4 Ways to Go “Green” — Our 1-2-3 Guide On How to Be More Eco-Friendly in Real Estate

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As climate change becomes an increasingly important part of our daily vernacular, finding ways to increase energy efficiency and environmental responsibility throughout your company can provide you with added savings on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. For real estate investors and managers, establishing a green-friendly brand image can provide a distinct selling point for your company while distinguishing you from your competitors in this field. Here are four proven strategies to boost your environmental credentials in the real estate industry.

Green Tip 1: Explore Paper-Free Options

Reducing the amount of paper needed to conduct business can have a dramatic effect on your office’s environmental impact. Some of the most important ways to limit paper use include the following:

  • Opt for online applications rather than print versions of the same documents
  • Allow for and encourage electronic payment and receipt options for tenants and lessees
  • Invest in centralized cloud or server storage rather than maintaining file cabinets and printed copies of contracts and other documents
  • Choose online commercials and a corporate website over printed brochures and direct mailings

These strategies can help you reduce paper use while offering the same top-quality service for current and prospective tenants in the modern eco-friendly environment.

Green Tip 2: Install Energy-Saving Fixtures

Although the cost of full replacement of light fixtures, water heaters and air conditioning units can be prohibitively expensive, upgrading to energy-efficient models over time can provide huge selling points for new tenants and corporate clients. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting accounts for almost 20 percent of energy expenditures in the commercial sector. Installing green-friendly lighting fixtures and electrical equipment, you can reduce the cost of utilities every single month. Water-conserving bathroom and kitchen fixtures are also important in areas hard-hit by drought. Best of all, the cost savings realized by your tenants can result in increased retention and reliable revenues for your investment company.

Green Tip 3: Recycle and Reuse

Recycling aluminum, paper and glass items can be a good starting place for instituting green-friendly policies in your office. Refilling printer toners and recycling electronics can also reduce the environmental impact of your business enterprises. By passing along unwanted and obsolete equipment to charitable organizations or recycling centers, you can provide added help for those who need it most. At the same time, you prevent dangerous or toxic substances from contaminating ground water in your area.

Green Tip 4: Consider Transportation Options

Investing in a hybrid vehicle can not only provide you with added green cred among your potential clients, but can also save you a considerable amount on fuel costs during the course of an average year. By driving a vehicle that is in line with your corporate environmental policy, you can also enhance your company’s reputation among environmentally conscious buyers and sellers.

These four strategies can provide your real estate company with an added selling point for green-friendly clients and can enhance your overall reputation for innovation among potential renters, buyers and sellers. By adopting an environmentally responsible attitude toward all aspects of your business operations, you can enjoy the economic benefits of lower utilities and an improved market position among the eco-friendly demographic of the U.S. economy.


References:
http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=99&t=3

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