Sustainability is sweeping across the globe like a breath of fresh air, leaving a trail of positive change in its wake.
Property management is one of the industries that’s jumped on board the eco-friendly express, with stakeholders eagerly adopting green practices to shrink their carbon footprints and cultivate healthier living spaces.
The drive towards a sustainable future is fueled by diverse perspectives, all rallying around the need to combat climate change and reap the lasting rewards of sustainability in property management.
Join us as we explore the factors sparking this eco-revolution, the innovative ways property managers are going green, and the bountiful benefits that await both property managers and residents.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
The catalysts of change
As the pressure for sustainable property management grows daily, the world watches with bated breath as climate change concerns intensify and extreme weather events shake the globe.
The message is clear: it’s time to take action, and our planet can’t wait any longer.
Governments, investors, and renters alike are more invested than ever in (and outright demanding) more environmentally responsible building design, construction, and operations practices.
So what’s driving this monumental mindset shift? Of course, we all want to live in a happy, healthy environment in perpetuity.
But let’s peel back the curtain and explore this shift’s key drivers in more detail.
According to a recent Nielsen Consumer report, seven sustainability trends will shape the future of organizations across industries.
Here’s a quick recap of the report:
- Consumers will hold brands accountable for driving sustainable change, with 46% expecting brands to lead in creating a greener future.
- Legislation and governance will be the primary drivers of sustainability action in 2023 as companies navigate an increasingly demanding schedule of sustainability reforms and requirements.
- Increased fines and scrutiny for greenwashing will prompt companies to provide more certification and transparency, reducing unsubstantiated claims and jargon on products.
- Companies that fail to adapt to sustainability’s regulatory and financial implications will find themselves behind the curve, scrambling to drive progress in their organizations.
- Companies and consumers will focus on demonstrating real, meaningful change, moving beyond purpose statements. The responsibility will shift to companies to prove their sustainability status rather than relying on regulatory bodies to track compliance.
- Overseas products with long-distance supply chains face high risks due to inflationary pressures and the potential loss of partnerships if they can’t verify their sustainability credentials.
- Technological advancements in sustainability reporting will gain momentum, with innovations in supply chain tracking, validation, and transparency using sensors, Web3, AI digital twins, and blockchain tools.
So where does the property management industry fit into this equation? And what are the specific catalysts behind the green wave?
We can break it down into three drivers: regulatory pressure, investor demand, and resident preferences.
Governments around the world are implementing strict regulations to promote green construction and sustainable management of large commercial properties and buildings.
Property management companies must now adhere to these regulations, such as energy efficiency standards and waste management protocols, to avoid fines and penalties and support these initiatives.
Eco-conscious investors increasingly prioritize sustainable properties as they recognize the long-term financial benefits and the potential for higher returns on investment.
As a result, property managers are under pressure to adopt sustainable practices to attract and retain such investors.
We all want to do our part to protect our beautiful planet. We’ll even sip our favorite beverage with soggy paper straws if that means we’re doing the right thing for the environment.
The same trend holds true for resident populations. Renters are becoming more conscious of their environmental footprint and are seeking greener living spaces.
Younger millennials and Gen Z are among the top advocates for sustainability, with 80% of apartment dwellers perceiving eco-friendly buildings as beneficial for their well-being.
They’re even prepared to pay a premium for sustainability, with 61% of renters willing to pay higher monthly rent for environmentally-friendly apartments.
That said, property managers offering eco-friendly homes can attract more potential residents, enjoy higher occupancy rates, and rent out units at a premium.
Embracing sustainability in property management
There’s no doubt about it. It’s time to embrace sustainability with a warm hug in the property management industry.
Catering to the preferences of an environmentally-aware generation, eco-friendly living spaces benefit our planet and contribute to a healthier living experience for your residents.
How can you incorporate sustainability into your current management practices and adapt to the ever-evolving market needs? Let’s take a closer look.
Adding energy efficiency technology to your building is the easiest step to reducing overall energy consumption and lowering utility bills for your residents.
Here are some simple technology improvements that won’t break the bank:
- Energy-efficient lighting and appliances
- Smart thermostats
- Automatic window shades
- Motion sensors and smart plugs
But if you want to step up your game, invest in solar panels or other renewable energy sources to help turn your properties into a more self-sufficient and eco-friendly environment.
