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Planning a Sustainable Rental Property

Posted by Darren Novak, Guest Columnist

Jul 19, 2016 5:29:00 PM

If you build an eco-friendly apartment building, don't miss any chance to enhance its green credentials.

As a builder or landlord, it is your decision whether you want your rental property to be more environmentally friendly. There is a lot of upside for property owners who decide to go green. You're not just attracting more would-be renters, and renters of a higher quality, you are also contributing to global conservation efforts.

According to a recent study by J Turner Research, new homebuyers are becoming more inclined to seek out or at least prefer environmentally friendly homes— especially millennials.

More relevant to this article, another study found that 60% of renters are willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly apartment. Taking this into account together with the fact that millennials make up a large portion of the rental population, landlords and developers may want to consider emphasizing green features.

Go Green

In the survey, we were given key insight into the features tenants are looking for in sustainable homes. Presumably, the same would apply to aparments:

Walkability. If the property is walkable it is sure to attract the attention of environmentally friendly tenants. Walkability is defined by how easy it is to reach supermarkets, public transportation, restaurants, etc. on foot.

Appliance Efficiency. Survey results showed that tenants consider energy efficient appliances to be the most important factor in a green home. On top of helping the environment, efficient appliances can save you hundreds of dollars on utility bills.

Recycling. One of the easiest and cheapest waysto go green. If you are targeting multi-family communities then it would be good to consider adding recycling with easy to follow directions. For single family homes, you can always hand out step by step instructions on how to recycle curbside.

Apart from these tips, there are hundreds of other apartment building materials and building operations options that may be better for your specific sustainability goals. Here are some you might find interesting:

Paperless. Business activities often times leave a very noticeable carbon footprint. By making your business 100% virtual you can save hundreds of dollars on paper. In addition to this, property management software will give you the ability to collect rent payments online. This will save your tenants time and money in the long run also. This will also make the process of sending notifications to your tenants easier by doing it all through email.

Insulation. One of the most common ways homes lose money is on energy bills. Air conditioning and heating are the most demanding appliances in terms of electricity. Heat and cold easily escape your property through poorly insulated windows and doors. So invest in good quality insulation and your tenants are sure to thank you.

LED lighting. LEDs save much more energy than traditional light bulbs. In addition to this, they also last much longer which means your tenants will not have to worry about changing the light bulbs too often. In terms of savings, the simple switch to LED lights can save you hundreds of dollars on electricity bills.

Smart Technology. As written in a recent post by Green Builder Media. “The Internet of Things is enabling a future that, to date, has only been embodied by the most far-reaching science-fiction stories.” Not only are smart home devices and gadget becoming more affordable, but also environmentally friendly. For example, outfitting your properties with a smart sprinkler system that adjusts automatically when the weather changes will save water.

Switching over to sustainable preferences can give you the profit boost you need from your rental properties. Not to mention the fact that you will definitely attract more renters who are willing to pay a bit more for an environmentally friendly home.

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