Sustainable Property Management: What Green Features are Millennials and Gen Z Expecting?
With an increased focus on climate and weather-related realities that we face, younger generations (who are quickly becoming the largest portion of the rental population – Millennials are already the largest group of homebuyers) are more likely to actively seek out businesses and properties that feature Green amenities. As a property owner with your eye on the market and a finger on the pulse, you’ll be exploring which features are right for your property and for your current and future renters!
Meeting the demands of Millennials and Gen Z renters will not only secure a stronger rent now, but will leave you well-positioned to increase attraction and retention down the line. Here are a few features that these renters are looking for:
Making recycling convenient is not only something that tenants are looking for in a new complex; policy has now begun to reflect this growing concern. As of Jan 1, 2020, Dallas has had an ordinance in place which requires apartments & multi-family dwellings of more than 8 units to provide recycling facilities on-site. Fort Worth has had such a policy in place since 2014.
Smart Home Features
Between 89-95% of Millenials and Gen Z renters own smartphones. Implementing this basic tech in your property management is a direct avenue to reach these renters. There has been an increase in gadgets like keyless locks, doorbell cameras and smartphone-controlled led security lights, but also in higher-tech features such as “virtual doorman” services and extended smart home devices such as Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa. Property Management Apps mainstream communication between tenants and Property Managers.
Offering apps and devices that can keep up with the virtual age may not only prove to be energy efficient (think of lights that turn off when you leave the room, or a thermostat that can be controlled remotely) but will also assure your tenants that you are making investments in sustainability that provides more convenience and comfort for them – all of which bolters the rent cost.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Considering that renters with tight budgets and who pay for their own utilities will be more concerned about energy efficiency, it will be well worth it to consider appliances that reduce energy consumption. Renters consistently rank energy-efficient appliances as the top amenity request. We’ve reviewed other improvements that can be made to the property, but when upgrading an older home, the appliances are an easy Green win to list in your advertising!
Location, Location, Location
Millennials and Gen Z are known to prioritize sustainability and to invest more in experiences than property. Sustainability isn’t just about what construction materials are used, what programs are offered, and what amenities are available – it’s all about where this is happening. This means that your property is most competitive when it’s in close proximity to where those experiences can happen. Cities like Fort Worth and Dallas, which have invested in its arts & culture as much as they have invested in their business, stand to gain much more attraction from Millennial and Gen Z renters. Properties that have high “walkability” (or at least a short drive) to nearby restaurants, nightlife and other venues can lean hard into the sustainability of their location when advertising to these younger generations.
It’s important to note that newer complexes are automatically more energy efficient than older ones due to the continuing improvement to construction material. No need to shy away from how much more “green” your multifamily unit is, however! In hot markets like the DFW, you will want to list every energy-consumption-reducing amenity and feature that you have!
Another trend to consider is the increase in the prominence of the electric vehicle. Six utility companies have formed an electric highway coalition that aims to place charging stations on major highway systems on the Atlantic coast, in the Midwest and South, and in the Gulf and Central Plains regions. There are tax credits for buying electric vehicles – as well as for property management businesses that choose to install electric charging stations for their tenants.
If the demand is there, and eventually, it will be – you’ll want to be on the ball to provide this amenity for your tenants, considering that most EV charging happens while drivers are at home.
Understanding the consumer is the key to any business, and in property management, that means knowing your renter! While housing is a necessity, remember that your property is a competitive product and an investment. Ensuring that your property is at the top of its marketability game secures you the renters you need to thrive!
Unsure of whether or not you’re taking the right steps to maximize your efficiency, marketability & (most importantly) your bottom line? Contact us today!