We’ve written before about how greening your properties can give you a competitive advantage over your competition. But did you know that greening your property management office can also boost your business? Property managers who have gone green and paperless find that it saves them both time and money. And when you combine a green office with environmentally friendly changes to the properties you manage, you can market yourself more effectively as an eco-friendly business. A green image can be a big benefit in today’s market.
Here are seven tips on greening your property management office.
- Go paperless.
One of the most important green changes you can make to your office is to go paperless. Reducing the amount of paperwork you handle saves you time and money, gets rent money in the bank faster, frees up office space and saves trees. These days, you can conduct almost all your business via the Internet, email and fax. And using web-based property management software makes going paperless even easier. Email owners and residents, collect rent online, enter work orders and store digital documents, all right from AppFolio.
- Say no to junk mail.
Junk mail accounts for a ridiculous number of dead trees, and everyone hates it anyway. So dig yourself out from under the avalanche of ads and bogus offers. Check out the FTC’s instructions on how to opt out of junk mail. A few extra minutes spent now calling or emailing the appropriate agencies can save you the time and trouble required to sort through and discard junk mail in the future.
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
Rechargeable batteries will cost you a little extra money at the register, but are well worth it in the long run. One rechargeable battery can replace hundreds of single-use batteries. You’ll also reduce the amount of toxic metal waste put into landfills. Rechargeable batteries contain the same harmful materials as regular batteries, but you’ll use fewer of them. And remember, whether you use rechargeable or standard batteries, recycle them properly rather than just tossing them in the trash.
- Replace incandescent bulbs.
Replacing incandescent bulbs in your office with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save you money by reducing your electrical bills. And the less energy you use, the fewer of the Earth’s natural resources you’ll consume.
- Hold meetings online.
Consider conducting meetings over the Internet via Skype, Google+ Hangouts, GoToMeeting or another video chat service rather than having everyone drive to the office. Not only will you save people money on gas, you’ll preserve the world’s oil resources and cut down on air pollution from car exhaust.
- Turn computers off.
Computers use up a ton of energy, and leaving them on overnight is just wasteful. Make it a company policy for everyone to turn off their desktop computers before leaving work. And while you’re at it, make sure to turn off other major office equipment, such as printers, scanners and fax machines, when not in use.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat will quickly help you to cut down on your energy bills. Set it to a comfortable level during work hours and program it to reduce the temperature by a few degrees during the hours when no one’s in the building.