Make the Case for Green Property Management Without Saying Green

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You understand that reducing utility consumption, renovating buildings to be more efficient, and building housing with high quality standards is a good idea. You probably have a sense of the ways in which investing in energy efficiency and occupant comfort can result in overall cost savings, long term property value growth, and happier tenants. But how can you convince other people in your organization of the same when they tune you out at the first mention of "environmental impact," "green measures," or, worse, "climate change?"

There is real resistance out there to environmental initiatives, largely stemming from associations with expensive, no-return projects and antiquated stubbornness in the face of change. Fortunately, there are plenty of good reasons to pursue the kinds of projects that would fall under the "green property management" umbrella without mentioning environmental impact at all.

Consider this a rundown of ways to pitch green property management without ever saying green.

-Cost Savings: Investing in energy and water efficiency can save money in the long term. Done. Well, not quite, but making the case that cost-effective efficiency upgrades are worth the investment has never been easier. Showcase studies from similar organizations highlighting their success stories adds compelling narrative and quantitative support to your case. If you can get the ball rolling with one project, using Measurement and Verification to quantify the real performance of the upgrade is the best way to make the case for more projects.

-Tenant Comfort: Tightening up the building envelope, installing more efficient heating and cooling systems, and making sure that all mechanical equipment is running properly all go a long way toward increasing tenant comfort and reducing those pesky too hot/too cold calls. Making your units comfortable places to live while reducing your utility bills is a nice synergy. Less time spent answering comfort-related maintenance calls and reduced tenant turnover are side effects that can be a real boon that frees up staff time while increasing the quality of your properties.

-Occupant Health: Your mission is to provide safe, clean, quality housing for your residents, which means providing high indoor air quality. Tied to both tenant comfort and energy efficiency, keeping filters clean and mechanical systems well balanced is crucial to maintaining properties that can be healthy homes. Increased indoor air quality reduces particulates in your tenant's homes, and properly functioning ventilation equipment can keep your tenants healthier while reducing the energy load of the building.

-Property Value: Whether your bosses and coworkers care about the environment or not, real estate markets value properties that operate efficiently, and are increasingly demonstrating a premium for efficient buildings. When it comes time to sell, low operating costs, low turnover rates, and happy tenants all contribute to increased asset valuation.

Your coworkers might be stubborn, but you're all on the same team. Understanding your goals of green, efficient property management in terms that your colleagues will identify with makes you a more effective advocate, and your organization stronger for it.