In years past, property managers aimed to offer the newest, sleekest, trendiest amenities to attract tenants. Nowadays, the next generation of tenants are looking for even more. Adding sustainability, comfort, and wellness amenities for your tenants creates a new standard for your building. You’ll attract millennial tenants who will want to stay in your building for years to come.
Here are the top 3 steps to gaining a competitive advantage with sustainability:
Step 1: Engage Your Tenants
Actively engage tenants in their sustainability projects by providing them with resources to help them be more green. They’ll appreciate your aid in achieving their goals, and you’ll have little–if any–capital investment in these efforts. It’s that simple!
For example, if your building offers recycling, provide an easy-to-read recycling guide so they know what they can recycle and what needs to go in the trash. Don’t have resources like that already? You can download our sustainability kit here to get started.
When you communicate with tenants, make sure they know about the sustainable amenities you have created for them so they can take full advantage of these benefits. In your outreach to them, include project updates on the new efforts you’re implementing. The Tower Companies have found great success by including a sustainability section in their monthly newsletter; you can emulate these results for your buildings as well.
Step 2: Eliminate Energy Waste
This step is key: eliminating energy waste is a triple threat. You save energy (so the Earth is happy), you save on your bottom line (so your wallet is happy), and you increase your marketability (so you attract new tenants).
By eliminating energy waste, you can reduce your consumption by 30%. By running your building efficiently, you can get Energy Star certified, which will certainly interest future tenants. Take this a step further to benchmark your building and you’ll see why energy efficiency gives you such a strong competitive advantage.
Although eliminating waste can seem like a challenge, it’s not as hard as it seems. Optimize your building operations by focusing on these four areas:
- Building schedule: Are you starting and stopping your buildings when absolutely necessary? Do you shut down for holidays?
- Economizers: Use outside air to your heating and/or cooling advantage.
- Coincident runs: Make sure you’re not running the building’s heating and cooling systems simultaneously.
- Baseloads: Is your baseload high? Does it vary a lot? Adjust your equipment settings to reduce these issues–and, therefore, your energy bill.
Real-time energy data is the quickest and best way to get to know your building. Install wireless meters in 30 days or less, regardless of your building’s age or size. On average, payback for the meters and installation is less than 6 months, and you’ll soon reap your return on investment benefits.
This real-time data will provide the insights you need to help your building reduce consumption. Across a portfolio, this will help you identify which buildings have the best cost-savings opportunities so you’ll know where to direct your efforts. Submetering your equipment will help identify the pieces of equipment that need the most attention or need to be updated.
Step 3: Publicize Your Sustainability Reports
You’ve just put all this work into your building; it’s time to show off! When you have vacant spaces, be sure to include your sustainability projects in advertisements for new tenants. After a big project is rolled out, you can publish a press release and post results on your website. With an energy management system, you can display your dashboard in the lobby or other common areas so tenants can witness the minute-by-minute progress. Top real estate companies have seen a lot of success in annual sustainability reports; your building can achieve the same results!
So, take the first step today. Start with the sustainability kit to engage with your tenants, and go from there. Even the smallest steps have a great impact that your tenants–and future tenants–will surely notice.