These are mainly good times for property managers. The number of new residents needing rental housing is increasing, rents are rising, and vacancies are filling up. On top of that we learned today (11/10/11) that the average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell below 4 percent for just the second time in history. Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.99 percent, down from 4 percent last week. Five weeks ago, it dropped to a record low of 3.94 percent, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell last week to 3.30 percent from 3.31 percent. Five weeks ago, it too hit a record low of 3.26 percent. This means that those who want to buy houses and rent them to residents may find that process more affordable. These owner-landlords will be needing property management sooner than later.
The need for green property managers will increase as well. Many owners and residents care about their local community, the environment and practices that focus on sustainability and safeguarding human health.
A workable definition of Sustainability might include, “…the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non living things on earth.”
“This philosophical interpretation moves well beyond definitions driven by progress oriented economic perspectives that see humans as providing stewardship and the responsible management of resource use.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability).
Begin by Shopping Locally and Supporting Local Merchants
Your reputation as a thoughtful and green property manager will be enhanced if you support local farmers, manufacturers, suppliers and small businesses. In my community there’s a store called Life Source Natural Foods. They go out of their way to provide products and supplies grown locally. They prefer produce, beverages and meats that are pesticide-free, herbicide-free and grown sustainably or certified as organic.
The store thrives and attracts people from all walks of life. The property managers, landlords, attorneys and other professionals who shop there have a reputation of caring and being thoughtful citizens. Local merchants and small businesses appreciate their customer’s loyalty and support. They often reciprocate by sending referrals and new business.
Practices that are Environmentally and Healthfully Appreciated
Our local green property managers avoid using hazardous chemicals and toxic sprays. They utilize organic or non-toxic products and materials in their landscaping and building maintenance procedures.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a very helpful section on sustainable, environmentally safe practices that we can all be aware of and practice http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/.
The section on “Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities” is introduced with these goals, “Supporting development and conservation strategies that help protect our natural environment and make our communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse.”
You’ll learn about green buildings and homes, green energy practices and materials management and safe products for promoting the use of cleaner materials and seeking to reduce material waste and chemical contamination.
Often in my articles I remind managers and owners that our communities don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. Shopping locally, supporting sustainable, environmentally-considerate programs and practices sends out the message that we care, and reflects both the heart and character of the kind of people we all prefer to do business with.