Hosting tips

Opening Doors to Pet Lovers: Pros and Cons of Pet-Friendly Airbnb

Written by Diana Santos

Statistics show that there are roughly 2 million domestic animals that board commercial flights yearly. What does this tell you?

Pets are a part of the travel industry. They should not be ignored because these furry creatures are treated like family by their owners. A survey for pet owners revealed that 53% of travellers take their pets with them when they go on a holiday. Not only that, 37% of owners choose not to travel if it means they’ll be leaving their pets behind. More than half of the survey respondents also said that they only choose to stay at pet-friendly homes.

This is proof that there’s a huge market specific to pet owners and their beloved fur babies. If you can open your Airbnb property to these pet lovers, you can widen your market reach and possibly increase your rental earning potential.

In this article, you’ll discover the pros and cons of converting your Airbnb property into a pet-friendly rental. You’ll also get tips to help you host pets safely so it improves the guest experience while protecting your home.

Benefits of having a Pet-Friendly Airbnb

Is it worth it to convert your Airbnb property into a pet-friendly rental? 27% of listings on Airbnb think that it is! This is the percentage of Airbnb properties that are declared to be pet-friendly. If you look at specific statistics about pet-friendly rentals in London, you’ll see that 12,000 properties can host pets.

There are several reasons why almost one out of three Airbnb properties have been converted into pet-friendly homes.

Wider market reach

Statistics show that 9 out of 10 households consider pets (specifically dogs) as part of the family. That’s the new market that you can reach if you convert your Airbnb into a pet-friendly property. With more people unwilling to leave their pets behind, you’re making your property an option so they can travel with their bellowed furry pets.

Not only that, but Airbnb has also shown commitment to inclusivity. They encourage Airbnb hosts to accommodate people who need service animals and emotional support animals. This can work to your advantage especially when it comes to Airbnb’s property evaluations.

Increase in occupancy rates

With the wider market reach, you’re more likely to experience an increase in occupancy rates if you open your doors to pets. It’s not just about attracting pet owners to book your property. Most pet owners who insist on bringing their pets are those who expect to be away for a long time.

This means you can expect longer stays on your property. Business travellers who have to go to London and stay for weeks can choose your property to stay in.

You can also make yourself an option for those who fail to get a pet sitter before they leave. These pet owners will be forced to bring their pets along and your property can be a last-minute option for them.

Higher rental rates

Allowing pets in your Airbnb allows you to command higher rental rates. Since not all properties are pet-friendly, pet owners would find value in your willingness to host their fur babies. They would be willing to pay a higher amount for accommodating their pets.

Make the higher rates worth it by providing necessities like dog beds, food and water bowls and maybe even pet towels. You can also explain that the increase will cover deep cleaning services to help get rid of any fur left behind by pets.

Competitive advantage

There are currently 102,000 Airbnb properties in London but only 12,000 of these properties are declared as pet-friendly. If you convert your Airbnb into a haven for pets, you’ll give your property a competitive advantage. Pet owners looking for a place to stay would immediately disregard the 90,000 properties that won’t accept pets. Your property will be among the ones that they’ll choose.

Considering the competitive nature of the London short-term rental market, you’ll be positioned to attract more guests and bookings.

More positive reviews

When you provide a haven for pets while others impose strict rules to keep them away, you’ll earn the gratitude of pet owners. If you equip your property with things that their pets can use, this will make them happy. Simple add-ons like putting dog treats in the welcome basket speak volumes about your willingness to go the extra mile for your guests.

This will leave a positive impression on your property. It won’t take a lot of encouragement to get the guest to leave positive feedback. You can even earn their loyalty – making them want to rebook your property in the future.

With more positive reviews, you’ll get a better standing on Airbnb – which can even help you get a Superhost badge.

Drawbacks of a Pet-Friendly Rental Property

Although there are several benefits to turning your property into a pet-friendly accommodation, there are also some drawbacks. It’s crucial to be aware of the effects that these drawbacks bring so you can ensure that these won’t compromise your property’s earning potential.

