A survey conducted in 2017 among AMLI residents revealed that a large majority of them saw living in a sustainable multifamily property as “very important.” While we wrote recently about how seeking so-called green financing can benefit investors and developers, it would seem that designing a green, sustainable property is important and inviting to residents – and that could pay off for investors as well.
Younger Residents Heavily Represented
According to an article on MultifamilyExecutive (MFE) online, the survey results demonstrated that certain generations were more heavily represented, such as Gen Y and Millennials. These respondents overwhelmingly voted that life in a sustainable building was important to them; not only that, but they’d also pay more for the privilege of living in a property that fits with their ideals. The MFE article noted that a majority, at 59%, of survey-takers were under the age of 34. The actual numbers of the survey were a high percentage voting in favor of a sustainable living environment, at 84% with only slightly fewer saying they’d pay more for such a property, at 64%. The bottom line is that the data in the AMLI resident survey clearly indicated these large rental groups of younger residents surveyed liked the idea of a green property and believed it would benefit their overall health. Although the respondents preferred a green building for a variety of reasons, health and wellness, reducing carbon footprint, and even the practicality of saving on utilities all were solid reasons given.
According to the MFE data, certain elements of a green property were more important to the survey-takers than others. A very high percentage, at 94%, said that living in a smoke-free building was important. That was followed by 93% of respondents who said they wanted energy-efficiency; which, interestingly is one of the factors that can help qualify developers and investors for green financing. 85% of survey-takers noted access to transit and the property’s walk- and bike-ability as an important feature. Items such as recycling, composting, and maintaining a community garden also made the cut for elements renters wanted to see in a property.
AMLI notes on their page that they have sustainable standards at many of their properties already. Going beyond what residents noted, they have endeavored to reach LEED silver standards and create healthier indoor air quality for residents. Another feature at many properties, and one not requested by residents, is sustainable landscaping. They choose native plants, for example, which thrive in their climate and require less water. While these features weren’t chosen by residents, they’re an example of how other ideas can benefit the residents and the property.
The 2017 AMLI survey indicates that a large segment of renters may be more attuned to sustainable living practices, including their apartment buildings. By designing, renovating, and implementing changes to bring your property into alignment with green design, you can have the potential to save money and attract new residents.