As a Property Manager or Host, you probably wonder a few times a year whether or not you should convert your Airbnb Unit to a pet-friendly accommodation. You possibly even struggle to get your head wrapped around the facts and figures of how successful a venture this might be.
You’re not alone.
To put things in perspective, a recent Airbnb study found that the ‘Allows Pets’ filter has increased by 65% and that searches for gardens and backyards have leaped by 343%, and ‘pet-friendly has become the most-searched-for amenity by guests so far this year.
Having said that, before converting your regular property to a pet-friendly accommodation and marketing your rental as a pet allowing accommodation, you should essentially weigh the pros and cons of your decision to get optimal results. For instance, if you choose to allow pets, it goes without saying that you’d have to be prepared to deal with any accidents or messes that could affect your property.
If you are allergic or don’t have much experience with animals, you might want to consider if the additional stress is worthwhile. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether the benefits of allowing pets are worth the extra effort on your part.
On the other hand, should you consider this conversion, this article will focus on some of the key benefits and marketing tactics of a Pet-Friendly Airbnb Unit.
When you decide to make your vacation rental pet-friendly, you expand your marketing appeal to a wider audience to attract more guests, directly impacting your occupancy rates. The larger the audience, the bigger your chances of filling up your Airbnb calendar.
By describing your Airbnb Unit as “pet-friendly”, you also open doors to a niche market different from average travelers. For example, we could assume that the majority of guests with pets are likely domestic travelers who do not air travel. Whilst there may be the occasional single traveler with a pet, usually, those with pets are families or large groups, the benefit of which, will reflect on your revenue.
Guests with pets are willing to pay more to be able to accommodate their pets; hence, rentals that allow pets are in a position to charge a higher nightly rate than regular rentals.
Pet-friendly owners charged a rent premium between 20% and 30% of the average rent. In other words, pet-friendly owners charged $222 more on average on a $1,070 apartment than their competitors allowing them to generate extra streams of income for their rental property.
By increasing your nightly rate, you can drastically improve your vacatiuon rental revenue growth.
If you are not comfortable increasing your rent, you could instead opt for a “pet fee” you could charge as a maintenance fee or a cleaning up fee after your property has been vacated by the guest.
When guests are allowed to bring their furry friends along, the staycation becomes more special and memorable; thereby prominently improving the overall guest experience.
Meanwhile, guests that enjoy their stay are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend your property to other guests traveling with pets, which again will reflect in your bottom line.
Pet-Friendly Airbnb Units also give you a competitive advantage over your other counterparts. Airbnb’s filter which enables users to tailor their search results for pet-friendly listings will give you the edge online. By switching this filter on, you’ll be competing against fewer rentals and opening doors to more bookings.
Take advantage of the fact that although pet-friendliness is among the top desired amenities among guests, less than 3% of Airbnb rentals are pet-friendly in any given market.
Now that you have a more comprehensive outlook on the advantages and disadvantages (quite honestly, more advantages in this case), let’s look at how you could market your property as a “Pet-Friendly Rental” to place yourself in a more profitable position than your peers.
Possibly the most important action is to let guests know that you have a pet-friendly Airbnb by updating your listing. Opt for the “pets allowed” feature under your listing settings to allow your Airbnb to get more visibility as pet-friendly accommodation.
You must update your description to include your pet policies so your guests are not in the dark about what you allow and what you don’t. For instance, you may allow cats but not dogs, or you may have a limit on how many dogs a guest is allowed to bring, etc.
Your description stating this information up front will save your guests time, prevent any misunderstandings/complaints, and make your listing more popular.
Further, you could include pets in some of your featured property photos to indicate the type of pets you welcome.
Don’t also forget to incorporate the phrase “Pet-Friendly" in the title of your listing.
Your house rules must ideally indicate even minor details and regulations relating to pets in your rental like where pets are allowed and not, instructions for cleaning up after pets, whether it’s okay (or not) to leave the pet unattended in your space, etc to avoid any miscommunication.
Pro Tip: Save time by updating your house rules across multiple listings at once from your listings page.
Nothing would excite a pet owner more than knowing that a lot of thought has gone into accommodating their pet. Include information like recommendations for dog parks, local veterinarians, pet stores, pet-sitting services, doggie daycares, or nearby kennels that could benefit your clientele.
Thoughtfully prepare your space and update your listing to include what value additions you offer for pets.
For instance, if pets are allowed in your space, it’s helpful to provide: