According to a 2023 study, nearly 66% of US households own at least one pet. (And that number continues to grow.) If your property has not yet converted to a pet-friendly community, you’re catering to an ever-growing minority of prospective tenants. The fact is, pet-friendly policies are good for business. Once a pet policy is in place, you can realize even higher profits from choosing the right software to manage it.
This article explores how pet management software can help your property earn additional revenue by properly screening and validating animals and establishing sound, profitable policies.
Converting ESAs to Recognized Pets with Pet Screening
Emotional support animals (ESAs) have become a common sight at many rental properties in the United States. It’s important, however, to distinguish between ESAs and regular pets. The former are not considered “pets” under the law; they serve as companions to individuals with emotional or psychological disabilities, providing comfort and support. As such, tenants cannot be charged pet-related fees for housing an ESA.
By utilizing pet management software, property managers can efficiently collect and verify documentation, including letters issued by mental health practitioners, to ensure that ESA claims are valid. Animals that do not pass ESA checks can then be converted into traditional pets, unlocking additional revenue. Additionally, by digitizing this process, landlords can ensure compliance with legal requirements, enabling them to confidently verify animals and welcome validated ESAs on property.
Establishing Profitable Pet Policies
Pet policies ideally provide clear guidelines and expectations for both tenants and property owners, helping ensure a safe and harmonious community and avoiding potential liabilities. If it doesn’t already, be sure your property’s policy includes specific items such as breed restrictions, pet size limits, and waste disposal rules. Policies should also outline specific fees and charges based on what’s right for your community. This can include deposits, application fees, and regular pet rent.
Pet management software can help streamline the enforcement of pet policies by providing a centralized platform for communication and documentation. Property owners can use this software to track pet-related information, communicate policy updates, and monitor compliance. Robust solutions also allow for the collection and management of pet-related fees, ensuring that they are properly documented and accounted for.
Streamlining the Transition Process
Converting ESAs to recognized pets can be a complex process due to legal regulations, documentation requirements, and potential tenant concerns. That’s why it’s important to leverage third-party solutions that can independently verify ESA documentation and determine whether an animal should be considered an ESA under established guidelines.
These automated processes reduce the need for manual paperwork and administrative tasks, allowing property managers to allocate their time and resources more effectively. Additionally, software-based solutions minimize the risk of compliance issues or legal disputes, potentially saving property owners from costly litigation or fines. And if an animal does not pass ESA checks, regular pet-related fees can then be collected, helping boost the bottom line.
Solutions such as OurPetPolicy can help property owners navigate these challenges by automating key steps. They can assist in collecting and verifying required documentation and facilitate communication between property managers, tenants, and support providers, ensuring that everyone is on the same page throughout the validation process.
Revenue Opportunities from Pet Policies
Not only can pet-friendly policies help attract a wider pool of applicants, but they can also serve as high-margin revenue streams. Ongoing collection of monthly pet rent or pet-associated charges can guarantee regular income on top of rent payments. Many properties also cater to pet owners with services such as pet grooming or pet sitting, providing even more revenue while delighting existing tenants. Collecting pet deposits at the onset of a pet application can also serve to offset costs related to pet damage or destruction of property.
To help collect and manage pet-associated charges, many landlords turn to pet management software. These applications offer a comprehensive toolkit that allows for the automated collection of pet deposits, pet rent, and charges for additional services, ensuring timely payments and accurate records.
This robust automation and organization not only helps your property teams stay organized, but it can also help to minimize the risk of missed payments or tenant disputes. OurPetPolicy even goes a step further by assuming liability for all ESA approvals.
If you’re exploring a pet-friendly policy or need a new solution to manage one, now’s the time to consider the benefits of pet management software. Although these programs are not free, the ROI is clear. Between streamlining paperwork, managing the collection of pet fees, and helping to convert ESAs into recognized pets, these programs can help you better manage your pet programs and boost your property’s bottom line.
The demand for pet-friendly rentals continues to boom. Don’t let your property get left behind in outdated systems and processes. Tools such as OurPetPolicy can help you stay organized, increase tenant satisfaction, and realize increased profits. Click here to get started today!