Does Size Really Matter? - Originally Posted with Appfolio's Property Manager E-Zine

Let's play a game.  I'm going to show you two pictures and I want you to pick which dog you think would be a better fur-resident in your community, bearing in mind your current pet policy and your own personal prejudices and biases to certain dogs.

This Is Fox.


   Which Dog Do   You Like More?

This Is Loki.

Did you pick your winner?  They're both pretty cute, I'll have to admit, so it might have been a tough choice for you.  How about a little more information?

Fox is a Border Collie/Retriever mixed breed who weighs about 50 pounds.  Loki is a pure bred Blue Merle Pomeranian who weighs about7 pounds soaking wet. 

That is the information that we would normally base our decision off of as an apartment community.  All we ever need to know is the breed and the weight and it pretty much gives us the yea or nay on the situation. 

Fox wouldn't be allowed at many communities because his weight is not under 35 pounds.  Loki, on the other hand, could go with his people to anyplace that takes dogs, since a 7 pound dog is sure to be admitted.  Does that make Loki the better apartment pet?

Not Necessarily.

Fox is my boy, and he's my little sociopath, as he knows right from wrong but assumes the rules don't always apply to him.  I've had Fox for about 4 years now, and despite his quirky and odd sense of humor, I'd never trade him for another dog.  In the 4 years I've owned Fox, I've been living in apartments, and have never had to pay for a major pet damage clean up. Like most bigger dogs, he doesn't dig at carpets, he doesn't "go" in the house, and honestly, most of the time he just lays around sleeping, lazy dog that he is.  He does bark a bit, but since we started using the citronella collar on him, he doesn't really have that problem anymore.

Cute little Loki belongs to some friends of mine.  Clinically speaking in psychological terms, I'd deem him a psychopath, since he doesn't know right from wrong and doesn't really seem to care enough to learn.  They've had Loki since he was a puppy, and I firmly believe that his adorable little head tilt smile (see picture above) is all that keeps him alive some days.  Loki the destroyer has pulled up corners of carpeting, chewed through cables and even eaten a hole in their drywall.  All dogs, like children, have moments where they're monsters, but Loki seems to have these moments more often than many other dogs.  Loki is not a bad dog, nor are his people bad trainers.  But it is the nature of smaller breeds to have higher instances of separation anxiety and dominance issue over their humans.

The point I'm driving at is that maybe it's time to reexamine your pet policy by poundage.  A dog's weight does not equate to property damage.  Any dog can cause property damage if they're not properly trained, or if they have separation anxiety (which is what usually leads to dogs barking and digging up carpet and eating holes in drywall).  There are many advantages to accepting bigger dogs.  First of all, you will be the property in your area that gains those leases the other properties aren't eligible for with their iron clad puppy policy.  And if your property already takes dogs, then you've already probably got a pet litter mitigation plan in place, so the extra messes aren't going to be as much of a bother.  Plus with a bigger dog, the mess is bigger and in what I've observed, since it is bigger, people are actually MORE likely to pick up the pet litter, instead of just leaving it there for someone to step in while on a tour. 

If you extended up your poundage limit, to say 120 lbs, how many more leases do you think you'd get? I remember from being on site that one of the common interest killers in phone conversations were pet weight limits, and in an economy where we can't afford to lose even one lease, it seems a shame to kill the prospective lease over pet poundage.

5 "Spooky" Suggestions for Your October Marketing - Originally posted to AppFolio's E-zine

Talent Retention T-Day: "Yes, Dogs Allowed!"