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  • Writer's pictureKeith Wood

How to Appeal to Eco-Friendly Renters

Updated: May 12, 2021

Sustainable housing, eco-friendly, going green, whatever you want to call it, it’s a topic that’s on the minds of some renters, especially younger generations. Some people care about it because they know it saves money. Others because they want to help the environment in any way they can.

Appealing to these renters can net you two things: better qualified tenants and (potentially) higher rent prices. Here are a few things you can do to attract renters.

Upgrade and Update Appliances

It’s not enough to offer appliances that aren’t 30 years old. You need to check their efficiency rating, too. Anything that uses significantly less energy and/or water will reduce overall energy consumption and make an impression on eco-friendly renters.

Renewable Resources

When it’s time to replace the flooring in your rental, consider options like bamboo which grow fast and are considered a much friendly environmental resource. If you’re ready to put in new countertops, look for materials other than quartz or granite which are a nonrenewable resource. Bamboo, salvaged wood, even materials made to look like natural stone but aren’t, can be a selling point -- and look beautiful.

Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems

Not only will a new HVAC system save you time, hassle, and money on repairs, it can be a selling point when you market your rental. Look for the most efficient option available. This keeps energy bills lower, especially in the middle of summer, and adds another layer of energy-efficiency to your rental.

Stop Air from Escaping

One of the biggest wasters of energy is a home that easily leaks air. It forces the air conditioner to work harder in summer and the heater to kick on more in winter. The quick, easy fixes include sealing cracks around door frames and windows and adding insulation to your attic. You can also install new windows which will also be better if (and when) the next big storm hits.

Install Smart Technology

Not only do renters enjoy the control they have with smart technology, it also allows for greater energy-efficiency. Smart thermostats can often be controlled from a web browser or smartphone so the HVAC system runs when it’s needed most. They can also produce reports to show renters how to use it more efficiently. Smart lighting means the lights can be turned on or off from anywhere so no light has to stay on unnecessarily.

Increase Water Efficiency

From faucets to hot water heaters, the ability to use less water in a home has grown over the years. When it’s time to replace old fixtures, keep this in mind. Make sure you don’t trade functionality for efficiency, but look for options that use the least amount of water possible. Look for low-flow faucets, install a shower timer, replace old toilets with high efficiency options, and update the hot water heater.

Add Native Plants to Your Curb Appeal

Not only do plants native to the area thrive and grow better, they’re good for the environment too. They provide natural shelter for small animals and insects who live nearby, and they require fewer resources to keep alive. If you don’t want to do the planting, let your tenants do it. Give them a list of approved plants, and let them get their hands dirty.

Consider Solar Power

Every year, the cost of solar panels continues to fall but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. This is still a big investment and won’t be right for every rental. Talk to Gulf Power or check with a tax professional about subsidies and tax incentives. Remember, you can definitely increase the rent you ask if you offer a major perk like solar energy in a home.

Whether you simply want to make your rental more competitive, you’re targeting Millennial renters, or sustainability is important to you (or all three!), you’ve got more options than you realize. Going green is a great marketing strategy and can save both you and your tenants money over time.

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