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Gardens for Better Communities!

Gardens for Better Communities!
In our last blog, we discussed the hottest amenities for 2017. One amenity caught the eyes of our readers: gardens and vegetation. Having greenery around a property is nothing new, but showcasing it as an amenity is. Take Fuse Cambridge for example. This year, they installed a Living Green Wall (seen above) by Cityscapes, which has more benefits than just visual appeal. Content producer Lauren Shanesy writes, "In addition to complementing Fuse's LEED Silver certification, the plants themselves aid in providing natural air filtration, sound insulation, and thermal regulation within the space while reducing residents' stress levels, as well”. A wall of vegetation may not work for your community, but a community garden might. With communities competing for new residents, appealing to green thumbs can be a great angle.  Here are three reasons why a community garden is a way to separate your community from others. Save on produce costs A community garden is great way to give residents a way to grow their own produce. Health conscience residents will spend top dollar at the grocery store for organic produce. What if you gave residents a way to grow produce that meets their needs? If you can market this interest, it can be a selling point. Residents may love the idea, but may have never had a garden. Nothing a community event can't solve! Current green thumbs may see interest in leading a few community classes to help. This can help your community get more social while growing healthy produce for all to enjoy! Sounds like a win/win to us. Low Costs for Gardens The cost of starting a community garden can vary, but the majority of the c......
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FHA To Save the Day!

FHA To Save the Day!
FHA Helps Save Money In case you missed it, the FHA has cut insurance premiums for certain multifamily mortgages. The changes took effect on April 1, 2016 and place an emphasis on energy efficiency. The change also impacts affordable and mixed-income communities with reductions for housing affordability. FHA expects the reductions to spur the rehabilitation or production of 12,000 additional apartment units every year and reduce rent and utility costs for residents. It also displays major support from the government for multifamily to get green. So what are the qualifications and details exactly? Could your project be up for a rate reduction? Here are the main details you need to know, provided by housingonline.com‘s magazine, Tax Credit Advisor: FHA is lowering its multifamily insurance premiums to 25 basis points a year for energy-efficient properties. That’s a reduction of 20 or 25 basis points for many existing properties, with even larger savings for new construction deals. These properties must commit to meet an industry-recognized green building standard. Owners must also keep their buildings in the top 25% of multifamily buildings nationwide for energy performance, as determined using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager 100-point score. FHA is also lowering its annual multifamily insurance premiums to 25 basis points for “broadly affordable” housing. That includes properties where at least 90% of the units are covered by a Section 8 contract or the affordability requirements of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. FHA is lowering its annual multifamily insurance rates to 35 basis points for properties that mix affordable housing with market-rate housing. That’s a reduction of 10 to 35 basis......
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Going Green: The Top 7 Green-Friendly Student Housing Communities

Going Green: The Top 7 Green-Friendly Student Housing Communities
There's often a lot of focus about the luxury segment of the student housing market, which can sometimes overshadow other parts, such as sustainable student housing. While sustainable student housing doesn't share the same popularity as amenity-laden luxury student housing, there have been some very fascinating green-friendly projects popping up.   Here’s a look at some of the most creative and sustainable student housing projects around the world: 1. Mill Junction Student Housing by Citiq, Johannesburg We've never seen anything like this before. The Mill Junction is one of a kind - a series of stacked colorful shipping containers have been neatly propped up on old silos. Citiq put these old unused grain silos to good use, without having to demolish them and rebuild.  2. Crou Student Housing by Olgga, Le Havre, France The repurposing of shipping containers seems to be a trend that's catching on for green-friendly student housing. Crou student housing used 100 shipping containers, stacked in a pyramid-like fashion, with each container being a separate unit.      3. Grünerløkka Studenthus by HRTB Arkiteker, Oslo, Norway   While the Mill Junction decided to build on top of old silos, the Grünerløkka Studenthus was built directly into old unused grain silos. This 19-story student housing complex is a rather unique design with most of the apartments being round.      4. Charles David Keeling Apartments by Kieran Timberlake, University of California, San Diego Many of the leading green-friendly student accommodations are located in Europe, but the Charles David Keeling Apartments are by far the f......
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Do "green" initiatives make your residents blue?

Do "green" initiatives make your residents blue?

Please Click Here to take a quick survey by choosing the answer below that most reflects your thoughts on the impact of providing marketing information online or via email.

  • More likely people will read the information when they want it
  • Less likely people will read the information when they want it
  • Don't know

Thank you!

 

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5 Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Apartment Community

5 Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Apartment Community
These days, more and more consumers are dedicated to doing their part to protect the environment. And these folks are (unsurprisingly) also concerned with the environmental impact of companies' business practices. A survey from DDB Worldwide found that 72% of American adults think it’s important that a company ensure its business practices are environmentally and socially responsible. It makes sense, then, that “green” renters are more likely to choose an apartment community that is working to reduce its carbon footprint. Read on for 5 simple things you can start doing in your community to help protect Mother Nature and attract eco-conscious renters.  Start a recycling program. A whopping 85% of American adults say that recycling is important. So consider organizing a recycling program at your community. Eco-conscious renters will appreciate the convenience of an on-site recycling program. And if you make it easy to recycle by placing collection containers throughout your community, you’ll probably find that even more of your renters will start recycling. Schedule an electronics pick-up. Each day, electronics like computers, TVs and cell phones are disposed of improperly, causing harm to the environment. Help your residents properly dispose of these items by arranging an electronics recycling pickup at your community. Do some research online to find a reputable electronics recycling program in your community. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website is a good place to start. Clean green. Whenever possible, use cleaning products that are biodegradable and free of toxic chemicals. Give a green gift. Do you distribute welcome gifts to new residents? Next time you’re placing an order, co......
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Save Some Green with “The Three R’s”

