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Eco-Friendly Initiatives: Making Your San Mateo Property Stand Out - Article Banner

As a modern landlord in 2024, you have the responsibility to not only provide quality housing for your tenants but also to be mindful of the impact it has on the environment. 

With increasing awareness about climate change and sustainable living, more and more renters are seeking out eco-friendly properties in their search for a new home, especially in markets like San Mateo. Making your investment property stand out as an eco-friendly option not only benefits the planet, but it also attracts environmentally conscious tenants who are willing to pay premium prices for sustainable living spaces. 

We work with tenants like this all the time, and we also have experience helping rental property owners and real estate investors make good choices when it comes to renovating and upgrading. Eco-friendly initiatives are going to help your property stand out, and it will deliver higher rents for you.

We want to explore various eco-friendly initiatives that property owners can implement in their properties to make them more desirable and ultimately increase their rental income. From simple changes such as energy-efficient appliances to larger investments like solar panels, let’s dive into how you can make your San Mateo property an attractive choice for potential tenants.

Making Windows and Appliances More Efficient

Keeping the operations of your San Mateo rental property as efficient as possible is a great way to conserve energy, increase your rental value, and attract and retain tenants. These eco-friendly practices represent some of the easiest initiatives that you can put into place. 

Let’s focus on windows and appliances. These can be some of the easiest places for energy to escape and waste away.

  • Installing energy-efficient windows. This is an eco-friendly upgrade that’s pretty easy to do, and can add immediate value to a property. Such windows will help reduce energy consumption by keeping a home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. They also help reduce outside noise, leading to more tenant comfort, and UV rays, protecting your walls, floors, and your tenant’s belongings. You’ll find that when you install windows that promote better insulation, they’ll also look more attractive.

Energy-efficient windows will increase your property value and your rental value. A study by the National Association of Realtors found that homes with energy-efficient windows sell for 2-3% more than those without. Your tenants will recognize the value of these windows as well, helping you to stand out on the rental market. In fact, once you’ve installed better windows, you can use this as a marketing point when you’re looking for new tenants. Mention the upgraded windows in your listing. Include a photograph. Be sure to point them out during showings. 

While you’re negotiating a lease renewal, offer the energy-efficient windows. It will make your rental increase more palatable and encourage your residents to stay in place.

  • Energy-efficient appliances. Replacing old appliances with efficient ones can also add value to a property and make your rental property far more attractive to prospective and current tenants. Good appliances are essential when you’re marketing your home and trying to keep your vacancy and turnover rates low. Tenants want appliances that look good and work well. When they’re eco-friendly and likely to use less energy, you’re in an even stronger position. In-unit laundry is even more essential to modern tenants, so don’t forget your efficient washers and dryers. 

We know that Energy Star-rated appliances use less energy than older models, so you’ll want to look for those brands that can help you and your tenants save money on energy bills. According to the Department of Energy, replacing a refrigerator that is over 10 years old with a new Energy Star-rated one can save you an average of $270 over 5 years on electric bills alone. This type of upgrade can also appeal to environmentally conscious renters who care about the amount of energy they’re using.

Considering Solar Panels for Your Rental Property

California is one of the most solar states in the country. San Diego, in fact, is the city where solar panels are most prevalent on residential properties. 

There are some good reasons for this. 

California has always been ahead of many trends, and the data we have on solar supports that. San Francisco uses solar energy more than many other cities, too. San Mateo property owners may want to consider it for their own investments. This type of upgrade can lead to significant savings on utility bills, increase your property value, and reduce your carbon footprint.

When you think of going green, one of the most immediate technologies you may think of for your property is solar. There has lately been a strong push to invest in more solar energy. You can get in on this trend and provide an alternative to oil, gas, and electricity by installing solar panels at your rental property. This would be a notable eco-friendly upgrade, and one sure to get the attention of tenants who are environmentally aware.

Solar panels not only produce clean energy but can also help investors and their tenants save money on energy costs. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with solar panels sell faster and for more money than those without. On average, properties with solar panels sell for 4.1% more than those without, according to a Zillow study. 

This is something to think about, if not now, then definitely for the future. Not only can you increase your rental value right now, but you can also plan to earn more if and when you sell your property because the solar panels will make it more valuable to potential buyers later.

Eco-Friendly Rental Practices Include Attention to Water 

Drought is a serious problem in California. Not only is it bad for the planet, it’s also bad for industry. 

Recently, a report revealed that the drought in 2022 damaged San Mateo’s agricultural industry, shrinking the output by 6%. That’s significant. In 2021, San Mateo earned around $98 million from agriculture. In 2022, that dropped to $92 million (smcgov.org). 

This should make everyone in the area think about water usage and water waste. How can you use less water at your rental property, and encourage your tenants to be equally as aware? We have some ideas:

  • Low-Flow Property Fixtures

Water is becoming an ever-increasing concern across California, and even throughout the country. There has been a lot of attention on the southeast and it’s hard to avoid the fact that the Colorado River is nearly dry. Here in California, local communities including San Mateo have experienced devastating droughts in recent years, and there’s been a real concern about the sustainability of the water supply. So, considering upgrades and updates that respect water will make tenants happy.

Investors can install low-flow fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens to reduce water consumption. These fixtures may include toilets, shower heads, and faucets, which use less water than traditional ones. Low-flow fixtures not only help save water but can also save money on water bills. According to the EPA, installing a low-flow toilet can save a family of four up to 22,000 gallons of water per year. This type of upgrade can also appeal to renters who want to reduce their environmental impact. When it’s time to sell, you’ll appeal to buyers who want a water-friendly home.

  • Eco-friendly Landscaping and Irrigation 

Save water with landscaping systems and irrigation technology that won’t waste water. Have you ever driven by a property while it was raining to see the sprinklers on? That’s irritating. And wasteful. 

San Mateo rental property owners might want to consider eco-friendly landscaping to improve the curb appeal of a rental property. This can include planting native plants, installing rain gardens, and using permeable paving. These upgrades not only provide a beautiful outdoor space but can also help reduce water consumption and runoff. 

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, curb appeal and landscaping can add up to 10% to a property’s value. It will certainly make your property more attractive to prospective tenants. 

Curb appeal counts as a great first impression, and when they see the care you’ve taken to make your outdoor space sustainable, you’ll likely attract more applications.

Eco-friendly upgrades can have a positive impact on property value and rental value in San Mateo and neighboring California communities. From solar panels to efficient appliances, there are many options for investors to consider, and we think we have given you an excellent starting point. Eco-friendly upgrades are an excellent way to attract high-quality tenants who care about the planet. These small changes can also increase your property value and what you earn in rent. 

Contact Property Management CompanyWe understand that these are very general ideas, and some of them will work for you while some of them will not. Would you like some recommendations that are specific to your rental property? We can take a look at where eco-friendly upgrades might make the most sense. Reach out to us at Sharevest Property Management. We’d be happy to talk about this topic or answer any questions you might have about property management in San Mateo.