Six Ways to Show Pet Lovers Your Apartment Loves Pets

Image of a Pet Lover with her DogApartment communities have long recognized the value of pet lovers as residents, and some property management companies may share the sentiments of one London bank executive who’s prepared to get out the paper towels to improve customer service.

Metro Bank Chairman and co-founder Anthony Thomson recently said there is no greater level of customer service than risking a pee stain in the lobby of his financial institutions to customers who wished to bank with their dogs. Woof!

Allowing pets and easing pet restrictions are ways that properties can attract and retain residents, but Thomson and others believe getter even a little closer to our furry friends is better for business. Taking an interest and acknowledging the pet sends a message that the owner is far more important than preventing a stain on the rug.

In New York, several Manhattan apartments are going a paw farther. Just last week, a New York City property announced that it has contracted with a local pet firm to provide dog concierge services at eight of their buildings. The property joins a growing list of others seeking to be the pet-friendly apartment destination by offering exclusive perks like dog walking and grooming.

Morris the Cat would be appalled, yet vindicated.

We realize that the average pet-friendly apartment property is home to more thrifty pet lovers who don’t have the bones to hire a pricey Manhattan dog walker (these cats can be a hundred Gs). Offering elaborate amenities may be barking up the wrong tree.

But an apartment community can welcome prospects and residents with a few simple perks and services that say the property management staff cares, and ultimately become THE pet-friendly destination:

Welcome Pet Lovers with Pet-Themed Gift Baskets

Dogs and cats love special attention, and a sure way to welcome Fido or Fluffy is to offer their owners a gift basket filled with healthy snacks, coupons from local pet stores, and maybe even a toy. Consult with a local veterinarian on types of snacks and safe toys to offer for large and small animals.

Offer Guest Services

The property management staff can recommend local boarding and grooming establishments. The sky is the limit today for boarding depending on levels of care and price range offered. List the locations and contact information – even maps – for a handful of providers that are convenient to the property. Also, consider a limited concierge service that includes making free reservations for the resident or even walking dogs for a fee.

Host a Pet Show

Plan a pet show or two during the annual American Kennel Club or Westminster Kennel Club shows. Create fun categories like “Best Dressed Pet” or “Ugliest Pet” and offer prizes like a day at the pet spa or a gift certificate from a local pet store.

Run Photo Contests

Pet lovers take plenty of pictures of their “kids” and post them to their social media channels so why not take advantage of that behavior and run regular photo contests. You can base them holidays, seasons, or fun themes like Pets in Apartments. You’re only limited by your imagination (and Facebook’s guidelines for running contests).

Image of a Sleeping Cat Wearing Glasses
Huey the Cat from the MyNewPlace.com aPETments Photo Contest

Determine Official Pet Snacks

Have residents gather pets for a fun afternoon to determine the “official” dog biscuit or cat snack for the property. Partner with a local pet supply store to provide snacks and encourage residents to bring their pets to vote the most howling-good snack. (We thought about a chili cookoff, but assumed that Wolf Brand Chili would win hands-down).

Build a Dog Park

Okay, this is the crème de la crème of animal perks, but a dog park is a popular amenity for apartment communities and can be an affordable capital project. Parks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are manageable at traditional apartment settings plus urban developments. Consult a landscape architecture specialist.

With any event where the property management team and residents are interacting with domestic animals, you may want to consult legal advice and ask residents to sign waivers for participation.

What types of activities or services does your property management company or team offer to show pet lovers just how much you love pets?

 


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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