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AIM 2023: ESG Bootcamp the Down and Dirty

ESG Bootcamp: The Down and Dirty on How to Market Sustainability

Apartment companies across the country are emphasizing sustainability in their business models, missions, and policies, from utilizing eco-friendly materials to implementing procedures that minimize environmental impact and increase resident wellness.

Operators are putting sustainability at the forefront of their organizations to not only better serve their residents, but to also make positive contributions to the neighborhoods, markets, and ecosystems in which they serve.

Some of the leading sustainability marketers are helping their companies benefit from improved NOI and reputation.

Moderator J Retinger, CEO at PooPrints, led a discussion with panelists Stephanie Graves, Multifamily Executive & Magic Maker at Q10 Property Advisors, and Barbara Savona, CEO and Co-Founder of Sprout Marketing.

Graves recommended that the apartment industry works together and makes good decisions to show its ESG cred before “government intervention comes in and tells us what we must do. Borrow, research, and find out how you can roll out programs in your organization.”

The panelists said there are grants for companies that have verifiable ESG programs.

Savona said that residents truly care about ESG awareness.

“Resident surveys show they want to live where their ideals are held,” she said. “Communities need to demonstrate what they are doing so they can tell their peers.”

Recycling is a key component, but Savona said other focuses are on air quality, lighting, bike sharing, social impact events, community gardens, car sharing, smart home technology, and car charging stations.

Savona said to use statistics that show the communities' efforts “mean something,” such as the amount of money residents can save by using energy-efficient appliances.

Graves said with governance, post your ESG plans on your website, including ranges of salaries for open positions to demonstrate how you compete against others.

“These are things that we shied away from several years ago,” Graves said. “But they make sense now.”

It’s a good idea to partner with other organizations or groups that are doing sustainable events and include your apartment community in the marketing pieces for the events.

Other Interesting Notes

  • Brainstorm with your team to see what you’re already doing so you are sure to highlight it.
  • Savona said to find residents who are passionate about something such as cycling and have them lead activities like group rides.
  • Weave what you are doing about ESG at your community through your email cycle to prospects by including examples of past events with photos, such as the cycling club, etc.

Here is the replay:

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