The Multifamily industry is a large user of energy. We buy heating oil, natural gas and electricity in Billion dollar increments. This year General Electric closed their last operating incandescent light bulb manufacturing facility. How many incandescent lights are operating at your apartment property?
A standard light bulb (with 20 year old technology) uses 100 watts of power to generate 100 watts energy output. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) use 26 watts of power to generate 100 watts of energy output. Using CFL can create a 74% reduction in power usage!!!
The X Factor
For property manager’s this can represent an A-ha moment. For professional property management, promoting energy efficiency can be The X Factor in your marketing campaign. Are you marketing in-place efficiencies?
It’s easy to say, well, some of our competitors are sporting Green seals on their front door and LEED designations. This is true. It’s also true that MOST of your direct competitors do not provide ANY proof of energy efficiency.
While it is common around the country for property owners to pay some utilities, what’s important to potential tenants is what THEY pay in utility costs. In a competitive multifamily marketplace every possible advantage presented can positively impact occupancy.
Residents Buy Benefits, Not Features
Discussing insulation “R-factor” can be confusing (and boring). However, being able to honestly share the average utility bill in your city/market is $100 while that same bill is only $83 at your property is of direct benefit to your potential customer. So while having an expensive, good looking light fixture in the dining room is great, make sure your resident knows the property only installs energy-saving lighting.
Everyone has brochures, rental applications, information on Rental Insurance. Ho hum. How about providing a full page of energy-saving related devices that your property offers. Here’s a an opening for you to build on:
At Main Street USA Properties we strive to offer the best energy-efficient apartment homes we can. All of our apartment homes have the following:
Double-insulated windows to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer
Energy-efficient lighting with CFL bulbs
Energy-Star (TM) Appliances!
Energy-saving, high-pressure shower heads
Energy-saving, high pressure sink aerators
Programmable thermostats allowing you to save energy while away from home
Extra-thick padding under all carpeted areas
- Winterized doors and windows
Only if they are true can you promote on-property energy saving benefits with sincerity. What energy upgrades were installed on your property in the last five years? Roofing, windows, insulation? New HVAC, water saving devices or weather strips?
Remember: people buy benefits- not features. Otherwise we could have devoted the entire post to the energy efficiency provided by caulk!
Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets. Multifamily Insight Vol 2 is set for release in 2015.
About This Blog:
Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. http://www.MultifamilyInsight.com