If you’re a property owner who includes utilities as part of the lease agreement, one of the best ways to improve your return on investment is by making the property more energy- and water-efficient. In this article, we’ll review the best ways to upgrade the properties you manage for long-term water conservation and savings.
Make the right upgrades for long-term returns
So much of the water that is wasted in a property is due to structural, not behavioral, issues. After all, your tenants are going to take showers, use the restroom, and do their laundry. What you can control is how water-efficient all of those actions are. By making upgrades throughout the property, you can greatly reduce the amount of water that is used—and wasted—on a daily basis. Here are the best projects to focus on:
- Upgrade to high-efficiency toilets: Many older toilets use far too much water with every flush. Today’s low-flush and dual-flush toilets use far less. If you’re paying for the property’s water bills, upgrading to a more-efficient toilet can easily pay for itself in months.
- Install a low-flow showerhead: You can’t count on your tenant taking five-minute showers. But, you can install low-flow showerheads in your properties that reduce the amount of water used in every shower. That can really add up fast.
- Add water-efficient appliances: Replacing the unit’s existing, aging dishwasher and washing machine with new, water-efficient appliances can make a significant difference in how much water is used annually in the property.
Encourage your tenants to report water waste
Let’s face it: if you’re the one footing the bill for the water used in your building, your tenants have less incentive to take shorter showers or run laundry in a more efficient way. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily let passive water waste—such as dripping faucets, leaking pipes, or flooded irrigation—happen without telling you. Here are some ideas for making such reporting more efficient and effective:
- Set up an easy way for your tenants to report water waste: For example, set up a number that tenants can text if there’s a water waste issue in their unit or on the property grounds.
- Incentivize and publicize reporting: Consider giving away a small prize (such as gift card) monthly to tenants who report valid water issues around the building. You can publicize this prize through social media channels.
Of course, relying on your tenants to monitor and report all water waste is far from a perfect system. Not all tenants will be equal participants in that process. To complement these efforts, you should add automation.
Install wireless toilet monitoring
As every property manager knows, the more rentals you have, the greater the burden of upkeep and maintenance becomes. Personally visiting every property regularly to make sure that a toilet isn’t leaking or water isn’t being wasted is like playing a game of whack-a-mole: you probably won’t catch all the problems when they happen, leading to higher-than-expected water costs.
If you own multiple properties, each with multiple toilets, you can save money and detect leaks more efficiently with wireless toilet monitoring technology. Once installed, these devices feed water usage data back to an app, allowing you to quickly detect perpetually running toilets or toilet leaks. Instead of going through the trouble of inspecting your properties regularly for this issue, you can take a much more targeted approach.
For property owners and managers of large buildings or complexes with multiple units, devices such as The Toilet Scrooge can be a major game-changer. You could save thousands of dollars annually with toilet monitoring.
Start conserving, start saving
If you’re a property manager who owns or oversees multiple units, excessive water consumption might be eating into your returns. Now’s the time to take action and start making upgrades that will help your properties conserve water. Get the facts and figures behind water conservation and water-saving upgrades by checking out this new infographic from the team at Allbritten in Fresno, CA.