Despite what Kermit the Frog woefully croons, it is easy being green. As competition in the condominium and multi-family housing markets heats up, both developers and property management companies are looking for ways to attract and keep residents. While you may think that offering luxury amenities, smart home technology and other flashy incentives is the way to lure tenants, going back to basics could be where the smart money is.
In this case, going back to basics means fulfilling the intrinsic need for humans to connect with nature. The majority of condominium and multifamily properties are located in urban areas that are typically crowded, noisy and for a variety of reasons, stressful. Spending a little time and money on some well-planned landscaping that provides residents with a space where they can relax, rejuvenate and enjoy a slice of nature in the city could help your property management business enjoy a little “green” in return.
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This attraction to natural landscapes spans the generations as well as income levels. Young families need a safe space for children and pets to play, while Baby Boomers who are now downsizing to condos have grown accustomed to enjoying personal green spaces. In general, green spaces foster a sense of community, encourage social interaction and improve overall sense of well-being. Seniors often feel less lonely when they have access to natural spaces, while on the opposite end of the demographic spectrum, green spaces can help students to focus and reduce their stress levels.
Perhaps the most significant benefits of natural surroundings for both residents and property managers can be seen in the affordable housing sector, where crime is the leading cause of tenant turnover and other costs to the property. A study conducted by the University of Washington on crime and public safety, determined that public housing buildings with nearby trees and natural landscapes had 52% fewer total crimes and 48% fewer property crimes than properties with low amounts of vegetation.
So how do property managers capitalize on the benefits of providing green spaces while minimizing the costs to themselves and condo corporations? The answer is by creating nature-scapes that require minimal labor and energy resources to maintain. The use of perennials and hardy, drought-resistant and indigenous vegetation will reduce the costs associated with water consumption and the replacement of delicate or exotic greenery. Illuminating green spaces with high efficiency lighting is also a must for both resident safety and energy conservation.
As sustainable parks and green spaces are a growing trend in urban centers, there are plenty of landscaping companies out there who can work with condominium management companies and other housing providers to create a natural sanctuary in the city, made to fit any space and budget available.
Once you have a green space in place, be sure to take full advantage of it as a selling feature, and watch everyone benefit from being green.
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