Commercial Real Estate

Do Surging Pet Adoption Rates Pose Opportunities for CRE Investors?

If ever there was a time we need the proven health benefits of pet ownership, including reduced feelings of anxiety and loneliness, it’s now. Not surprisingly, pet adoption rates are surging nationwide as record numbers of Americans sign up to be temporary “foster parents” to pets or permanently adopt them. According to our analysis, this trend presents commercial real estate (CRE) owners nationwide with new revenue-generating opportunities. 

Pet Supplies Among Surging Adoptions

More pet owners in a neighborhood translates to more people who need to purchase pet food, food, squeaky toys, leashes, litter boxes, etc. And when this pandemic finally recedes, many will need pet-sitters when they return to their workplaces.

CRE owners should consider seeking out pet supply or pet daycare tenants to capitalize on this growing need – assuming this trend is impacting the individual communities they serve. We have collected and analyzed multiple datasets reflecting income, demographics, e-commerce purchasing and social media activity in New York City to demonstrate how we can help them quantify this qualitative trend.

Why New York City? Because the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports a near 70 percent increase in animals going into foster care through the organization’s foster programs in NYC and Los Angeles – two of the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak hot spots and among the first cities to implement social gathering restrictions – compared to the same period in 2019. 

We analyzed a variety of datasets to compare pet adoption and foster activity in April 2020 to February 2020, including: 

  • Social media: Data from Spatial.ai, a social media lifestyle dataset specific to real estate and urban planning, revealed a >65% increase in social media posts that included the tag “pets” in Prospect Park, Battery Park and Inwood. 
  • Email receipts: Pet supply purchasing (e.g., from Chewy.com) increased during the period. The overlap between social media pet activity and pet-related online purchasing was >70% in NYC.
  • Payroll data: ADP data revealed that the purchasing activity was driven mostly by older couples and hourly/part time workers. 

In addition to demographic data that shows who is adopting or fostering pets, we analyzed psychodemographic data that reveal why they’re doing so, such as a desire to alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety and loneliness. 

We discovered  that older, but still active and working, populations are increasing the amount of time and money they spend on their pets when compared to younger people, particularly Millennials. For example, the three areas that showed the greatest increases in “pets” social media posts were predominantly inhabited by older populations and part-time/hourly workers.  For example, the highlighted area around Prospect Park is made up of 71% hourly/part-time workers and 21% of the residents are age 55+.
  Surge in Pet Adoptions New York City

Those populations in Inwood, and the areas around Battery Park and Prospect Park are more likely to spend more time with pets, and purchase more pet products.  Incidentally, income was found to be negatively correlated with pet activity.  As landlords look to enhance their residential properties, a pet-related amenity or pet-friendly policy could address this increasing demand. 

Although our analysis is specific to New York City, we expect we would find similar statistics nationwide. NBC News reached out to shelters in several states and found all have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from their communities.

This analysis is just one example of the breadth of data our team offers with a focus on identifying appropriate residential amenities or commercial tenants.  This data can also be used to answer questions like:

  • Who lives in my communities? What are they interested in?
  • Why do my two sites with similar demographic and psychographic profiles perform differently?
  • Are my sites in close proximity to labor hotspots?

Leveraging unique datasets and sophisticated models from our data science team, 7Park provides insights into market-specific measures of disposable income, consumer sentiment & spending patterns, local labor demand, and construction permit activity. With a forward-looking view into consumer and business trends, CRE investors, developers, brokers and lenders work with 7Park to identify opportunities with greater speed and confidence than traditional site selection techniques. Use the contact form below to learn more. 

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