Next on the docket is water conservation, which is increasingly important as drought intensifies in various parts of the United States.
Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to help:
- Install low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets
- Invest in smart irrigation systems
- Use leak detection sensors
These water-conserving additions can help your properties reduce water usage and save on water bills.
Did you know that the average person produces 4.9 pounds of trash daily? When you manage an apartment complex with hundreds of residents, that’s a lot of trash.
Providing recycling facilities and encouraging waste reduction can help you minimize the environmental impact of your property.
Take it one step further by educating your residents on the proper waste disposal techniques by:
- Providing recycling areas for materials such as paper, plastic, glass, and metals
- Offering on-site composting systems for organic waste
- Informing residents about proper waste disposal and recycling procedures through clear signage and educational materials
- Encouraging reusable or biodegradable alternatives to disposable items
Green building materials
And last, but certainly not least, looking into using environmentally friendly building materials, such as reclaimed wood or recycled materials, can help reduce your property’s carbon footprint.
Green building certifications, like LEED or BREEAM, can also help attract eco-conscious renters and investors.
The win-win benefits of sustainable property management
The rise of sustainability in property management is a win-win situation for all stakeholders: property managers, renters, and the environment.
Sustainable properties often have lower operating costs due to reduced energy and water consumption. Additionally, green properties tend to have higher occupancy rates and can command premium rents, increasing revenue for property owners.
Sadly, the saying “if you build it, they’ll come” no longer applies to apartment buildings. There are too many options for new renters (especially in big cities), so you must pull out all the stops to attract your target audience to your eco-friendly property.
If not, they’ll find the cheapest or most convenient option. The result? Lackluster occupancy rates and missed opportunities.
That’s where high-end real estate web design comes into play to help market your property and catch the attention of your ideal residents.
Through curated web design, you can highlight each of your properties’ unique features, such as energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and green spaces, to create a robust online presence that showcases your properties in a visually appealing and informative way.
And if you add a sprinkle of SEO, you can boost your rankings on search engines and drive organic traffic to your site. A keyword research tool can help you find the right keywords to attract organic traffic. It’s a match made in heaven.
Here’s an excellent example from Vertis Green Hills, a luxury apartment outside of Nashville that proudly displays a few of its sustainable amenities along with high-quality images of its units:
After all, you’ve invested time and money into these sustainable initiatives. Why not show them off?
And when prospective residents can visualize themselves in your apartment building, they’ll likely sign that lease without hesitation. So double down on your website design and start reaping the rewards.
Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table and the door wide open for your competitors.
Living in sustainable properties is a smart choice and a delightful experience for renters.
They benefit from lower utility bills with energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and water-saving measures in eco-friendly buildings. These savings might seem small initially, but it adds up over time, making green living an attractive and budget-friendly option.
Sustainable properties also put a strong emphasis on a healthier living environment. Residents can breathe easily (pun intended), knowing their homes have better indoor air quality. That’s thanks to low-VOC materials, enhanced ventilation systems, and lush green spaces for natural air filtration.
Plus, they can enjoy the amenities that encourage a healthy lifestyle, like bicycle storage, walking paths, and community gardens — like having a wellness retreat right at home.
Residents are beaming with pride as they contribute to a greener planet by choosing sustainability in their living quarters. This sense of environmental stewardship brings personal satisfaction and unites a community of like-minded, eco-conscious individuals who share a common goal — a healthier, greener future for all.
And let’s not forget the reason behind it all: the environment. Every small detail counts in our efforts to reduce climate change and save our planet from the impact of our modern society.
A conscientious focus on sustainable property management helps reduce the environmental impact of the millions of apartment buildings and multi-family homes in the United States.
The main areas of improvement include lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water consumption, and minimizing waste generation.
It’s never too late to do something to help better our planet. And you’ll feel good doing it.
The time is now to ride the wave of sustainability and embrace the future of eco-friendly living.
By adopting sustainable practices, you enhance your property’s appeal to a growing environmentally conscious market and contribute to a greener, healthier planet. It’s a win-win situation for both your business and the environment.
So, don’t hesitate to join this exciting movement of sustainability in property management. The benefits are simply too great to ignore. Let’s build a better, more sustainable future for ourselves, our residents, and future generations.
About the Author
Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster, and (recovering) side project addict that teaches 500,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.