Our industry typically has a lot of discussion surrounding what type of “green features” residents want in their homes, and more specifically, how much they are willing to pay for these features.
While the verdict may still somewhat be out on how much renters will actually pay for any given “green feature”, there are some common themes that we see at most communities.
- Residents want the ability to recycle – Although not all residents will recycle 100% of qualifying materials, they want to ability to do so when it is convenient for them. Not having recycling available at your community (or having a recycling program that is difficult to use – ie. one bin located at the other side of the community) will be a turn-off for residents.
- Residents do not like to see blatant wastes of energy – Residents may not particularly care if their building is LEED certified or not, but you can expect to see a negative Yelp review or two if you are doing anything at your community that residents can pinpoint as harming the environment or wasting resources.
- Residents enjoy technology – More and more residents are coming to expect updated and sustainable features in their homes (Smart thermostats, etc.). Additionally, many residents will take it upon themselves to modify what they can inside their home to fit their preferences and their idea of “smart / green” (installing Amazon Echo to control their lights, for example).
- Convenience is king – Residents are extremely interested in any services that the community will offer that will make their lives easier (valet parking, dry cleaning services, door to door package delivery, pet sitters, etc.).
- Walkability is huge – Renters are willing to pay more for communities that allow them to walk to dining, shopping, and entertainment. Today’s renter does not like to venture out by car unless it is necessary. Walkable apartment buildings will enjoy premiums much higher than those in suburban areas where all errands require use of a vehicle.
- Residents seem to enjoy the option of having a car charging station – Although it seems that EV charging stations may not be as popular as originally anticipated at apartment communities, residents seem to enjoy knowing that their community offers them, “just in case” they decide to get an EV in the future. We may see demand increase for these in the future as more residents purchase electric vehicles.
- Alternative transportation is popular – Renters today enjoy traveling by car less that they did a few years ago. Having to travel by car is now seen as an inconvenience rather than a luxury. Communities that are near public transportation, or offer transportation services such as shuttles, car sharing, or ride sharing, are now seen as more desirable and more convenient.