Property Management: The X Factor: Promoting Energy-Saving Benefits

light bulb inforgraphic

The Multifamily industry is a significant user of the energy marketplace of all kinds.  We buy heating oil, natural gas, and electricity in Billion dollar increments.  This year, General Electric closed its 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 the 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!

John Wilhoit is the author of the best selling book on rent roll analysis: How to Read and Rent Roll. See also the companion guide to measuring the quality of rental income: Rent Roll Triangle.  Find JW’s Podcast here.

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