Research shows that some tenants are willing to pay more for apartment homes managed by property teams with a focus on environmental responsibility. There are other benefits to targeting the “green crowd” with advertising efforts.
Lauren Gilder (National Apartment Association) says green initiatives – such as installing metered utility equipment that allows property managers to track usage and implement higher efficiency standards – attracts a proactive market with similar standards and benchmarks for protecting the environment. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to assume that tenants specifically searching for properties with a strong personal environmental protection policy would be more likely than other tenants to manage energy consumption in their homes and in common areas – potentially saving apartment home complexes money on shared utility costs.
Property managers should approach marketing their rental property as an environmental advocate cautiously if the only visible investments pointing toward sustainable practices are a few solar landscaping lights and the new hybrid car wrapped with the property logo.
While installing metered utilities is a fantastic step in the right direction – here are a few more tips for moving from a greenish property toward a greener lifestyle.
Keep Your Light Shining. The reason the government is phasing out incandescent bulbs is obvious when you consider that an incandescent lamp only uses about 5% of the energy consumed as a visible light source. Although LED and CFL lamps are the most energy-efficient bulbs on the market today, some properties continue to buy incandescents from overstocked supply companies because they are less expensive.
If you’re still using old-style bulbs, don’t be surprised when prospective tenants broach the topic on property tours.
Recycle Everything for High Marks.
If your property already has an office recycling program that includes recycling ink cartridges and paper, excellent! You can take it a step further by encouraging residents to recycle plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard with strategically bins conveniently placed around the property. Announce the recycling program with a prominently displayed sign in the office.
If you designate an employee to take the recyclables to a center that reimburses for items brought in, you can apply that money toward upgrading to more eco-friendly light bulbs or switching to less toxic cleaners. This approach is definitely a triple play – residents, property owners and the environment benefit.
Make Your Conversations Green Through and Through
Communication is a given for any property. Makes yours stand out with the crowd by using a text or messaging service to deliver your monthly newsletters, important bulletins and rental statements.
Along with simple changes in the way you do business like the ones mentioned above, there are some subtle habits that might discourage prospects from seeing your property through an eco-friendly lens.
- Check your customer refreshment table. You might have a delectable layout with mouth-watering croissants and aromatic coffee blends, but serving those treats on Styrofoam plates and cups is a real no-no.
- An inviting pool is always a plus, but a strong, chlorine smell indicates you might be using too much of a good things, or worse yet, relying on toxic chemicals to keep the pool clean.
- A perfectly manicured lawn creates a first impression that is hard to beat. Today’s environmentally conscious tenants look beyond the local management team to external relationships. Be certain your landscaping vendor practices solid, sustainable practices, too. That means incorporating xeriscaping (using plants that require less water) in arid climates, choosing appropriate fertilizers, and well-maintained, energy-efficient vehicles that reduce the carbon footprint.