Last modified on January 8th, 2016
By Elizabeth Millar
Green Revolution is no longer just a buzz word. It’s a way of life for many Americans today. While some people still don’t see the value in making a commitment to protect our natural resources and reduce their carbon footprint – others make intentional decisions throughout the day to curb dependence on fossil fuels and replace wasteful behaviors with positive habits.
What does that mean for property managers in the United States?
Property Managers Can Model and Support Sustainable Practice
According to Kelton Global research, the national recycle-rate is 34.5%. Many survey participants said they would recycle more if they had better information about which items can be reclaimed.
Another survey, the 2014 National Waste and Recycling Association survey, shows that one in three Americans aren’t sure how to separate recyclable items into bins and carts properly.
Young adults (18-34) are the least likely group to recycle consistently and the group most interested in improving their efforts. Here are three ways your community can support this rental demographic.
- Host a community recycling education event, perhaps to coordinate with America Recycles Day, which is scheduled for November 15, 2015.
- Clearly mark all bins and carts, and place them in easy to access areas around your property.
- Publish helpful recycling tips and suggestions on your company website, in digital newsletters and via email campaigns or text messages.
(Read more about the survey findings here)
Innovative Technology Solutions
While residents are looking for ways to increase recycling efforts, they also want opportunities to lower utility costs and manage natural resources wisely. Strata research reported in 2013, 64% of young adults in the 18-33 age group said they were willing to pay higher rent rates to live in a green apartment community.
Along with installing low-water toilets, ENERGY-STAR certified appliances and high-performance replacement windows that attract eco-minded apartment seekers, property management technology can also improve your green image.
Leverage your tech tools to reduce paper waste with this tips.
- Replace printed floor plan brochures with walk-through videos on your company website.
- Switch to online application and digital lease options.
- Convert printed owners’ statements to digital format via online portal tools.
- Archive files in the cloud and not in the file cabinet.
- Text or email rent reminders in lieu of mailed monthly statements.
Retrofitting, Regulations and Reputation Management
Building energy management strategies are gaining traction across the nation. As the federal government issues more rigorous energy conservation benchmarks, multifamily housing professionals are facing increased regulations from states, municipalities and regional governing bodies.
Many metropolitan areas already have regulations in place that require large multifamily complexes to disclose, rate and benchmark water and electricity usage. Five states – Alaska, Kansas, New York, Maine and South Dakota – have adopted residential disclosure laws.
It’s never to early to prepare for the future. Small property managers and multifamily property owners from states that haven’t yet adopted reporting standards may benefit from familiarizing themselves with benchmarking standards for retrofitting and designing energy-efficient building management plans.
Projecting a green image is relevant in 2015 and will continue to be important as we collectively look for ways to use our natural resources wisely. Multifamily housing professionals who take a proactive approach stand to attract attention from apartment seekers and capture the respect of their peers and colleagues in the process.