Want to go green but don’t know how to get your tenants on board? We’ve broken down a few ways to make your rental property more environmentally friendly, even if your tenants haven’t gotten into the “green movement” yet.
#1 Find Eco-Friendly Tenants
Even if you have environmental goals, if your tenants aren’t on the same page, you won’t be able to go green. That’s why you should consider your potential tenant’s “eco-friendliness” when you screen them for the first time. They don’t have to be that environmentally conscious (e.g. they don’t need to grow their own vegetables), but they do need to embrace any green upgrades such as low-flow showerheads.
What’s important is that your future tenants are forward-thinkers, too. They understand why it’s important to go green, and why it’s important to you particularly.
Pro Tip: Let your property management company know that you’re looking for eco-friendly tenants. That way, they can tweak their tenant screening criteria.
#2 Install a Smart Thermostat
You can’t count on your tenants to remember to turn down the thermostat at certain times in the day. To solve that, invest in a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can detect when the indoor temperature isn’t ideal. It can then change the thermostat to maintain the ideal indoor temperature at all times.
What’s more, a smart thermostat (or Wi-Fi thermostat) can be programmed to power off. For instance, if your tenants aren’t home from 9 to 5 PM, they can “tell” the thermostat to automatically turn off from 9 to 5 PM, and turn on from 5:01 to 8:59 AM. Not only will this align with your “go green” goals, but it will also allow your tenants to save energy. You can include a “smart thermostat” to your listing and use it as the property’s selling point!
#3 Use LED Lightbulbs
Did you know that LED lightbulbs last 80% longer than regular lightbulbs? What’s more, they waste less energy – they turn 95% of energy into light, and waste only 5% as heat. For these reasons, you should consider swapping out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs – stat.
LED lightbulbs are a “cheap” upgrade but they can help you save hundreds of dollars on your energy bills. This is because LED bulbs use 2-17 watts of electricity, which is a fraction of what CFL bulbs use. So, what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest hardware store and buy a bunch of LED bulbs now!
#4 Low-Flow Showerheads
You can’t control how long your tenants take a shower, but you can control the amount of water that flows out of their showerheads. When planning property upgrades, ask your property management agent to write down “low-flow showerheads”. This is a low-cost property upgrade that can lower your tenant’s water consumption.
Don’t let its name fool you – they may be called “low-flow”, but that doesn’t mean the pressure is low. These showerheads redirect the same amount of water through smaller “holes” in the showerhead. Aside from the shower, you could also install a low-flow faucet for the kitchen sink.
#5 Thrifted Furniture
Are you planning on furnishing your South Florida rental property? Forget about buying brand-new furniture, and instead, invest in well-loved furniture from thrift stores, vintage stores, and so on. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also save the environment – reduce, reuse, and recycle, right?
Thrifted pieces also add some character to your property. Your tenants will be able to feel comfortable the moment they walk through the front door. They’ll feel at home.
Be careful when buying well-loved furniture, though! You may unknowingly be bringing unwelcome pests into your rental property, like ants, termites, and more. Your South Florida property management firm can help you find a professional cleaning company for furniture.
#6 Dual-Flush Toilets
The problem with “old” toilets is that there’s one button for all. That means that even if your tenants don’t need a lot of water, the toilet will still use the same amount of water. Fortunately, today’s toilets come with two buttons to control the amount of water that flows through them. There’s one button for your “number ones” and one button for your “number twos”.
Get this – each person wastes around 1.6 gallons per flush, but a dual-flush toilet can bring this number down to 1.28 gallons per flush. And since the average person flushes the toilet five times a day, this is around 1.5 gallons of water saved a day.
#7 Purchase ENERGY-STAR Appliances
Purchasing appliances for your South Florida property? Go for appliances with the ENERGY-STAR rating. Washing machines, dishwashers, and more that bear this label have been proven by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be more energy-efficient. In fact, an ENERGY-STAR dishwasher is around 30 percent more water-efficient than one that is not. In addition, they’re designed to be more durable (and reliable) than regular brands.
To find out if your current units bear the ENERGY-STAR label, look at the back of the unit. The label should be in bright yellow or blue, along with a chart that explains the expected costs to operate the unit.
#8 Educate Your Tenants
If your tenants don’t have the goal to go green, consider setting aside the time to tell them why it’s so important. Chances are, they’ll have the same energy-saving goals as you if you inform them of its significance.
Don’t focus on the effect on the ecosystem – instead, focus on the amount of money that they can save. Not all tenants will be swayed if you dwell on global warming facts, statistics, and so on, but they will be convinced if they’re aware of what’s in it for them.
The Bottom Line
These are simply some suggestions of the things you can do to go green in your South Florida rental. By taking the first step towards eco-friendliness, you can contribute to the global movement to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and fight against climate change.
For more eco-friendly tips for your South Florida rental property, partner with a professional company such as Luxury Property Care. Our experts are here to implement eco-friendly solutions that align with your energy-saving and water-saving goals.