policy-following tenants, not tenants looking for loopholes in the system. The multi-step verification process eliminates fraud and helps reduce the number of disgruntled tenants affected by those tenants finding loopholes for their untrained pets.
OurPetPolicy provides a community for tenants and property managers to connect about pet-related issues on site so they can be addressed quickly. We empower property owners by eliminating potential loopholes, providing simple screening processes, and setting transparent rules and expectations between property owners and their tenants. We work with attorneys around the country to ensure these are compliant with all state and federal laws.
Consider using OurPetPolicy as an efficient and effective way to streamline and improve the pet-renting experience for tenants and to better assist you and your property managers in the management of pets and assistance animals.