As travelers continue this trend towards blending remote work and travel, having a place to bring their pets is especially important due to a longer term of travel. But is it worth the hassle for hosts to open their doors to furry friends as well? This debate often divides the Airbnb community on the benefits and drawbacks of allowing pets to stay, but ultimately, it is worth weighing the pros and cons to see if this is something that is worth your while. Below we’ve curated a list of some of the biggest pros and cons to allowing pets in your property.
Wider Market Reach
According to a recent report from Mashvisor, only 3% of Airbnb’s are pet friendly leaving a very large market to be served. While 78% of people in the US travel with their pets each year, this market is eager to find accommodations that will allow them to bring their pets along. With many airlines, hotels, and restaurants becoming more lenient with this policy, it is a great opportunity to cash in while not many others are doing it.
Charge a Premium
By allowing pets to stay at your property, you are able to charge a premium for both the cleaning fee as well as extra “guest” fee. On average, hosts charge an extra $50 for pets, and because there are not many others serving the market, many guests are willing to pay a premium for this luxury. You may even consider raising the security deposit for any damages that occur. This can go towards your regular maintenance fees of the house or cover any damages should they arise during a guests stay.
With targeting a niche market and charging a premium, this gives potential for a higher return on investment with the more bookings you may secure. If you are able to build up your five-star reviews, landing closer to the top of the search page will have guests feeling more confident in booking your place with their furry companions in tow. The higher you land, the easier it is for guests to find you, stay with you, and keep leaving those 5-star reviews for others to see. Reviews are crucial to success, so building this up will ultimately assist you in securing more bookings in this niche market.
More Prone to Damage
Of course, with pets in tow you run the risk of having your home damaged whether that’s stained carpets, torn pillows, or lingering smells that will not come out. You may do your best to purchase furniture and accents in the home that are pet friendly, but not every pet you host may be well trained.
If your guests don’t control their pets or leave them unattended, you run the risk of upsetting your neighbors with noisy pets. Your neighbors are also crucial to your success in the Airbnb business, so finding a happy medium is essential. Emphasizing in your welcome guide and message that animals cannot be outside unattended past a certain hour may help prevent this from happening.
Cleaning is going to be a large priority when making your home pet friendly. Increasing your housekeepers pay to compensate for the extra details in cleaning after pets should be factored in as well as routine inspections to check for any flea/tick infestations, scheduled carpet cleanings, and replacing any furniture or linens that become worn out. As you provide a welcome gift for your guests, you may want to consider providing one for their pets as well. Possible amenities for pets may include treats, toys, or food and water bowls to make it a true five-star experience.
As good of a cleaning job that you do, guests who are sensitive to allergies may be hesitant in booking your place as well. Leftover fur or dander may be laying around deterring travelers from potentially booking your property.
Overall, there are both positives and negatives to making your Airbnb pet friendly, and it is ultimately up to you to decide if the good outweighs the bad. Many hosts take this niche market as an opportunity to make more money while others prefer to spend money on high end furniture and furnishings and hope for a better return by providing a high-end experience. Either way, your main goal is to make money from your investment property, so choose a route that suits you best and run with it!