Real estate development and environmental work aren’t two industries people typically associate with one another. Large real estate developments do need a lot of land, water, and energy to function, and in turn, this can produce a lot of waste — while it may not seem possible, there are several ways for real estate developers to offset their carbon footprint and be more eco-conscious, especially in marketing. It is possible for real estate development and eco-conscious strategy to coexist on the same playing field, we are seeing it work successfully with our clients, let’s dig into how it can help you.
There are laws and policies in many states that real estate developers have to abide by, but it says a lot about a business when they take matters into their own hands and do their part for the environment.
We could go on and on about the ways in which our actions impact the environment and are causing a climate crisis across the world, and that’s the most important reason why you should care, but caring could also make a huge difference for your relationship with your customers, and the way you are perceived in your community.
Having your eye on the trends in green marketing and the importance of making a positive climate impact is extremely important for any real estate developer’s business model.
Green real estate is extremely beneficial:
- There are more incentives and advantages for homebuyers or renters of a building: energy efficiency, saving money, saving time.
- Environmental benefits are a given. You’ll help combat climate change, and promote the biodiversity of your community and local ecosystems.
- You’ll avoid heavy fines and fees associated with not meeting environmental regulations.
Think About Your Audience
Future tenants and homebuyers care about community and social responsibility. What are you doing to promote the well-being of the community they are about to be a part of? Some of your future customers will be environmental stewards, and hold your care for eco-friendly solutions highly. As new generations make their way into adulthood, it’s apparent that environmental concerns are growing in the public. In a PEW research study from 2021, it was found that 71% of Millenials and 67% of Gen Z adults think climate should be a top priority to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. Although these numbers are higher than those of older generations, even 63% of Gen X agree. Younger generations are at the forefront of climate action, standing out in research surveys for their high levels of engagement with the issue. Consider what demographic you are targeting with your marketing, depending on which generation they hail from, they may care more about the environment than you think.
Consider the motivations, engagement, and values of your customers as you embark on your next development, chances are environmentalism is high on the list.
Eco-Friendly Real Estate Marketing Solutions
Many real estate developers have eco-friendly approaches to their building and waste management strategies — anything from renewable energy to tree planting initiatives. These are wonderful ways to promote your eco-conscious decision-making, but we’re talking about marketing. Let’s chat about some marketing solutions for your eco-friendly strategies:
This is the most simple and first step you should take to becoming a more eco-conscious real estate developer. We run digital campaigns for our real estate clients all the time. It’s efficient, easy to manage, and avoids the use of paper or waste like billboards, print ads, or posters. We’re at a place in the marketing world where digital is preferred over traditional advertising anyway. Most people do their research online, so capitalize on that and consider going digital for your next campaign. If you are a developer who has typically relied on traditional marketing efforts, don’t worry, it’s easy to transition traditional marketing into the digital world. For example, digital billboards, interactive maps, email brochures, and iPads or laptops at sales centers, which we’ll get into later.
Transportation may not seem like marketing at first read, but there are many ways to utilize local transportation to encourage eco-friendly solutions at your building or neighborhood development. For starters, you could offer electric bike rentals to your residents and tenants so they can get to and from home or to and from work without using their cars. You could also encourage the use of public transportation and develop social media incentives to encourage your tenants to utilize these other forms of transportation. Maybe they get $100 off of rent if they take public transport for the month? Try it out!
Eco-Friendly Sales Centers
Sales centers are a big source of waste for real estate developers — handouts, water bottles, brochures, etc. Consider utilizing iPads and TV screens to showcase your floorplans, and design options, or allow customers to learn more about your business. Offer refillable stations rather than water bottles, and focus on activities rather than handing out SWAG.
Waste Management Incentives
In the same way, you can offer incentives for transportation, do so for waste management. If you own an apartment complex or mixed-use facility, it can be hard to get tenants to recycle or even consider composting. Utilize your social media and email marketing to encourage residents to participate in your waste management efforts. Consider offering a reward for composting or even creating some friendly competition between tenants to see who puts in the most effort.
Emphasize Renewable Energy
If you are a developer with renewable energy options and energy-efficient appliances, make it known! Some future tenants might not know these options even exist for them. Utilize your social media, email marketing, and even digital campaigns to promote these eco-friendly aspects of your building process.
Engage the Community
Building community is essential in real estate, in more ways than one. One way to ensure you’re encouraging community engagement is to consider how your tenants and residents interact. As you brainstorm ideas, think about how you can engage the community while also being eco-friendly. Build a community garden, offer donation drop-offs and drives to exchange or donate clothing, and maybe even promote garage sales to promote shopping second-hand. Social media is a great way to get all of this out there and show future customers your dedication to the community and the environment.
Utilize Your Blog
Your blog is a great place to market your eco-friendly focus. Offer tenants and residents tips and tricks on how to be more eco-friendly in your buildings or communities. These blogs can be anything from waste tips in their own home or a place to introduce the incentives we talked about above. Use your blog to your advantage and really let your future customers know who you are as a developer.
Partner with Green Organizations
It may be beneficial to consider partnerships to help promote your eco-friendly focus. You can utilize environmentally-focused influencers on your social media, or work with local eco-friendly companies to promote some of your incentives. There are so many ways to engage local businesses to help promote climate action in your buildings and communities.
Approach Eco-Friendly Solutions Carefully
The most important thing to remember is: Don’t overdo it. Greenwashing turns people off and you’ll lose customers if it seems like your efforts are not genuine. Be honest. If you’re imperfect, show the effort you are making to be better. If you’re doing something well, celebrate it and talk about the next steps.
Being eco-conscious is a journey, and it’s nice for your customers if you bring them along with you.
Hopefully, this gives you some simple ideas to make your marketing more eco-friendly. We’ll be the first to admit that being environmentally friendly is hard, so start small.
Reach out if you’re interested in learning more about the work we do for real estate developers.