As a landlord, you have an increased opportunity for improving the earth by creating environmentally friendly rentals. Whether you are renting out a single family home or a multitude of condos, being a landlord affords you the opportunity to provide greener housing options for potential tenants. From choosing online rental applications over paper ones to installing energy efficient appliances, we have the tips you need to become an environmentally friendly landlord.
Help The Planet, Help Your Pocket
First, let’s consider the benefits of “going green” with your rentals. Not only will creating an environmentally friendly rental give back to the earth, but it will also give back to your pocketbook. Recent surveys, conducted by J Turner Research, demonstrate the importance of green housing to potential residents. From Millennials to Baby Boomers, across renters surveyed the value of green, environmentally friendly features is of increasing importance.
It can be difficult in competitive markets to ensure your rental stands out. Focusing on greener, more sustainable living options can help your once mediocre property become a coveted home. Taking the time to implement green initiatives doesn’t need to be time-consuming or costly, and many of the upfront costs can be counterbalanced in savings down the road. Start with as many items on this list as you can and work your way towards a greener rental.
We have even rated each step based on the ease of implementation. One star indicates the hardest step and four stars indicates the easiest step.
1. Turn Those Lawns Into Sustainable Landscapes
Depending on where you are located in the country, a standard grass lawn may not actually be the best option for your property. Investigate options that fit the local climate. This can cut down on the amount of water used in upkeep.
For example, if you are in an arid climate, consider xeriscaping, also known as zero-scaping, a landscaping method that reduces the need for supplemental water. If you have a landscape that is easy to care for and requires less watering, you will not only be choosing a more sustainable option, you will also increase the odds that your tenants actually take care of the landscaping. Keeping the front lawn pristine and green will not be the priority of most tenants, so the less work required by your tenants, the better.
Ease of implementation: ☆ Implementing this tip might require hours of sweat labor or, for those who don’t have a green thumb, the help from a landscaping company specializing in sustainable landscapes.
2. Ditch The Hassle Of Paperwork
In today’s electronic focused world, the use of paper is becoming less and less necessary. Are you still operating your rentals the old fashioned way? Consider going green in your rental application process. First, start by advertising your rentals online, instead of in the local newspaper. The reality is that most potential renters are searching for properties online anyway, not through paper sources.
Not only should you advertise online, but you should also implement a paperless application process. Instead of having potential tenants fill out pages and pages of paper applications, direct them to a simple online application.
As you can see from the above graphic, our users have helped save 112,000 pages of paper and counting! Join our effort in creating an environmentally friendly rental market.
This is particularly beneficial when you operate more than one rental. Not only will it cut down on massive amounts of wasted paper, but it will also require less organization on your part. Paperwork is easy to lose and often a deterrent for potential applicants who live in the age of electronics.
Let potential renters know that you have chosen a green alternative to paper applications through an online rental application process.
Ease of implementation: ☆☆☆☆ If you are going to start somewhere, start with this tip which is simple to implement. Opt for this free rental application to save time, money, and resources.
3. Upgrade Your Appliances For Greener Options
In the above-mentioned study by J Turner Research, energy efficient appliances ranked as one of the most important green features renters are seeking. From dryers that use less energy to dry clothes to dishwashers that use less water per cycle, energy efficient appliances will help your tenants cut down on utility bills, creating a greener home.
Because energy efficient appliances directly benefit potential tenants, they will give you a cutting edge in the rental market. Make sure you highlight the energy efficient appliances when you are marketing your rental property.
Ease of implementation: ☆☆☆ This tip will not require very much work on your end, but does require an investment of money upfront.
4. Install Smart Thermostats
Another way to ensure your tenants can implement sustainable living habits is to install smart thermostats. There are an array of smart thermostats available on the market today. From thermostats that can be programmed to conserve energy while your tenants are away to thermostats that can be controlled through smartphones, the options are almost endless. Make sure you educate your tenants on how to get the most out of their smart thermostats.
By spending less energy on heating or cooling the home while residents are away, your tenants can use smart thermostats to lower energy bills and, in the process, the carbon footprint of your rental.
Ease of implementation: ☆☆ This tip is a low-cost investment and the installation of smart thermostats is a fairly simple process. To make the process even easier, ask your local HVAC contractor for assistance.
Get Started Today
As we mentioned above, creating sustainable living options for your tenants does not have to be a massive undertaking. Start small and over time implement an increased number of green features to your rental properties.