WE HAVE A fast growing demographic among our vacationers eager to stay in our island homes. They usually range in age from a few months old to 14 or 15 years. Uniquely, they also wag their tails when they are happy and like to chase shorebirds on the beach, fetch Frisbees and love beach vacations as much as the rest of their family. Pet friendly homes are also the amenity which can assure vacation rental homeowners of increased revenue and better off-season bookings.
If you are considering marketing your island home as pet friendly, there are a few features that will ensure a great experience for your human and canine rental guests.
- Your deck should have a gate at the top of the steps so your furry guest can easily be confined while his human family is enjoying the porch, too. If you are a duplex owner, ensure that there are separate areas so pets from both sides won’t have to share the same deck.
- Stainless steel pet bowls are a thoughtful gesture (and assures they won’t use your cereal bowls).
- Another feature would be a comfy pet bed that can be laundered between canine guests by your housekeeper.
- When choosing your flooring, it is important to make sure that it is not carpet. Hard surface flooring makes mopping and sweeping pet hair so much easier.
- A few tasteful signs posted in the kitchen or laundry room will help explain the local leash laws. Provide special pet bags for them to clean up after their pet while walking on the beach or in the neighborhood.
- Consider a small fenced in area in the shade or under the cottage for another comfortable dog friendly area.
The benefits of offering your beach home to pets can be summarized by increased revenue. In our analysis of rental rates, homes that allowed pets can actually charge a higher weekly rent than similar homes that do not allow pets. In the off-season, pet friendly homes statistically book more frequently. Last but not least, pet friendly properties can also charge an income producing separate pet fee which goes to the homeowner to offset any additional expenses due to increased pest control, painting or extra housekeeping.
Who are these dog lovers who love to bring their pets to the beach? They are the empty nesters as well as the millennials with no children who vacation frequently in the off-season. These are cherished dogs that truly are a beloved member of their household and almost always are very well behaved animals because of the loving attention they are given. If you are a dog lover, why not put out the welcome mat for the furriest members of your rental guests’ family and enjoy the extra revenue, too.
Julia Batten Wax, Broker/Owner
Emerald Isle Realty