Go Green with These Rental Upgrades

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Attracting and retaining high-caliber tenants is every landlord’s top priority. What are you doing to ensure your home is a tempting option for the modern renter? If you want to capture the attention of prospective tenants, consider the effect green upgrades could have on your rental rates.

According to a report by J Turner Research for Multifamily Executive Magazine, apartment shoppers consider green features as they search for apartments. This is especially true for Millennial renters; this subset of tenants is willing to pay more for homes that incorporate sustainable and energy efficient features.

  1. Get a Home Energy Audit
    Start your journey towards an eco-friendly rental property with a home energy audit. Also known as a home energy assessment, this audit is designed to measure how much energy the property consumes. An inspector will pinpoint the areas and amenities in your property that are using (and wasting) the most energy.
  2. Install Energy Efficient Windows
    You’d be surprised at just how much energy is lost through inefficient windows. Outfitting your property with energy efficient window designs can prevent hot and cold air from escaping, making it easier for tenants to live comfortably without having to blast the HVAC system. While new windows provide long-term energy savings, they also give your property an instant facelift. An aesthetically pleasing and hardworking home? Be ready for renters flocking to your door.
  3. Eco-Friendly Lighting
    Make the switch to LED lighting this year. LED bulbs are designed to use less energy. According to recent research, property owners can expect to save around P25,000 ($500) a year on tenant utility costs. LED light bulbs are also designed to last longer than traditional lighting, so they will require fewer replacements.
  4. Install New Insulation
    Heated and cooled air can escape a home that isn’t properly insulated. Investing in new insulation in your attic can bolster your property against heat and cold, while keeping the air produced by the HVAC system indoors. This means a more efficient home, reduced utility bills for your renters, and an increase in value for your property.
  5. Consider Solar Energy
    In the past few years, solar energy has become more affordable than ever. Some states and cities are offering tax incentives for solar systems, meaning now’s the time to buy. Get your property appraised and discover how effective solar energy would be—and get ready for greater interest from prospective tenants.
  6. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
    Energy-conserving appliances are a priority consideration for many tenants, so consider which of your appliances in your property could use some upgrading. Energy efficient appliances lead to reduced utility costs, which could translate to higher rental rates. Why? Many tenants will be willing to pay more upfront thanks to additional savings they can reap from an energy efficient washing machine or dishwasher. With new appliances that utilize modern technology, your maintenance tasks will decrease, and you’ll spend less time and money hiring a repairman to fix that faulty dishwasher.
  7. Xeriscaping
    Green upgrades aren’t limited to your property’s interior. Take your eco-friendly efforts outdoors with natural landscaping. Xeriscaping incorporates native plants and materials that are designed to flourish naturally in their environment. Xeriscaping can drastically reduce the amount of water needed to keep your garden thriving, while simultaneously reducing the amount of money and time spent on maintenance. This landscaping technique is invaluable to homeowners living in drought-ridden states like California; in some areas, homeowners that xeriscape their yards are eligible for money-saving rebates. Xeriscaping is budget- and environmentally-friendly, but it’s also an attractive way to blend your home’s yard into the local environment. Look beyond the traditional “green grass yard”, and incorporate Mother Nature’s best offerings in your landscaping.

Choosing the Right Tenants

After investing in your rental property, you’ll likely have an influx of applicants. Don’t let the excitement of greater choice cloud your judgment—especially when it comes to placing tenants. Be sure to screen every applicant through a certified service, but also take the time to personally vet them. If you manage your properties, you’ll likely interact with tenants on a regular basis. Once you’ve narrowed down your selection to a small pool of candidates, hold in-person interviews. Take a cue from this list of questions to ask potential tenants, and consider the way they conduct themselves. You can tell a lot from first impressions, and it’s important to find tenants that have respect for you and your property.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your bottom line, consider upgrading your rental property with the latest in eco-friendly features. From energy efficient appliances to xeriscaped yards, there’s no limit to the ways you can make your rental property a standout in today’s market.

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