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Why Go Eco-Friendly?

By Donna Jones

In this two-part series, we’re looking at the pros and cons of transforming a property into an eco-friendly one, and how to do it. The state of the environment seems to constantly be a talking point round the world, and more people than ever are looking to reduce their carbon footprint – starting with their homes.

Jennian Homes recently announced that they’ll be rolling out options to pre-wire all new homes they build for solar power, solar batteries and electric car chargers as soon as next month. Countless other businesses are developing a sustainable strategy, with local and district councils (like Christchurch) around the country already having done so. So why do it for your property?

When taking time and cost into account, it can be difficult to make such a decision, especially when many think that the costs involved make very little difference to the marketability of a property. However, many tenants are now conscious of their bills and already have practices in place that are environmentally friendly – such as recycling, saving water or reducing power usage. These tenants appreciate a property that reflects them.

Who wants eco-friendly homes?

You’d be surprised. As millennials (born approximately 1982 to 2004) continue to swarm the rental market, most of them are concerned about the environment – according to a study by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft. This means they’re far more likely to want some element of eco-friendliness in their homes, especially as they begin to (or already have) children. Younger tenants are increasingly worried about the environment, continually choosing greener options – and they’re willing to pay more for it.

Along with the typical eco-friendly types, many families also like to be environmentally conscious, and while Kiwi women tend to be more earth friendly than men, the number of both is growing.

Upfront costs and long term investment – is it worth it?

Particularly if you’re thinking about solar energy or energy efficient appliances, going eco-friendly can seem like a large cost that may not reap enough benefits to make the whole enterprise sustainable for you.

While energy efficient appliances save money in the long run, some careful sums need to be done before deciding whether solar power is a viable option for your property. In our next blog we’ll detail the pros and cons of solar energy, and have a range of eco-friendly solutions that you can put in place.

Eco-friendly properties and their tenants

Being able to market an eco-friendly, efficient property can do wonders for attracting respectable tenants who are more likely to stay for longer periods – and we all know the benefits of longer tenancies, such as a steady flow of income and fewer periods of vacancy. According to Smarter Homes, “Recent research by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) showed that 88% of renters are likely to stay longer in more energy efficient properties.”

A higher rent may also be able to be charged, offset by the savings tenants make on their utility bills. Going green is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular with landlords, and that in most cases, pays off with increased demand of the property and stable, long term tenants. Create a point of difference in this market by advertising a warm, dry, eco-friendly, money saving home.

Keep an eye out for our next blog, where we’ll take an in depth look and how you can make your property eco-friendly, including inexpensive yet effective options and money saving solutions.

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