Save Some Green with “The Three R’s”
“Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” This phrase was ingrained into our brains way back in grade school; the three R's they called it. Hundreds of academic programs and catchy songs have been created to help kids learn how to conserve paper, save energy, and keep the air clean. Jack Johnson even wrote a song about this eco-friendly trend titled “Three is a Magic Number.” So have we kept true to what this magical phrase has been teaching us all these years? Let’s take a quick look at a few examples of how companies and communities are working to abide by the three R's: Adobe’s newest location in Lehi, Utah has set high standards for eco-friendly initiatives. Not only does Adobe provide employees’ public transit passes, they’ve arranged a shuttle to transport employees to and from the commuter rail station just a few miles from their office. On top of that, the 280,000 square-foot facility is heated by the power generated from the data room servers¹. Nudie Jeans Co. is a jean company that provides consumer tips on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle their own jeans. They heighten awareness of the unique characteristics of denim and encourage jean owners to milk it for all it’s worth. But when it’s absolutely time to call it quits, the company gives customers an incentive to trade in and recycle their old jeans at any store location for 20% off a new pair. Then they take the old jeans to have them shred and broken down to raw materials in order to create new produc......
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Eliminate Pests Safely

Eliminate Pests Safely
There’s no doubt about it – green living is in. People make a lot of decisions about their lives to make sure that they’re living in a way that protects their bodies and planet. They might eat organic foods, choose cloth diapers, carefully select the origin of their meat, and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. But it doesn’t matter how many organic foods they eat or vinegar solutions they use to clean if you’re spraying their apartments with noxious chemicals to keep pests out. You’ll lose these tenants. And with the green movement growing, you’ll find a growing number of potential tenants who live this lifestyle. It’s time to adjust or be left behind. Many property managers are protecting their tenants’ health and doing good for the planet by choosing integrated pest management methods rather than the chemicals of the past. This method looks for the reason behind a pest infestation and eliminates it, rather than simply eliminating the pests with a coating of bug spray. Eliminating habitats through careful landscaping, moisture elimination, crack sealing, and prompt disposal of debris may be a slower method of pest elimination, but it works better in the long run. If you kill pests with chemicals, you may notice an immediate reduction in their numbers, but they’re likely to come back stronger and chemical resistant. Integrated pest management is something you can’t do alone. It requires the participation of all of your residents who must alert you to moisture problems in their apartments and keep the garbage from pili......
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A Lot Can Be Said for Compact Fluorescents

Compact Fluorescents in Apartment Communities

Compact Fluorescents in Apartment CommunitiesThe debate over incandescent bulbs vs. compact fluorescents (CFL’s) and light-emitting diodes (LED’s) is excellently discussed by Lauren Boston in Flipping the Switch, Units, January 2012. 

Casting light on the subject can be brought into focus depending on which use multifamily operators are considering of the many that they have – patios and breezeways, common area hallways, fitness centers, parking lights and building exteriors, signage, etc. But the most impact may be in apartment interiors.

Most apartment residents are responsible for replacing their own lighting and operators frequently will just leave working incandescent bulbs in place or replace burnt out bulbs with inexpensive low wattage bulbs -  the kind that will begin phasing out in October, 2012.  But enlightened operators can send a high wattage message to their residents by assuring that all the lights in the unit interiors upon move-in are CFL’s – energy efficient, long lasting and will be replaced at the landlord’s expense. The cost of CFL’s is dropping while the quality is improving. The entire package can be marketed to residents that you are concerned for their pocket book and the environment. It is a good investment.

Ward A. Katz, CPM, CEO of M-fishency, www.m-fishency.com
Blog: www.multifamilypropertyevaluation.com

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New renters, new rules

Kids these days. What do we really know about them? Well, these coming-of-age youths of Gen Y are more technologically evolved than preceding generations, which is evidenced by their behavior: co-dependent relationships with their mobile phones, addiction to social media and video games likely accessed from their tablet. And, apparently, they prefer renting an apartment over owning a home. That’s one of the factors cited by Reis for the historically low vacancy and high rents being seen in the U.S. right now. In a recent Chicago Tribune article, Ryan Severino, senior economist at Reis, says This generation doesn’t hold home ownership on a pedestal the way prior generations did. Instead, they flood city centers in search of jobs, fun and a place to live (not necessarily in that order), helping drive up national effective rents 1.3% over the first quarter while pushing down vacancies to 4.7%, its lowest level since 2001. There are, of course, other factors contributing to the tightness of the market, including a lack of new construction. But even when new development begins and more properties become available, the lingering slump in the housing market will mean continued demand for apartments, especially from the youth. And, does this come as a shock? Many of these young adults have grown up, and may only know, a collapsing housing market, are still navigating a depressed job market and facing stricter lending restrictions from banks. Plus, there are many benefits to renting that appeal to these cost-conscious consumers, including flexibility to......
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