How I Became a Pet-Friendly REALTOR
How I became a pet-friendly REALTOR® has been asked more times than I can remember, so here’s my story. Anyone who knows me knows I love dogs. If you don’t, you’ll find out quick enough! This is how I became a pet-friendly REALTOR .
I LOVE DOGS & CATS
Many years ago my husband and I were looking to move to the beach. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was the beginning of how I would become a pet-friendly REALTOR.
We had always wanted to live at the beach, but when we first moved to Boca Raton, we had three kids, two dogs and five cars. That made it virtually impossible to move to the beach. Where was I going to find five parking spots? Seriously!
We have owned several homes in pet-friendly gated communities in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, but it was the lure of the beach we wanted. The sand, the salt air, the ocean – feeling like we were on vacation all the time.
Years later, the kids had grown up and moved out. We were down to our four-legged kids (always the dogs!) and the two of us. It was time to look at the beach again. So off we went.
PET-FRIENDLY CONDO AT THE BEACH
We found a great pet-friendly condo at the beach. While we were talking with the agent, I asked about the pet restrictions.
She told us the condo would accept one dog with a maximum weight of 60 lbs. Great, I said, I have two little ones that weigh a total of 16 lbs. This woman looked at me, dead serious, and said, “You can’t live here.”
I was speechless. Anyone who knows me knows I am rarely at a loss for words! I’m a New Yorker (although I’ve been in this area for 29 years) so things have to make sense. They need to add up. And this, made absolutely no sense to me.
Where was the rationale? What was the point? Who made this ridiculous rule? I could have one dog that weighed 60 lbs but not two with a combined total weight of 16 lbs? Genius.
No matter how I tried, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It was a no-brainer to me. The rules of this pet-friendly condo on the beach were totally absurd.
But rules are rules, so we moved on from this dog-friendly condo at the beach to another dog-friendly gated community in Boca Raton.
I was incensed. Being a retired Court Reporter, I started to do research. Hours and hours of reading and research on pet-friendly condos and acquainting myself with pet restrictions of different communities.
As a retired Court Reporter in the days before Google (yes), I have done extensive research in order to get a transcript out that didn’t read (phonetic.) I worked until I got the spelling of whatever word I was looking for. So I was up to the task.
The more I read, the more I learned which condos in Boca Raton and Highland Beach allowed pets and which did not, which condos in Delray Beach allowed pets and which ones did not. I discovered which condos had even more ridiculous rules such as allowing a bird or a fish and then calling it ‘pet friendly.’
Then I took it a step further and began researching gated communities – all-age gated communities, 55 plus gated communities and even the equity country clubs.
And that is how I became a pet-friendly REALTOR® in Boca Raton.
Soon thereafter, I began to notice that different communities would update their rules from time to time and change their pet restrictions.
One waterfront condo went from two dogs with a maximum weight of 25 lbs to one dog maximum weight 25 lbs. Why? Who knows? Another condo that originally allowed two pets now allows no pets. Again, why? The board voted it out. A pet-friendly 55+ gated community allowed two dogs up to 25 lbs each. All of a sudden, it was one dog up to 35 lbs. And so it goes.
I began compiling a list about 15 years ago which is a constant work in progress. I’ve spent countless hours reading. When a listing said “pets restricted,” I wanted and needed to know what that meant.
Did the condo or community restrict the number, breed or weight of the dogs or cats, or were pets restricted from the community altogether? Or was it another fish-and-bird restriction? Totally ridiculous!
I was on a mission to quickly becoming a pet-friendly REALTOR® in Boca Raton and the surrounding areas.
DOG-FRIENDLY REALTOR WOES
I used to work well into the night trying to put together a schedule for buyers. Imagine trying to plan a day with someone who has a beautiful Golden Retriever or two, and the listing says “pet restrictions.” And it’s midnight or 1:00 am. Even if I could call the agent at that hour, more often than not, they didn’t have a clue. I was so frustrated!
Frustrated was not the word – it drove me crazy! How was I supposed to show pet-friendly homes or condos when I didn’t know the pet restrictions? Each time this happened, I researched more and more. And I kept track more and more.
How would you feel if you fell in love with a home only to be told your beloved dog or dogs and cats were not welcome? Thank you. Exactly! Now, you understand.
TALE OF THREE DACHSHUNDS
I learned that on-site managers or office personnel for the community could be and sometimes were wrong. Absolutely!
I remember an incident with a woman who came to me looking for a home in Delray Beach with three dachshunds. She found me looking for a pet-friendly buyer’s agent wanting o buy a home in a 55+ community. And I wanted to help her.
I checked with the office of a particular community and was told two pets maximum, which I relayed to the buyer. She had three. She left south Florida disappointed because they wouldn’t accept her three small dogs.
Some time later, I was telling this story to a friend who lived in this same 55+ community. She went wild telling me the office manager was wrong. She then went down to the office to tell the office manager about the pet restrictions for the community. Here this woman was the office manager, and she didn’t have a clue what the pet restrictions were! Can you imagine?!
I learned a good lesson that day, one that I haven’t forgotten since.
HOW I BECAME A PET-FRIENDLY REALTOR®
Born out of my own frustrations, my love of dogs, cats and the law, it became a personal mission for me to help buyers looking for condos or homes with pets. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s how I became a pet-friendly REALTOR®.
Buyers who were looking for pet-friendly homes in gated communities in Boca Raton, pet-friendly condos in Boca, Highland Beach and Delray Beach, both on and off the ocean, non-gated communities, 55 plus communities in Delray Beach, anything that would accept their furry friends, I was up for the challenge and still am.
Many people don’t realize non-gated communities often have pet restrictions, too.
BUYERS WITH NO PETS
I realize people may be allergic, they may be frightened of cats and dogs, or they may not love animals as I do. And that’s perfectly fine. Whatever the reason, they’re entitled to their wants and needs, too.
I am, and have always been, happy to work with pet-friendly buyers as well as non-pet-friendly buyers.
Being a pet-friendly REALTOR® is not as easy as it sounds, but it is rewarding. The time and effort put into endless hours of research are well worth the smiles I see on my customer and client’s faces’ when we’ve found that perfect home. That’s when I know I’ve done my job well. You know, the one that has the perfect fenced backyard, or the home with a pool because their dog likes to swim, or the home with great walking paths nearby. Whatever.
It’s that home or condo that welcomes their beloved pets. After all, pets are part of the family! I told you at the beginning you’d find out quick enough!
I don’t just throw out listings and hope something sticks. I do the work and I’m honest. If I can’t help you, I’ll tell you. If it’s impossible to find a pet-friendly home in my area, I’ll tell you. I may send you to a colleague in another area that may be able to help. You and your precious pets are just too important.
And that is the story of how I became a pet-friendly REALTOR.
MAP OF BOCA RATON
RELATED PET FRIENDLY ARTICLES
- How to Move to South Florida with Pets
- Pet-Friendly 55+ Communities in Delray Beach FL
- Should I Hire a Buyer’s Agent for New Construction
Ready to sell your home quickly and at the right price? Find out how much your home is worth now!
If you’re looking for a new home in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach or Highland Beach, we can help. Use these popular one-click searches to find what you’re looking for:
- Boca Raton homes for sale
- Delray Beach homes for sale
- Highland Beach homes for sale
- Pet-friendly 55+ communities in Delray Beach
- Over-55 communities in Delray Beach
- Boca Raton gated communities
- Pet-friendly 55+ communities in Boca Raton
Get Instant Access to Hot New Listings by Filling Out the Form Below