Sixty-five percent of U.S. households, or about 79.7 million families, own a pet, according to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.
This data suggests the family pet is an integral member of the family – and a primary concern for buyers looking for a new place to call home. Here are four guidelines for helping clients find a property that meets the needs of their entire family, including the pets.
1. Get the Basic Information: Be sure to ask the family pet’s name! Find out the pet’s breed, weight, age, and exercise regimen. Ask your clients if they are planning to add any more pets, as there may be restrictions on the number of animals allowed in certain multifamily buildings or home owner associations. It also will help you determine the type of property your clients need.
2. Do your homework before showings: That home may have a marvelous chef’s kitchen and upgrades galore, but if Fido isn’t comfortable, the owners won’t be happy either. Find out what specific amenities or features the buyers are seeking for their pet. Then do your own research to find out if the property or community has any pet restrictions.
3. Impress clients with knowledge of local pet amenities: Create a pet resource list for your market area and give it to your clients. Include nearby veterinary clinics, emergency clinics, boarding facilities, dog parks, walking paths, grooming facilities, pet supply stores, and pet-friendly restaurants.
4. Consider a property’s layout: Pet owners may like the little extras – a laundry room with space to wash the dog, under-window benches to store pet toys, extra kitchen storage for pet food. Point these things out to your clients; they’ll appreciate that you’re looking after their pet’s welfare.