Pets Archives – Varsity Branding

Tag: Pets

September is Happy Cat Month and Responsible Dog Ownership Month! To honor these observances, we would like to introduce you to the feline friends and canine companions of our staffers. In addition to contributing to a happier, longer  life for older adults, pets have a similar impact on our team. Without further ado, we present the pets of Varsity!

Rocky the Pillow-Fort Creator
Owns: Ellie Weaver, Account Strategist

“This three-year-old boxer makes pillow forts for himself out of the couch cushions. He barks at everything that moves and sometimes at nothing at all.

Louis the Snow Bunny
Owns: Emily Runyon, Account Strategist

Two-year old Louie, a mutt, was adopted as a puppy. This big, happy lazy boy is happiest sitting on your lap (all 75 pounds of him) or in the snow.

Loki the Rodent Connoisseur
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

Adopted from Heavenly Paws, this 12-year-old feline hates to be inside too long and is the best hunter Jace has ever had. (Loki prefers rodents to birds.)

Mia the Tennis Ball Fanatic
Owns: Emily Runyon, Account Strategist

Adopted as a puppy, five-year-old Mia is obsessed with tennis balls and will do anything for a treat or to bask in the sun.

Sebastian the Cat’s Best Bud
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

An eight-year-old German Shepherd, Sebastian is loyal to a fault and loves to be vacuumed.

Mila the ZZZ-Catcher
Owns: Renee Kelly, Art Director

Adopted at a year old, ten-year-old Mila made her way to central PA from a shelter in Ohio. She lives her best life through relaxation, naps and walks.

Keno the Complainer
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

The first (and probably last) pure bred Jace has ever owned, 12-year-old Siberian Husky Keno is bullheaded and loves to complain.

Kylo the Cuddler
Owns: Jace Dawson, Project Manager

This affectionate feline loves to cuddle up on the sofa and in bed, but doesn’t like to be picked up. His snores shake the earth.

That’s our pet project. Here’s to our beloved animals – and yours!

At our 42nd sales and marketing roundtable, we learned how residents are eagerly getting the vaccine (and communities are telling the world), but team members are dragging their feet.

Check out the recap below, and please join us for our next virtual discussions this week: our new Continuing Care At Home Roundtable, to be held the first Wednesday of the month, and our regular weekly Sales & Marketing Roundtable every Thursday.

Please join our next roundtable discussion on Thursday, February 4, 2021, at noon ET.

We will also be starting a similar Continuing Care At Home Roundtable discussion, to be held the first Wednesday of the month. Our first meeting will be Wednesday, February 3, at noon ET.

To receive login information for one or both roundtables, email .

In celebration of All-American Pet Photo Day, we’d like to introduce you to our office dogs, Mia and Parker. (They haven’t been in the office lately due to COVID-19, so they’re anxious to get back to work.)

Tell us a little bit about your pets.

Emily Runyon, account supervisor and Mia’s owner: According to a DNA test, Mia is 25% Boston Terrier, 25% Doberman Pinscher, 12.5% Australian Cattle Dog, 12.5% Rottweiler, and 25% mixed-breed groups. She’s three years old.

James Schorn, resource manager and Parker’s owner: Parker is part beagle, part German Shepherd and a little of something else. He’s eight years old.

How did your dogs come to join your family?

Emily: I begged and begged my husband to consider adding a puppy to our family. He finally caved after quite some time, and I quickly lined up an appointment to see a litter, up for adoption through Homeward Bound, before he could change his mind.

James: I was lucky enough to find Parker wandering through Harrisburg.

How do your pooches like coming to work?

Emily: Mia doesn’t love the hour-long car ride, but as soon as we get to work, she’s excited to greet her coworkers! Her first stop is usually to Renee’s desk for her morning treat.

James: Parker enjoys spending time around people, so he enjoys coming to the office, as opposed to watching the squirrels in the backyard.

What do Mia and Parker like most about the Varsity office?

Emily: Lots of treats, Derek sharing his daily apple, scratches, and the occasional walk around the block. Mia loves her coworkers and can often be found trying to coerce them into playing a game of tug-of-war in the afternoon. Strangers are not her friend; at first, she alerts the team of anyone in the building she doesn’t know—just ask the UPS delivery person!

James: Well… he hasn’t told me, specifically, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say he’s definitely a fan of the car rides to and from the office.

Where do your dogs hang out at work?

Emily: When she’s in the office, Mia can typically be found lying on her bed by my desk. She likes to nap throughout the day and chew on her bacon-shaped bone.

James: Some days, Parker will sleep on his work bed; some days, the wood floors work just fine. No science behind it, he does what he wants.

 

If you perform a Google search for articles relating to the positive effects of pet ownership as we age, you’ll be served up just under 3.4 million results. Obviously, we have significant evidence that pet ownership can have an impact on our health and well-being, no matter how old we are. Yet, for a variety of reasons, many aging services communities don’t allow pets of any sort, or place severe restrictions on pet ownership. This made us curious — what’s the impact of not allowing pets on a community’s marketing efforts and occupancy?

During our Google search, we came across an article from pawsperouspets.com titled, “Retiring with Your Pet — Are Pets Allowed in Retirement Communities?” In the article, the author lists several hoops that retiring pet owners may face when trying to move to a community. Restrictions on the size of the pet and its age are fairly common; communities usually prefer smaller pets that are a bit older. Also, most communities require an additional financial deposit. But what really caught our eye was requiring a social screening of pets, including trial periods.

Trial periods and social screenings are a great idea. By having all current residents meet the pet, and having a professional screen the animal, you are creating a policy that should help to weed out potential issues. But what kind of marketing message is this sending? We think it’s both positive and negative.

On the positive side, by having a well-established and written pet policy, you can prevent any anxiety that residents and potential residents may have around animals in the community. Not everyone likes cats, dogs, birds, rodents or lizards. Thus, establishing a clear policy and guidelines helps to keep everyone on the same level. However, there can be a downside to these policies as well.

Discriminating against pet owners could be costing you sales. According to the American Humane Society, the average income of pet owners is higher than non-pet owners — and we all know how important income qualification is for retirement communities! Also noted is that the average length of occupancy for pet owner is more than twice that of non-pet owners. Obviously, those are some good reasons to encourage pet ownership, as it could have a positive effect on your bottom line.

Let’s face the facts: The chances that someone is going to voluntarily give up a beloved family pet to move to your community is pretty slim. If his or her dog is 35 pounds, and you only allow pets up to 25 pounds, that puts the potential resident in a predicament. In fact, the American Humane Society reports that 50 percent of all dogs in the U.S. are over 25 pounds, the common weight restriction found in rental contracts. These kinds of situations generally end one of three ways — with you losing a sale, a couple being forced to give up an animal, or someone fibbing about a pet’s weight. It’s reasonable to say that none of these options are win-win outcomes. With divorce among Boomers increasing, we’ve seen firsthand that someone may leave their spouse, but they will not leave their pet just to move to your community. So, what can you do?

With this problem in mind, the American Humane Society rolled out a campaign aimed at helping pet owners and property managers find some common middle ground. We, at Varsity, especially appreciate the detailed list of common misconceptions about pets and their owners. It’s a great resource for aging services communities — and one that you should check out.

Click here to read the article.

If you haven’t reevaluated your pet policy in awhile, now is a great time to do so — especially with the summer sales season quickly approaching. Contact our team today, and we’ll be happy to share with you some best practices for pets and discuss how adjustments in your policy could help you increase occupancy — and maybe even fill those tough-to-sell floor plans.

Sources:

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/pets-are-welcome-renting-with-pets.html