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Posted by Pete Evering on January 14, 2021
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Sustainability in the Rental Market

As we continue to see the beginning of the potentially irreversible impacts of climate change, sustainability and environmental conservation have become more important than ever. Not only are we witnessing record-breaking high temperatures and natural disasters, but the COVID-19 pandemic could be a window into our future if we do not limit our carbon emissions. A warming climate creates a better environment for viruses to develop, increasing the likelihood that we see another pandemic in the years to come – one that could be more contagious, or more deadly, than COVID-19.

While the conversation on sustainability grows, many property owners are asking how they can take responsibility and contribute to the green movement. From commercial buildings, to multifamily complexes, to even single-family homes, landlords have a strong opportunity to promote environmental sustainability – and they are taking this opportunity. The amount of sustainable housing has increased globally by 19 percent since 2017, with more than 400,000 of these properties in the United States. There is no better time than now to invest in green architecture, technology, and practices.

Benefits of Going Green

If you are hesitant to make a substantial business investment simply for the sake of environmental responsibility, you are not alone. Luckily, there are actually multiple benefits of supporting sustainability beyond environmental protection:

Reduce construction costs: Eco-friendly design and construction materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, and wool, can actually be more cost-effective than traditional methods.
Reduce energy usage: Energy efficient technology and utilities can save up to 60% in energy bills. This includes high-efficiency plumbing, advanced cooling and heating systems, and even stainless-steel appliances.
Attract tenants: The majority of U.S. residents agree that environmental sustainability is an attractive feature when it comes to rental property. Sustainability is a high-value marketing asset that can keep your properties rented.
Increase monthly income: Studies suggest that over 60% of renters would pay more in rent for eco-friendly features. If a sustainable amenity is going to cost more money out of your pocket, you should be able to increase rent to make up for that, or even turn a profit.

Although most of us think of going eco-friendly as an expensive commitment, that is simply not the case. Most eco-friendly practices are just modern and efficient, especially when it comes to architecture and technology.

Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Boost Sustainability

If you are not dealing with larger construction projects, or not in the position to make a substantial investment on any of your properties, there are still a variety of ways you can support the environment:

Water efficient shower heads: For residential properties, efficient shower heads or other plumbing installments will reduce water usage significantly.
Dual flush converters: Installing flush converters to control the amount of water used with each flush will also aid in limiting unnecessary water usage.
Programmable thermostats: High-tech thermostats allow tenants to manage indoor temperatures more effectively, and they often feature eco-friendly settings that automatically limit the use of air conditioning and heating systems.
Insulation: Proper insulation maximizes temperature control efficiency and reduces energy consumption. In addition to high-quality insulation, ensure that there are no air leaks around any windows and doors.
Paperless management: Carry out all management processes without physical paper. This can include leasing, showing, rent collection, and any communication with tenants. Digital management is also often an attractive feature for renters.

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