The number of guests travelling with pets is getting higher every year. Perhaps it is because animals like dogs and cats are less like pets, and more like permanent members of the family. The good news for homeowners is that welcoming pets has been proven to add value to short-term rental profits, despite some of the common drawbacks. Below, we look at some of the pros and cons of running a pet-friendly short-term rental and how to make the most out of going pet-friendly.
Premium prices & higher booking rates
We’ve found that homeowners can earn more if they have a pet-friendly short-term rental listing — as much as a 30% premium. Why? During the off-season, occupancy rates are usually high for dog-friendly homes. This typically happens when guests book last-minute vacations and are unable to find a pet sitter or kennel in time.
We’ve also found that when guests travel for a few weeks or more, they prefer to bring their furry companions with them. This is a great opportunity for Airbnb hosts as they get to increase their occupancy rate by welcoming guests and their pets for a longer period of time.
Make use of Airbnb’s ESA & SA policy
Airbnb is committed to making its service inclusive and accessible to all customers and therefore allows pets as both service animals and emotional support animals. Service animals (typically dogs) are trained to help a person with specific tasks that they are unable to do on their own (like guide dogs that are trained to lead the blind), while emotional support animals provide comfort. This policy is advantageous for hosts because it opens up a new demographic of people to access short-term rentals.
Greater market appeal & repeat guests
If you are a pet owner, you know all too well the love and care that goes into ensuring your pet is put first. Pet-owners are known for seeing their pets as important members of the household so by accommodating these types of guests, along with their furry friends, you are conveying the message that you care about family. This quality can set you apart from the masses when guests are searching for rentals online. What's more is whenever these guests travel in future, they will likely return to your services because of the positive experience they had. Not to mention they will want to refer you to their friends and family…
Bringing your pet with you on vacation can increase the likelihood of damages and mess, resulting in additional cleaning costs and maintenance. But while there is such a risk, we have found that the majority of our guests who have travelled with their pets understand their needs and behaviour intimately and know how to navigate - and avoid - potential accidents.
Our suggestion? In your guest guide, provide clear house rules that establish boundaries when it comes to guests and their pets. For example, you might want to impose a rule that pets are not allowed in bedrooms or on furniture to reduce potential damage.
Dogs like to bark, which might result in your neighbours complaining about the noise. In some areas, there might even be a fine given by the local authority if the noise goes beyond the acceptable level. Before deciding whether to make your property pet-friendly, we suggest checking your building’s rules and if approved, ensuring your property has a nearby park or spacious backyard to accommodate outdoor playtime for pets.
From our experience, going pet-friendly is an entrepreneurial move that will positively impact the success of your short term rental management. When done right, embracing pets into your rental plan has the potential to not only increase your profits but make you a stand-out host to the growing number of pet-proud families.