Being aware of dog-focused people can help a real estate agent in their quest to help their clients find the right home. Dog-dedicated people often have more money than the average person to focus on their pets and on their property, making them worth the time spent on researching the dog scene. Dog people tend to find one another at veterinary offices, dog parks and the local kennel club. If you are known as an agent who is sensitive to the needs of the dog owner, word-of-mouth is very likely to work in your favor in the dog world.
If a couple emphasizes their dog (s) when they are telling you about their ideal home, it may indicate that their purchase of a home may hinge on how well it will work for their canine companions. People who show or breed or are involved in dog competitions are often people who look at a house in terms of how well it will fit their dogs' needs.
Most dog people look for homes with a fenced yard for their dogs to play in. Ask your clients if they would consider building fences / kennels if there are none on the property. If they would be willing to do so, you may be able to show them properties that are unfenced.
Houses with "mud rooms" or "mud areas" where a person can dry off a wet / dirty dog after a walk are appreciated, especially by dog owners with furry or shaggy breeds. If your clients have senior dogs, make sure you emphasize any easily navigated entries, exits and access to the yard. Other places to call attention to are recreation rooms that can be converted to grooming / training areas and small, out-of-the-way rooms that may be good choices for quiet whelping areas.
Some dog people consider their dogs as their children and some dog people do not, but it may help to consider your clients' dogs as such and ask yourself, "What amenities would these people be looking for if their dogs were kids?" Schools, stores that sell supplies and toys, places their kids can play and establishment where their (polite) kids are welcome.
Questions to consider are: What is the reputation and influence of the local kennel club? Are there other obedience schools in the area? What about grooming establishments? Pet supply stores? Are there walking trails nearby? Dog parks? Places where a dog can run off-lead without incurring a fine or disturb others? Are there cafés around that offer outdoor seating? You may want to take note of any establishment that offers free dog biscuits or sets out water bowls.
A new company that appeared on the scene in January of 2007 is banding pet-focused agents together. "The Pet Realty Network" is a company dedicated to connecting buyers with real estate agents who know their pets and what it takes to find a home that they will live happily in. The website is petrealtynetwork.com; definitely worth a try if you're looking to advertise yourself as a pro-pet agent.
For the dedicated dog owner, a real estate agent who knows local-laws or is willing to research them is invaluable. If Pookie is a rottweiler or an American pit bull terrier, some neighborhoods can be less friendly, even if Pookie is an impeccably trained, always-under-control, good-tempered dog. Do not despair if there are by-laws that restrict the breed of dog your clients have; see if there are ways around the law; for example some communities will waive the breistist restriction if the owner has proof of temperament testing and / or obedience courses taken.
It helps if you are aware of the dog scene in the area your clients are considering. A working knowledge of the latest dog-related issues is also good, because it helps to know if your clients are considering an area known for its heart worm or if a rabies scare has been a headliner laTely. Most dog-focused clients are aware of dog medical issues and can protect their dogs adequately, but they will appreciate your honesty and concern for their dog's well-being.
Boning up (har-de-har, I made a funny) on the dog scene can help you find a property that your dog-focused clients will be happy with. It can also make your services more valuable to people who have the time and money to focus on their pets. If you choose to branch out into other animal-friendly real estate (for example, horse-friendly properties and neighborhoods), you may find that your services will be in demand by people who need an agent who knows what to look for.