As more property management companies become more environmentally conscious, property managers continue to search for more ways to go ‘green.’ This process can include everything from reducing office thermometers to using more environmentally friendly cleaning products. One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce paper usage in your office.
While this may sound simple at first, we all know that the property management industry is very paper-driven (think application, credit report, lease agreement, lease renewal, etc.). But with some newly formed, environmentally friendly habits and the use of both state of the art property management software, along with electronic invoicing and document management software, many managers are now finding their offices surprisingly paper free.
Here are some suggestions for your office to implement. Some are surprisingly simple, while others may require an investment in both time and money.
- Print on both sides of the paper. Deceptively simple, yet I would guess that most people don’t give this a thought when printing a multi-page document. Simply choose ‘duplex’ from your printer, or 2-sided copy from your copier to immediately cut your paper use in half.
- Switch to electronic documents. For your next meeting, instead of printing out copies of the agenda, and multiple reports that may or may not be reviewed, simply route the document via email. This gives recipients the option to read the document online, or print only the pages needed.
- Purchase recycled paper products, and make sure that your office recycles paper as well. You may also want to consider placing signs (IS THAT COPY NECESSARY?) above the office copier or consider using print management software. Sometimes people are unaware of exactly how much paper they’re using until that usage report is staring them in the face.
- Consider purchasing new software. While the most expensive option, this will also ultimately save your property management business the most in both time and resources. You can choose to spring for new property management software that is utilized via the Internet and manages every aspect of the property management business electronically. If you’re not ready for this step, consider purchasing document management software that can easily manage and store documents electronically, giving management and staff quick, easy access to information.
While the route to going paperless can be challenging, reducing the amount of paper your office uses can be easily accomplished by simply changing a few habits.