Here are 4 common drawbacks that you should be cautious of.

Potential damage

No matter how much a pet is trained, it can still cause damage to your property. Pets leave stains, scratches and other damages on the flooring, fixtures and furniture in the Airbnb rental. A dog walking on wooden flooring can scratch it if they don’t have their nails trimmed.

All these will result in costly repairs you’ll have to shoulder as the host. To ensure that it won’t compromise your earnings, include a small fee for damages and impose strict rules so guests will be held responsible for any damages caused by their pets.

Allergy risks

Pet fur can cause allergies in some people. This means opening your doors to pets would incur allergy risks.

After all, having a pet-friendly property doesn’t mean you’ll always be hosting pet lovers. There’s a risk of hosting someone who is allergic to dogs or cats. To ensure that future guests are safe, you have to remove traces of allergens in your property. This will keep guests safe and healthy while deterring negative experiences and feedback.

Higher cleaning rates

To remove all the allergens, stains and even scratches caused by pets, you’ll have to schedule a more thorough and deeper clean on your property after a pet stays in it. This would require you to pay higher cleaning rates to prepare the unit for the next guest.

Since you have to do a more thorough and deeper cleaning on the property, you’ll have to pay higher rates to prepare your Airbnb for the next guest. This can be incorporated in the booking fee but it’ll have to be communicated properly to the guest.

Noise concerns

Dogs will bark so pet-friendly homes may be subjected to noise complaints from neighbours. Sometimes, noises can result in fines. Even the whining sounds at night can be irritating especially if the walls are thin. 

Make sure you read the rules and regulations in your area so you won’t get in trouble with the local authorities or building administrators. If you have to soundproof your home, this might help muffle the sounds coming from guests and their furry companions.

Tips for Pet-Friendly Airbnb Properties

Having a pet-friendly property is both rewarding and risky – but if you set it up properly, you can maximise the earning potential of your Airbnb.

Here are actionable tips that’ll you efficiently convert your Airbnb into a profitable pet-friendly accommodation.

Pet-proof your property

Be proactive in creating a pet-proof property for your guests. Remove any items that can be damaged by pets. Secure vases on tables and countertops. If you plan to put plants, make sure it’s secure in sturdy pots that won’t be easily knocked over.

Include waste bags so guests can pick up after their pets. If there’s space, give pets a designated spot with their own beds and food/water bowls.

For properties with balconies or outdoor spaces, make sure it’s secure and escape-proof to protect pets from harming themselves.

Set strict rules and enforce them

Establish clear rules for your guests so they know how to control their pets in such a way that will minimise damages or noise complaints. Before they check in make sure these rules are communicated properly. You can even put a printed copy of the rules in a visible area so they can read it upon arrival.

Include the fees that they would have to pay for cleaning services and incurred damages.

Comply with regulations

Before you declare that your Airbnb is pet-friendly, research the rules and regulations that you have to comply with. Check the building rules or homeowner’s association restrictions. Some areas strictly prohibit pets so you have no choice but to comply. You can include these restrictions in the rules that you’ll establish with the guests.

You should also check the insurance policy of your property to see if it covers pet-friendly properties. If not, it may be time to adjust your insurance.

Set up Compliant Pet-friendly Airbnb Rentals

Weighing the pros and cons of having a pet-friendly Airbnb will allow you to make informed decisions that will improve your hosting experience. While this attracts more guests and opens your property to a wider market, there are responsibilities and risks involved that you have to meet. Familiarise yourself with the best practices that’ll allow you to convert your Airbnb into a successful and compliant pet-friendly rental.

Managing a pet-friendly Airbnb property is easier if you work with an experienced property management company. City Relay can help your property transition into a pet-friendly haven. 

Call us so we can discuss your plans to improve your Airbnb hosting experience. Let’s make sure to create a seamless experience for guests and their furry companions.

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