As the world begins to emerge from mandated lockdowns, many of us have developed a different perspective concerning humankind’s impact on the environment. Even though Harvard University has asserted that there isn’t direct evidence to link climate change to the spread of COVID-19, the Ivy League college did suggest that climate change affects human health in general. Whether it’s deforestation, the emission of greenhouse gases, or the illegal wildlife trade, many human practices have escalated the climate crisis, and in turn, increased the risk of future pandemics.
Currently, multifamily management companies are busy digitizing their workflows to meet social distancing requirements— but, they also should concern themselves with their property’s sustainability practices and how they fit into their business goals. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the amount of sustainable, LEED-certified single family, multifamily, and affordable housing has increased by 19 percent since 2017, with over 400,000 of these projects located in the United States.
Investing in sustainable building and community features will better the environment, offer many benefits to your residents and team members, and appeal to a wide range of prospect demographics. In fact, the 200 major companies listed in the S&P 500 that identify as “leaders in managing climate risk” have outperformed other top companies by 33 percent in the past few months. So, what should prevent your business from joining in the green living revolution? Read on to discover how you can achieve similar success for your multifamily company.
Reduce Building Costs
If you’re like most multifamily operators, you’re looking for a way to reduce spend when it comes to construction and operational costs. Sustainable building practices can help you do just that! Green features save owners approximately 33 million dollars across 200,000 buildings. Additionally, buildings that embrace green design recoup associated costs of the project within six to seven years, significantly less than the typical industry average. Given the numbers, multifamily sector can expect to see more communities using natural resources, like bamboo, wool, and reclaimed wood, during construction.
Environmentally friendly features can also help your community join the ranks of LEED-certified homes, which save up to 60 percent in energy costs. That’s right—it’s quite simple to cut expenses by offering eco-friendly amenities where possible. Advanced heating and cooling systems, stainless steel appliances, and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures aren’t slowing down in popularity, as sustainability becomes a cohesive goal for everyone within the multifamily industry.
Appeal to Next-Generation Residents
In addition to minimizing building upkeep and spend, sustainability is great for attracting residents to your leasing office’s front door. A recent study shows that 80 percent of residents believe living in a green apartment is beneficial to their health. Additionally, Nielsen found that 81 percent of modern consumers strongly believe that businesses should prioritize environmentalism. As the consumer response clearly indicates, your management company’s care for the environment is integral to building resident trust and loyalty.
If you’re concerned about the cost it takes to convert your community to greener living, consider that 61 percent of apartment residents say that they would pay more in monthly rent for an eco-friendly apartment home, outfitted with sustainably minded amenities and community features. By providing these highly sought-after amenities to residents, you’ll speak to their need for environmental friendliness, while also earning an additional 27 to 29 dollars in monthly rent payments per apartment home.
Lessen Your Environmental Footprint
Environmentalists have advocated for sustainable architectural design for many years now, and though the multifamily industry has been relatively slow to adapt, it’s time for every business within our vast, complex sector to examine their environmental footprint, take action to reduce its impact, and weave sustainability into their brand story. If you’re keen to adopt federally recognized green practices, your business can earn tax credits and other benefits, while promoting tangible environmental change.
Though you may question the significance your multifamily company can have on reducing dangerous carbon emissions, research suggests that every business can help significantly to lessen global pollution. Five years ago, it was reported that just 100 companies were responsible for over 70 percent of emissions globally, a trend that had continued since 1988. Though U.S. greenhouse emissions fell slightly in 2019, there is still much work to be done. (If we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must reduce global emissions by 8 percent each year for the next decade. Are you ready to be part of the solution?
Sustainable housing may seem a trend that comes around as quickly as it goes, but in reality, embracing green apartment living offers a multitude of advantages to apartment operators and their residents. Implementing eco-friendly practices and amenities will go far in establishing your community as a leader in green design— all while cutting construction and energy costs, appealing to discerning prospects, and making a lasting, positive impact on our rapidly changing world.
Kerry W. Kirby is a global entrepreneur, technology innovator, philanthropist, and the founder of 365 Connect, an award-winning technology firm within the multifamily housing industry. Over the course of his career, Kerry has been the recipient of an array of highly acclaimed awards, including the esteemed Louisiana Governor's Technology Award. He has been named to the Silicon Bayou 100 List of most influential entrepreneurs for nine consecutive years and has received a prestigious Titan Entrepreneur Award for his technological achievements. An acclaimed speaker, author, and award-winning podcaster, Kerry has appeared on the BBC Digital Planet program, NPR News, and various media platforms and outlets. He has contributed to an array of articles and studies on the convergence of technology in the rental housing industry.
Kerry serves on the Board of Advisors of Rainbow, a national nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for affordable housing communities across the country, as well as the Board of Advisors of the Multifamily Women’s Summit, an event that allows women to strengthen their expertise, influence, and professional network in the multifamily housing industry. He is Chair of Technology Initiatives for the Multifamily Innovation Advisory Council, a private, members only group focused on assisting owners and operators of multifamily communities identify pain points and explore innovative solutions that will drive change across the industry.