What do you think about when you hear the term ‘sustainable property’? Is it just a pipe dream or too expensive? Barry Manuel from MEB Management Services joins us to share how they drive sustainability in significant ways, starting with small changes.
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Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts
Guest: Barry Manuel from MEB Management
In recent years, sustainability has become less of a trend and more of an expectation. More people are conscious of their carbon footprint than ever before and want to do more to waste less. So how can property management companies get started and keep going to make the needed changes that can attract both new talent and new residents? This article will highlight how MEB got the ball rolling and has never looked back.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
MEB Management Services – Steps to going green in property management
It’s important to note that the size of your company will determine your approach to going green. Larger companies can outsource their green initiatives to consultants that can create a plan for them. On the other hand, moderate-sized companies may need to take a more internal approach. For MEB, they sat down and developed a two-faceted method by focusing on short-term and long-term goals.
Once their initiatives were clearly defined, they began to reach out to other like-minded companies to help them achieve their short-term goals. For example, they partnered with MEEP (Multifamily Energy Efficiency), which distributes energy-efficient LED lightbulbs for free directly to your onsite team for installation.
Another example would be the program run by IREM. You can become a certified sustainable property via this program. Once you have applied, IREM supplies you with a packet you work through. Upon completion, you receive your credentials and hardware that can be utilized around your building, showing people that your company is focused on green efforts and sustainability.
Data collection is the focus of MEB Management’s long-term goals. Partnering with third-party companies helps them collect the necessary information and create reports on energy consumption, allowing them to move forward with creating a sustainable ecosystem. While this is a work in progress and more complex, the program is already showing promise.
Going green attracts the right people
Part of running a successful property management company is attracting the right people—be it residents or employees. On the employee side, MEB has experienced that new generation hires almost always have an expectation that the company they work for is focused on sustainability. In addition, most existing employees were interested in making necessary changes and were eager to get involved.
From the resident aspect, MEB has seen growing interest in its two newest building projects. These homes are being built with sustainable building materials and solar panels. The communities will boast EV charging stations throughout the property. State-of-the-art tech is also being employed to monitor consumption to ensure maximum efficiency. Despite having a higher price point than a standard home, MEB’s interest list is growing daily.
Cost of going green
We all know that any project still needs to consider the bottom line, and yes, going green and using eco-friendly building materials can cost more up front. However, many programs and financial incentives are available that not only defer some of these costs but also boost your ROI in the long run. Even if you are not looking to get involved in an entirely new build, retrofitting existing buildings doesn’t have to break the bank. Consider smaller steps that your community can employ—energy-efficient lighting or a community recycling program. While seeming small, these steps can have a huge impact and help your community enjoy being personally part of the solution.
Help your team to go green
We all know the benefits of working towards a more sustainable future. But some might wonder how to get started with their team. How to get the proverbial ball rolling. It begins with a conversation. For MEB, they found that many of their staff were already personally invested in sustainability and practicing it in their homes. Also, having an understanding that sustainability is not a one-and-done scenario; it needs to be an ever-evolving process. These stepping stones created an excellent foundation and room for growth. Now it’s time to have fun or, as Barry put it, gamification. MEB has found ways to tap into the friendly competitive spirit of its people and create challenges that, while fun, are driving sustainable practices. One of these challenges resulted in removing single-use plastic bottles, with staff opting for reusable bottles instead. A small change, yes, but one with lasting environmental benefits.
Sustainability doesn’t need to be daunting or overwhelming. Getting involved in green initiatives can better yourself and your community, even in small ways. So get the conversation started with your team and see what changes you can make today to focus on a better future.
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