A recent survey by American Pet Products Association has shown that 68% of American households own at least one pet. While that percentage has constantly been on the rise, finding a pet-friendly vacation home rental is still a struggle for pet owners. In the end, most pet owners skip traveling so that they can keep an eye on their pets.
A property management company worth its salt will tell you that only a few vacation homes have a pet-friendly policy, especially in a booming vacation market such as Orlando.
But we can change that. For a vacation rental homeowner, that’s a huge market right there.
If you have a vacation rental property in Orlando, Florida, you could be opening a whole new market by allowing four-legged visitors to stay on your property. It is a sure way to increase bookings and attract a special niche of vacationers looking for pet-friendly rentals.
That’s a smart move! So, how do you stand to gain by having a pet-friendly policy in your vacation rental?
Benefits of Making Your Vacation Rental Pet-Friendly
1. Amped competitive edge
The pet-friendly business has gained immense popularity in recent years. Talk with your vacation rental management agent to see how you can advertise your vacation home on vacation home management sites as a pet-friendly property.
Listing your property as a pet-friendly vacation home will certainly set you apart from your competition. Results? Higher earnings, more return bookings, and better ratings on rental management sites.
2. Increased rental bookings
Differentiation is key in competitive vacation markets such as Orlando. By allowing your vacation rental management company to advertise your property as a pet-friendly vacation home, you’ll not only be improving your booking rates and increasing revenue, you’d also increase your competitiveness.
Most property management companies in Orlando have reported that owners who allow pets in their vacation homes are consistently booked and earn greater returns than their counterparts. You’d be darned not to consider it!
If you’re using an online rental management and listing company such as Airbnb or HomeAway, you’re more likely to net clients apply the pet-friendly’ filter.
3. Wider Market Appeal
Pet-friendly travel is booming. Having a pet-friendly vacation home rental attracts a wider pool of renters. From families, solo travelers to retirees who prefer to include their furry friends in their vacation plans. These vacationers are always happy to pay little more bucks to have their pets around.
Vacation homeowners with a pet-friendly policy are viewed to be more hospitable and friendlier. Certainly, previous renters are more likely to refer other pet owners to your vacation property.
4. Fill off-season openings
If you’ve been renting out your vacation home in Orlando, you are aware that during Fall, you’re more likely to get young couples, retirees, and empty-nesters vacationing than families whose kids are in school. Fall is practically a dog’s day off (pun very much intended)!
You can choose to give the pets-allowed-policy a try during fall days to fill your weekends in these slower months. Consult with your property management firm to advertise your vacation rental home as a pet-friendly facility.
5. More Frequent and happier guests
A pet-friendly policy is a sure way to increase your host rating and reviews on a rental management portal. Pet happiness drastically increases their owners’ psychological and physical well-being. Ultimately, a better rating for your vacation home on sites like Airbnb.
For the ultimate vacationer’s experience, include pet-friendly amenities such as:
• Dog chew toys
• water bowls
• Extra leashes
• A dog/cat bed
• Cat Scratchers
Why Does Pet-Friendly Vacation Homes Make More Money?
Simple. A pet-friendly vacation home has greater visibility!
Owning and running a pet-friendly home can do wonders to your wallet. Don’t take our word for it! Data proves it. Last year alone, vacation homes that allowed dogs in their premises reported an average revenue of $31,903 from 35.3 bookings. Just for being dog-friendly. You don’t want to be loose out on this.
Additionally, by allowing your guests to bring their pets along, you will earn an extra pet-fee. We recommend charging an extra fee of $25-$50 per night per pet. Consult with your vacation rental management company for a comparison of pet fees in your area. This will give you a competitive edge on dynamic pricing over other vacation home rentals.
What are the negatives of allowing furry friends into my vacation home? I thought you’d never ask. Well, let’s take a sneak-peek on the not-so-good side or pet-friendliness.
Cons of A Pet-Friendly Policy
Accepting the furry friends into your vacation home isn’t all puppy love. While the benefits of accepting pets outrun the negatives, it's wise to be aware of some the downsides of accepting pets. Remember the adage of information is power? No?
Running a pet-friendly vacation home in Orlando would potentially:
• Increase wear and tear on your home and upholstery.
• Alienate allergy-sensitive travelers
• Increase your running costs such as cleaning and maintenance of your vacation home. You’ll also be needed to book frequent pest control appointments.
• Create friction with the HOA due to pet noise.
Worry not! With a solid pet policy, you can maneuver past that.
One of the frequent question vacation homeowners ask property managers is: well, I’ve decided to allow pets in my Orlando vacation home, how can I make my property pet-friendly?
While there is no absolute answer to this question, there are a few steps you can take to protect your vacation property. And the valuables in it. Here are a few ways:
How to Make Your Property Pet-Friendly
Some of the measures you can take to make your property pet-proof include:
1. Charge pet fees.
2. Shop for a damage insurance plan. If you’re not into charging extra fees to your guests, consider having a damage insurance plan.
3. Protect your furniture. Consider having designated pet areas in your vacation home. You can use child gates to set boundaries. Also, you can use covers on your couches to keep them fur-free and clean.
4. Create clear rules for your guests. Create a pet policy stipulating:
• The number of pets allowed on your property
• Type of pets allowed in your vacation property. Would you prefer dogs, cats or birds in your Orlando vacation home?
• Weight restrictions
• Housebroke or not
• Waste Cleanup. This is absolutely essential. Requiring vacationers to remove their pet’s waste is a no-brainer if you’re going to allow animals.
• Leash policy. Pass any HOA leashing requirements to your guests.
• Tick/Flea policy. You can choose to have all pets coming to your property to be on flea and tick prevention. This will ensure a pest-free vacation home, thereby reducing cost control costs.
5. Ensure thorough cleaning and maintenance between stays.
6. Use pet-friendly soft and hard flooring that is stain proof and scratch resistant. There is a wide range collection of comfortable and good looking flooring options such as:
• Cork flooring
• Vinyl flooring
• Linoleum flooring
• Tile & stone flooring
• Bamboo flooring
• Laminate flooring
• Hardwood flooring
• Berber carpets for long haired dogs
• Polypropylene carpeting (They’re stain proof)
7. Finally, promote pet-friendly areas near your property. Pet owners want to know about:
• Off-leash beaches
• Dog parks with dog pools and fountains.
• Dog spas
• Nearby walking trails
• Nearby pet-friendly eateries
With these pointers in mind, you and your guests can experience the ultimate beauty of a pet-friendly policy.
As you can see, there is a huge market for pet-friendly vacation homes, especially in popular vacation destinations such as Orlando.
Allowing pets in your vacation home rental won’t cost you a dime! It would be the cheapest yet most valuable investment you'll make. Ask your vacation rental manager on the best strategies for making your vacation home a pet-friendly property.