Source: Amie Winters, MA, a Sustainability Specialist at Valet Waste / #Multifamily #Green
TAMPA, FL - Residents want to live in a green apartment community. In fact, according to a 2010 Rent.com study, 86% of resident’s value living in a community with eco-friendly amenities and more than half are willing to pay more in order to do so. Seven out of ten renters are also more likely to renew their lease and nearly two-thirds would recommend their green community to a friend. There is growing evidence that renters consider eco-friendly amenities when making the decision to lease or renew, which is why it’s critical that you effectively market your green values.
Advantages of marketing your green community are operational cost-savings, positive public image, and increasing your NOI via strengthening rent and occupancy rates. Property managers or owners are also entitled to tax credits, rebates, and financial support to retrofit their community.
A good place to start marketing is letting residents know how much they can save by living in your community. Energy-efficient appliances, lighting and windows, and water saving fixtures are the top green amenities that residents want. Other valued amenities include a streamlined recycling program, non-VOC paint, environmentally-safe cleaning products, close proximity to public transportation, and electronic leasing and renewal options. Renters are willing to pay an average of $101-156 more in rent per month for the inclusion of these amenities.
There are many methods of communicating to residents what your property has to offer, such as:
Brochures and Flyers: Distribute during any or all phases of the rental process (leasing, renting, renewals).
Move-In Pamphlets: How has your community gone green? Specify amenities here and how they might affect residents.
Educational Signage: Is there a communal green amenity on site such as recycling? Be sure there are clearly labeled and easy to interpret signs located in common areas.
The Power of Your Agents: Agents have the power to convince prospective residents to move into your community. Why not increase your leasing chances by having agents mention the most pertinent green amenities and how they will benefit from them.
The Web: If you’re anything like me, you do your research online first. People generally look for high-level perks to convince them to even visit a property. Make it clearly known on your website and/or blog what you have to offer.
It’s important to avoid ‘greenwashing’, or deceptive use of green marketing, so be sure to develop accurate messages that deliver real value to residents. There are seven greenwashing techniques to avoid: the hidden trade-off; no proof; purposeful vagueness; false labels; irrelevance; lesser of two evils; and false claims. Ultimately, be clear about what your green amenities are and fulfill your promises.