5 Tips to Keep Pet People Coming Back to Your Short-Term Vacation Rental Property!
When it comes to managing short-term vacation rentals, the wider the audience your listings appeal to, the better it is for your business. You might have already invested in making your properties suitable for families, commuters and college students, but have you considered putting out the welcome mat for the furry, four-legged travelers of the world?
Before you start worrying about the mess and noise complaints that come with allowing animals into your precious rentals, hear us out. There are some great reasons to move into the pet-friendly category!
First off, there’s a pretty substantial market for pet-friendly vacation rentals. A study conducted by TripAdvisor revealed that more than half of pet owners bring their furry friends along on vacations. The next thing you’ll want to know, is that relative to the demand there aren’t many short-term vacation rental options suitable for pets.
At Guesty, we did a quick search on Booking.com and found that available listings in Rome decreased by more than half once the “Pets allowed” filter was checked. You know what that means – less competition. By welcoming animals into your properties, you’re guaranteeing yourself a big chunk of the pet-traveling market.
So, now that we’ve got you wondering if maybe this isn’t the worst idea after all, here are some simple steps you can take to accommodate man’s best traveling companion and protect your properties at the same time. The pet most commonly brought along for the ride is, of course, the beloved canine, so most of these pointers will be written with them in mind. With a little imagination, though, they can be applied to cats, birds, and grasshoppers too.
Here Are Some Ways to Make Your Short-Term Vacation Rental Pet-Friendly :
Answer Nature’s Call
If your vacation rental property includes a backyard, make sure to leave clear instructions for your guests regarding which areas of the yard you’d prefer their pets do their business.
No outdoor space? You can direct your temporary tenants to the nearest park, but you may also want to set up a designated pet relief area with fake grass or pee pads just in case.
Cats tend to do their relieving indoors, but they’re usually super neat about it. A litter box is all you need for these tidy little tigers.
Pet Proof Your Rentals
Those pesky paws have a way of getting into things. From precisely placed bowls of potpourri to carefully stitched throw pillows, in Snoopy’s mind everything is fair game. Relocate all delicate or edible items to higher surfaces and consider purchasing a sofa cover for when you’ve got animal-accompanied guests.
You might be cool with pets in the living room and kitchen of your short-term vacation rental, but prefer to keep your bedrooms Fido-free. If that’s the case, a small investment in some indoor gates (generally used to keep babies away from stairs and such) is an easy solution.
Be sure to tell your guests that you’d prefer them to keep all animal activity within the specified parameters. And speaking of gates, if you share a yard with neighbors or just want to provide your travelers with an area where their pets can roam safely with no chance of wandering off, a fence around your yard can be a major draw for people with dogs.
Throw Them a Bone
It’s a safe bet to assume anyone planning on taking a pet on vacation has a pretty soft spot for said pet. That means anything you can provide to make Buddy or Daisy’s stay more enjoyable will likely go a long way in appealing to these vacationers. Stock up on chew toys, food bowls, some yummy treats and maybe even a doggy bed or cat scratching post. You’ll earn a lot of wagging tails and probably some stellar reviews too.
Animals will usually be less concerned with your properties’ well-being than your human guests, so regardless of the measures you take, you should be prepared for some occasional and hopefully minimal damage.
If you aren’t ready to handle this, better not to open your homes to the “puplic” (get it? Pup + public. It’s great). If you think you can deal, it’s still best to request a small deposit to cover any costs should something be broken or ruined.
Additionally, you’ll want to set very clear rules for your guests and their furry friends. Don’t assume they know that the bed is off limits or that the china bowls in the cabinet are to remain kibble-free.
Another measure you’ll want to take is equipping your short-term rental with a variety of cleaning products. Your mom has probably warned you that the longer you wait to clean a stain, the less likely you are to ever get it out. With immediate access to the right supplies, your guests will have what they need to address the situation and minimize the chances of long-term damage.
Earn Loyal Customers for Your Vacation Rental
The vacation rental industry is a dog-eat-dog world, so anything you can do to minimize your competition is huge. Pet-friendly rentals aren’t for everyone, but if you think you can roll with it, it’s worth the effort. Welcoming pets can dramatically increase your bookings, especially since animal-lovers will likely return to a property they know they can trust to provide a good environment for their pets if they are ever in the area again. Plus, they’re part of a tight-knit community of “pet people” where word of mouth can go a long way.
There’s a promising market out there – all you need to do is go fetch!
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.