It Is All About the Dogs for apartment building investment according to industry insiders speaking at a recent Bisnow conference: Woodbranch Management President Philip Schneidau says Market Square’s dog run was the best thing about the project. (The second-best part is the building’s liquor license. “What happens is you get home from work, walk your dog, grab a bottle of wine and meet your neighbors,” Schneidau said. “It’s a great life. That’s the magic.”)
Here’s my Exec sum of their salient points:
- Households with at least one pet jumped 35% during last decade to 74.1 million
- Dogs are the favorite pet, with 43.3 million
- Dog ownership surging among singles and renters.
The Competitive Situation:
- Being pet-friendly has shifted from competitive advantage to
- Competitive disadvantage to not allow pets.
- Not being pet-friendly can be the tie-breaker or something that instantly rules out a property.
- Estimated being pet-friendly can boost occupancy at least 200 basis points.
The Financial Aspects:
New Construction or Rehab Considerations:
- Dog parks cheaper than other amenities like tennis courts
- Dog runs and parks more flexible and space-conscious, can be in parking garages or on roofs.
Design with pets in mind:
- Hardwood floors and tile eliminate carpet change after pet move outs.
- Window shades: PVC or faux wood increases durability.
- Higher cabinet heights make it harder for dogs to scratch millwork and countertops.
- Access to service elevators is also a consideration as pets can have accidents.
Cash Flow from Pets:
- Nonrefundable deposit between $250 and $500,
- Pet rent of $25 to $50
- A pet-floor premium of $25 to $35.
- With soaring number of pet owners, premiums quickly add up.
- The Environmental Protection Agency says dog waste is an environmental problem on par with toxic chemical and oil spills.
- Providing bags and plenty of disposal stations can go a long way.
- For complexes with chronic problems, companies like PooPrints and P.E.T can catch culprits with DNA testing. For $40 at move-in, dogs’ cheeks can be swabbed so property managers can keep the DNA on file, matching samples to catch residents who fail to clean up after their pets.
- As to the question of if all breeds should be allowed no advice was offered.
Going All The Way:
- Developers are starting to offer pet-friendly amenities like grooming stations, spas and boarding.
- At luxurious Mercedes House in NYC, the 2K SF pet spa treats pets like royalty.
- Dog City offering day care, training, vets and grooming, huge hit
- $250 annual membership fee plus monthly add-ons run from $40 $750