When you can prove to investors that your properties save water and energy, you increase their value. The less capital owners and investors throw down the drain (no pun intended), the more they can invest in amenities, renovations and other profit-generating projects. It’s easier than you think to increase property value with smart, eco-friendly proptech.
We’ll look at leak detection systems, smart thermostats, trash management and indoor building health. Residential and commercial property managers alike will find many of these tips profitable, and they are great additions to highlight in your property marketing.
Leak detection systems can save water, but they can also prevent a potential catastrophe by identifying small leaks before they cause serious damage. There are multiple ways to detect leaks, but modern electronics offer the fastest and most reliable methods. The latest leak detection systems operate on the principle that leaks generate faint soundwaves. Whether it’s a drip or a bubble, electronic leak detection systems will register the acoustic change and alert you to it. It’s an incredibly simple and cost-efficient way to maintain hidden pipes and drains.
Once the energy-saving leak detection hardware is in place, it’s equally important that you partner with the right software provider. They should be able to provide meaningful data that helps you take action to save money. An intuitive software-hardware combination can reveal the location of the leak and the type of leak, making it easy for the maintenance team to fix it. Residential property managers may even have multiple leak detection systems per unit or single family home to find leaks in sinks, toilets, drains, etc. Commercial properties will likely be outfitted with more systems, depending on the size and layout of the building.
It’s not just water pipes that matter here. HVAC is the single most expensive energy cost, and these leaks can be hard to detect. They’re also infamously difficult to access, making repairs expensive in their own right. In short, HVAC leak detection can prevent an enormous financial headache.
WI-FI CONTROLS FOR IMPROVED LEAK DETECTION
Some leak detection systems offer app-based monitoring that you can use on your smartphone, tablet or desktop. If a leak is detected, the app can send a notification. You can even shut off the water in specific areas, preventing further waste of water or energy.
Smart thermostats offer an easy way to save energy. They can help by shutting off the A/C or heat when staff or residents are at work. They also track energy use, so you and your tenants can see how much energy they’re using each day. The most advanced thermostats save even more energy by auto-adjusting to the weather, humidity, building temperature, foot traffic (for commercial) and more. If your residents use these devices to their maximum potential, you can expect to use 15% to 20% less energy per rental unit.
Most likely, your residents have smartphones. Many smart thermostats come with a mobile app and connect to Wi-Fi. That means your tenants can use a simple app to control things like temperature and lighting away from home. Multiple thermostats let residents control settings throughout the unit. Increasingly, smart thermostats are made to be compatible with voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. This makes it even easier for residents to control settings and save energy at your properties.
To be effective, at least one smart thermostat needs to be installed in every multifamily unit and single family home. Commercial and industrial buildings will require more as appropriate for the space.
Smart waste management
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: By 2050, global waste could increase by 70%. That’s approximately 3.4 billion tons (compared to 2 billion tons in 2016). This obviously means more trash, plastic, debris and pollutants in our air, on our land and in our seas.
But it’s not all doom and gloom!
Recent innovations in waste management, sometimes called smart waste management systems, are on the rise. They make trash collection easier, more cost-efficient and better for the environment.
Smart bins can use cameras and other detection methods to move recyclables and trash into separate compartments, eliminating human error and forgetfulness. They can also monitor when bins are full. All of this drastically reduces the cost of waste management and improves recycling efforts. On a global scale, this could make a huge difference in global waste management efforts. A few of these smart bins can increase property value by showing tenants that you’re eco-friendly as well as cost-conscious. Many residents want their property to be environmentally conscious, making waste management a great way to increase property value.
As with other items on this list, mobile apps are key helpers in the effort to save water and energy. Recycle Nation and iRecycle make it easy to find recycling stations, compare rates and identify which items can be recycled.
MAKE A PROFIT
Some cities are at the cutting-edge of waste management technology. San Francisco is a great example. The city offers free compost collection (did you know eggshells can be composted?) and boasts the most advanced recycling center in the country. They’re even able to sell much of that recycled plastic for a pretty profit.
Indoor building health
The COVID-19 pandemic alerted many businesses to the increased importance of indoor air quality. Better ventilation and air quality can help prevent cold & flu in multifamily residences & commercial offices. Residents can further invest in their own air health by purchasing an affordable HEPA air filter to capture viruses, bacteria, dust and other allergens.
Our bodies have a natural internal clock called the human circadian rhythm. Our bodies naturally change to help us stay more alert during the day and better able to fall asleep at night. Research suggests indoor lighting that mirrors the sun’s intensity and changing color spectrum throughout the day helps us function better. Circadian lighting in commercial spaces would display mellower orange and yellow hues in the early morning and late afternoon, with brighter blue hues at mid-day.
So, will air quality and circadian lighting actually increase property value? Maybe not directly, but when you improve conditions for your tenants, you can increase productivity, health and happiness for everyone there. That alone can help your business thrive.
Winterize manufactured homes
Many manufactured housing providers have an additional risk to their property value in the form of cold winter temperatures. Luckily, there are simple ways to winterize manufactured housing. These simple, low-cost tips can help save money and energy for both the property manager and the resident:
- Reverse ceiling fans so cold air is pulled up and away and warm air is pushed back down
- Inspect water heaters
- Let faucets drip
- Keep the heat on at all times
- Skirt the sides of each home
- Crack open closets and cabinets to keep warm air circulating
- Caulk doors and windows
- Wrap pipes in heat tape
The easiest way to increase property value is to take care of your assets. Winterizing homes, installing smart thermostats, installing leak detection software, monitoring air quality and streamlining waste management are just ideas to get you started, and we hope they help!