09 Aug Are You Missing out on the Pet Friendly Airbnb Market?
Pets are a monumental part of our lives, helping to cultivate homes of love, security, and warmth. With so many pet owners in the world, the minimal number of available Pet Friendly Airbnb rentals is shocking.
The market is so unpopular that switching over may just be the niche you need to land some serious profits.
Why Is There Less Competition for Pet-Friendly Airbnb?
The amount of owners traveling with their favorite feline friend is consistently rising over the last few years. However, even with Airbnb’s new pet-friendly checkbox options, there is only a handful of listings available for pets.
This is a completely missed opportunity.
Why are so many hosts letting this niche slip by? Well, one of the most straightforward answers is that pets are a risk. Yet, this is only true if your listing is not properly prepared for. With only having around 3% of any given Airbnb market available for pets, there is a lot to work with and explore.
Listings, because they have less competition, have the opportunity to hold increased rates per night. Some hosts even create a system where they charge a higher security deposit.
Higher Occupancy and Longer Stays
With fewer listings to choose from, chances are guests will be looking to stay at one location for their entire trip. Some guests are even just searching for a place for their pets to stay while they’re visiting family in the area. When becoming a pet-friendly Airbnb, chances are your occupancy rate will increase.
When it comes to slow-travel seasons in your area, this is especially important. Booking a few extra nights a month during slow seasons can lead to a huge increase in revenue. Think about it, even if it’s only 5 extra nights during a slow month, with a listing of $110 that’s $550 in your pocket that you wouldn’t have otherwise!
Is Prep Work Necessary?
Before jumping into the pet-friendly market, there are definitely some preparations that need to be completed before you search for owners as guests. One of the most important first steps is to create solid rules, boundaries, and clear instructions. This is best placed inside your Airbnb Guidebook as well as posted around the listing.
Define a section in your guidebook that is exclusively for pet owners. This is where you can hold all of your pet-related frequently asked questions, guidelines, and anything else that you deem essential. While some requests, like having the owner pick up after their dog, may seem like common sense- it surprisingly isn’t always the case.
Here is a handful of rules for pets and owners that I find helpful:
- Pick up after your pet.
- Please keep pets out of the pool.
- Keep them on the leash while in the building.
(This is if your listing is inside an apartment complex.)
- Report any property damage immediately.
- Keep tabs on their barking.
A great way to reinforce rules is to make them convenient to follow. Towels can sit by the back or front doors to remind owners to wipe paws. Also, bags can be placed by leashes to encourage and remind owners to pick up after their pet.
Making Your Listing Pet-Proof
Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to remodel all of your listings or home to be pet-proof. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you can to protect your furniture and flooring. It’s true that some materials are more durable than others when it comes to claws and stains.
Cork, vinyl, linoleum, stone, bamboo, laminate, and hardwood are all great for scratch-resistance and leave a minimal amount of staining. If you have floors that you enjoy and don’t want to replace, adding rugs are also a great way to spruce things up while protecting your home. Also, rugs can be easily washed and disposed of in case there are any accidents.
If there are areas of your home where you don’t want fur, or if covering up your brand new flooring isn’t your cup of tea, child gates are also a decent way to set boundaries. While pet owners may not always adhere to these partitions, it helps to separate the areas of your home that hold breakable or valuable goods.
What Are The Most Damaged Items?
Talking to other hosts and pet owners, I’ve found that the most commonly damaged items are shades and blinds. Covering your windows is an essential part of a guest’s privacy. But, of course, pets are going to want to look and see what’s going on outdoors.
Opting for dark, inexpensive curtains can help to keep the light out and maintain privacy while not losing profit if they’re chewed on, slobbered, or scratched up. Plus, it’s a relatively general item that you’ll have in multiple rooms and can easily account for in your pet damage deposit.
Another commonly abused item is what I like to call “sit-there” things. Trinkets that don’t really have any value but stay for decorative purposes to spruce up your listing. Please, I beg you, keep decorations off the floor. Putting anything at eye level with an animal is asking them to chew on it.
Make Pets Just As Comfortable
Owners love their pets, and if their fur baby is happy and not causing a fuss, then the guest will be happy too. It doesn’t make sense to restrict pets from going onto couches or in bedrooms. Chances are, guests will sneak them in to cuddle anyway. Instead of trying to nitpick each area of your listing, try to prepare and accommodate for these instances instead.
Some ideas for pet-friendly Airbnb furniture are:
- Provide covers for sofas and seats.
- Get couches with a pet-friendly material.
- Have furniture with patterns and bright colors. These work far better when hiding stains.
- Buy loose fabric covers on couches you don’t want to mess up or replace. Fabric covers protect against pet dandruff and fur. Plus, they can be washed after each guest’s stay.
A Well-Stocked Home Is A Happy Home
This is a truth universally acknowledged for both alcohol and pet supplies. Jokes aside, the ability to go above and beyond as a guest is what pushes you into a super host category. Happy guests are more likely to leave a positive review.
Jokes aside, sometimes going above and beyond for your guests is just what you need for a great review. Plus, the happier and more-occupied a pet is, the less destruction they’re bound to create.
A pet-friendly Airbnb will often have:
- Pet rules posted and decoratively framed throughout the listing.
- Pantry to hold all necessary cleaning items for pets and supplies.
- Food and water bowls.
- Towels for paws
- Waste bags
- Dog treats
- Extra furniture covers
- Spaces/Sleeping areas for pets
- Cleaning/bathing area outside
- Lots of toys and items to distract
- Deodorizers or air fresheners
- Noise monitors to keep tabs on barking
- This is definitely important for when guests leave your listing, and the pet stays behind.
To extend further on the last point, pets tend to be on edge when they’re in an unfamiliar place. This is especially true for when your guests go out and leave the pet back at home. If the pet is occupied, they are far less likely to cause chaos.
Watch For Floor-Height Trouble
While decorative items are a concern, as mentioned previously, other household goods fit into this category. If your pet sees something fun to play with, chances are the curious fellow will want to either tug or chew it.
An item that fits this category, yet often forgotten about is electronic cords and cables. From chargers to plugs for appliances, they’re an easy target. Another item that fits into this category next to decorative items are, you guessed it, plants! Organic material, in particular, is something that hosts should keep an eye on in case consumed.
If eucalyptus is eaten by a cat or put into an oil diffuser, the natural essence is harmful and even poisonous to the feline. Other common household plants that should be avoided are:
- Autumn Crocus
- Aloe Vera
- Baby’s Breath
- Bleeding Hearts
This is just a small list; more can be found over at the Pet Poison Helpline.
Create A Pet Damage Fee
To accommodate any overall damage pets may bring, consider adding a damage deposit to your listing. As noted previously, pet-friendlyAirbnb locations are currently in demand. People are willing to dish out a little bit extra for a fullfilled niche.
If you’re trying to think of a general list of items in your listing that are provided by hosts, view my Ultimate Superhost Checklist. I break down an Airbnb from room to room for common items that turn any great listing into a stellar one.
Ready To Hit the Market?
So, do you think you’re fit to be a pet friendly Airbnb? Like any good business, there’s a lot of prep work that goes into getting your listing pet-ready. However, by breaking each room down, securing your property and being proactive, you’re bound to have success.
Don’t believe me? View the success of other short-term rental hosts over on my Facebook group. It’s a great community that can only be made better with you in it. Come on in and introduce yourself. Work doesn’t get done by putting it off for tomorrow; success comes from starting today!