A guest post to help property managers understand pets and the connection with long-term happy rental residents.
By KC Theisen
A few weeks ago, a graduate student at the University of Maryland interviewed me about the connection between pets and people. I often get to talk about the logistics of keeping pets and families together, as in the administrative aspects and guidelines for property managers. But since our chat, I’ve been thinking about our bond with animals and wanted to focus on one of the simplest facts about pets: They make us happy. Property managers, take note. When you have happy residents, you have long-term residents.
Look at the health statistics that spring from pet ownership. Pet owners report experiencing less depression and loneliness, and being more active, reducing heart disease. Spending time with a pet lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and having a companion animal to care for is the reason many seniors get out of bed in the morning despite aches and pains.
Pets make us more social. It’s clear from looking out a window that dog people are out and about, frequently stopping to chat with others about their furry family members. Visits to a pet-supply store, the veterinarian, and the park provide opportunities to meet new people. In rentals, the shared spaces become public meeting houses for dog owners, even while social distancing.
Cat owners are more social, too. They also go to pet-supply stores, grocers, and vet clinics, interact with other cat people. Creating a network of in-house cat sitters provides cat owners an amenity that makes them feel included in the building’s pet community. Especially for people with physical limitations or mobility issues, cats are a pathway to getting up and about indoors and to receiving affection. Hearing a purring cat makes it almost impossible for a human to cry.
How is your bottom line affected by physically healthy and socially adjusted residents? Happy people stay put. Happy people like living in a place where they feel welcomed and where they find comfort in being, especially when we are spending so much time at home these days. Happy people also invest in their happiness, and if they like living in your property, will tolerate moderate fees or rent increases to hold on to their happy place.
If you manage a property wracked by COVID-19 fatigue, how can you help alleviate your residents’ isolation and sense of loneliness while keeping the CDC guidelines in place? Welcome pets. Four-legged friends are a key reason people choose a rental, and better pet policies bring potential residents in droves.
Opening Doors has strategies to share so you can control which pets are welcome, and set standards of great care that translate to happier community residents, pet-owning or not. Make your property their happy place.
About the author:
KC Theisen is the animal-management and pet-policy advisor for Opening Doors. She creates policies and programs for properties that enhance revenue potential while controlling potential conflicts and problems. KC has more than 25 years of experience working with animals and people. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin. She was the Humane Society of the United States’ director of pet-care issues for many years. KC received her master’s degree in professional writing in 2007 and uses these skills to draft user-friendly policies and explanations for Opening Doors clients, bringing legal jargon into clear, concise rules and practices.