Pros & Cons To Making Your Vacation Home Pet Friendly

Pet Friendly, What are the Pro’s & Cons?

A survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association found that 68% of all US households have at least one pet. Pets are part of the family, too! It’s stressful – and expensive – to leave Fido at home with a sitter or in a kennel. Instead, bringing their beloved pet along on vacation for is the perfect solution! But what does that mean for you, the Homeowner?

The Pro’s of a pet-friendly home

While the percentage of families with pets has risen over the years, finding a pet-friendly vacation rental home can still be a challenge for visitors who want to bring their four-legged friends to the beach.

Choosing to market your home as pet friendly will always give your vacation rental home a competitive advantage.

Allowing pets in your vacation rental home will attract a larger pool of renters and, in turn, increase your rental potential, particularly in the shoulder and off seasons. During those times, young couples, empty nesters, and retirees are more likely to travel than families with children who are restricted by school calendars. These Guests like to bring their fur babies along.

Things To Consider

Now don’t get me wrong – There are legitimate concerns when considering whether to be pet-friendly or not.

What kinds of pets should I allow, and how many?

Let’s be clear; by pet-friendly, we primarily mean dogs. You can specify that with your Property Manager. Maybe you wouldn’t mind a cat, a bird, or an occasional pot belly pig, but for most vacation rental Homeowners, when they open their homes to pets, they mean dogs. The number of pets is up to you as well. Usually, the preferred number is one, maybe two. You certainly don’t want a pack. As a vacationing animal lover, no offense, Fido, but I would not want to spend my vacation with more than two dogs.

You can even be specific as to the size you of pet you allow. Insist that your Property Manager ask a lot of specific questions when booking your Guests regarding the pets they are bringing. Just don’t go too crazy with rules or you could turn off potential renters.

What extra expenses will I incur?

You will have extra expenses for cleaning, maintenance, pest control, etc., but those could be easily recouped with one or two additional bookings. The risk of damage to your property is slightly higher, but we have found that most people who travel with their pets are confident in their pets’ behavior. (If they weren’t, do you think they would want to take them on vacation?) In fact, pets are often less trouble and cause less damage or cleaning than most adults and certainly less than most children. If only we could kennel our children for a week? (Just kidding!)

Will being pet friendly turn away potential bookings from people with allergies?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, about 15% of the population is allergic to dogs or cats. Even so, some may still be willing to rent your home. However, this is very important: If you as an Owner bring pets to your vacation rental home, it’s strongly recommended that you list your home as pet-friendly so as not to cause any potential conflicts with visitors who are allergic to pets. If you advertise your home as a non-pet home but bring your pets when you visit, you subject yourself to possibly losing rentals if Guests complain about dander, allergies, etc. and need to be moved to another home.

In the end, whether to allow pets or not in your vacation rental home is a personal decision. Consider your home’s location, your property management company’s policies and procedures for pets, their resources for cleaning and maintenance, and, most importantly, your comfort level with pets in your home. Here on Hatteras Island, making your home pet-friendly will help you maximize your owner income and improve your Guests’ treasured vacation experience by allowing them to include the four-legged friend they love so much!

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3 Reasons Your Rentals Should Include Linens

by Vicki Langhel

In a competitive vacation rental market like Hatteras Island’s, it’s important to do all you can to set your home apart and give your guests an excellent vacation experience. That starts with delighting them with the creature comforts they expect at home and in other accommodations, primarily; linens. Including fresh linen service in your amenity offerings will help you welcome guests and keep them coming back.

Today’s vacationer wants to walk through the door of their vacation home and, well, start vacationing! There is nothing worse than being greeted at the door by a giant plastic container full of assorted bed linens and towels. That definitely does not say “Welcome to the beach!” Full linen service means quality sheets with the beds made each week (and towels placed appropriately as well). It’s best to employ professional services to provide these needs, a company that will ensure your guests’ linens are laundered in a professional environment, delivered to your home, and put on the beds prior to their arrival. For RBO owners, this means a professional laundry service that caters to vacation rental properties. For owners who list their home with a property management company, this means partnering with one that always makes the beds, has their own local laundry facility, provides high quality linens and towels, and encourages or requires pillow and mattress protectors. Here’s why:

1. Guest expect linens

It used to be that guests who rented only the larger, more expensive homes would and could expect to have full linen service, but more and more guests of all types of properties look for this amenity with each new season. In fact, 79% of Outer Beaches guests surveyed rated linens as “important” to “extremely important” to their vacation experience.

2. You’ll make their vacation relaxing, easy and convenient

Another very important reason to provide your guests with linens, especially sheets, is that many people will not have the appropriate sheet sets to bring from home for the bedding configurations in the vacation home they are renting. By making their stay easier, more relaxing, and more convenient through including linens and made beds, they will love you!

3. Guests new to vacation rentals may not know they need to bring linens

As vacation rentals enter the accommodations mainstream, many guests are new to the experience and may not know that linens aren’t a guarantee. What better way than to start their vacations – and their first experience in a vacation rental – off on the wrong note with the unpleasant surprise of finding out their beds don’t have linens on arrival? Head this problem off from the start with a freshly made bed they can’t wait to enjoy.

Your kitchen doesn’t come without pots, pans and silverware, so why would your home not provide linens? Linens should be a standard amenity in today’s market, and guests expect it to be. Delight your guests and keep them coming back with clean, cozy sheets and professionally made beds!