what you can do to reduce heating costs

what you can do to reduce heating costs

Sustainability As A Selling Feature: Eco-Friendly Outdoor Features Attract Renters To Your Renovated Apartment Building

by Mia Kuhn

The exterior appearance of your newly renovated apartment building is a critical component in attracting excellent renters. As a savvy property owner, you've likely already included the eco-friendly features renters seek inside their living spaces. Energy-saving lighting, Energy Star-rated appliances, and efficient heating and cooling systems are important considerations for renters ranging from eager Millennials to retiring Baby Boomers. But in a competitive rental housing market you can gain an advantage when you also showcase the sustainable features you've incorporated outside the building. These three components of your property development and marketing plan will make a persuasive first impression on prospective tenants.

Reclaimed Asphalt for the Parking Lot and Entrance Drive

Fresh, new paving in the parking lot sets the tone for success when a potential renter first arrives to view an apartment. Potholes, cracks and an uneven surface simply won't do. When you have the entrance drive and parking lot repaved as part of the overall property rehab, coordinate with your paving company to use recycled asphalt. Also known as RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement), the product is made of old asphalt that has been removed from roadways when they're resurfaced, old asphalt roof shingles, and in some mixes, even ground tire rubber. Depending on your property's ground conditions and the size of area to be paved, your contractor may offer several options: 

  • Perpetual Pavement. The old pavement is completely removed down to bare earth and replaced with layers of foundation material and paving material that can be routinely resurfaced. The advantage? Perpetual pavement has an expected life of 50 years rather than the average 15-20 years of conventional pavement.
  • Cold In-Place Recycling, also known as CIP. Heavy equipment is brought on-site to lift and grind the existing pavement. Binding additives are combined with the crushed material and the mixture is immediately spread back on the surface.
  • Layered Methods. Your contractor may recommend a multi-layered approach to paving, depending on the environment and ground conditions. In this case, the recycled asphalt pavement may serve as the middle layer between a crushed stone base and a virgin (non-recycled) top layer of asphalt.

Energy-Efficient Outdoor Lighting for Safety and Beauty

While many potential renters may come for a tour during daylight hours, using energy-efficient lighting as a selling point reinforces the message that the property is dedicated to sustainability. Beyond it's marketability, this type of lighting has another benefit – it will save you money in the long term. Focus on four main areas for the greatest impact:

  • Pole-mounted LED outdoor lights for the parking area.
  • Flood lights for the common areas and building entrances.
  • Lighting that provides ample illumination for walkways, storage areas and the trash disposal area.
  • Landscape lighting to enhance the after-dark visual appeal of the property.

Water-Wise Landscaping

You don't have to have vast swaths of neatly manicured lawn to attract good renters. Many will appreciate the fact that you conserve water rather than using great quantities of the valuable resource to keep the grass green. Create a lush, beautiful garden atmosphere while maintaining a low monthly water bill by adopting xeriscape landscaping methods that include:

  • Drought-tolerant shrubs, trees and flowering perennial plants
  • Ornamental features such as large boulders, paver-stone patios and shaded seating areas.
  • Mulch to suppress weeds, retain ground moisture around plants and create a coherent visual appeal across the entire outdoor area.

Include each of these eco-friendly items in your advertising and marketing material. Train your property manager to point out these details to prospects when they're doing a showing. Reducing the carbon footprint of your property with these eco-friendly features can increase your visibility among the type of renters you wish to attract.


About Me

what you can do to reduce heating costs

Does your heating bill send you into a state of shock? If so, now is the time for you to begin making changes to your home to bring the cost of heating your home down. In years past, my heating bill was actually more than my mortgage was. It really made getting through the winter difficult for my family. I decided to do something about the high bills. I started with insulation, then invested in some new windows, and I also changed the way that we used our utilities. You can learn everything that I did to reduce my heating bill so that you can cut your heating bill as well.