Managing a business with an eco-friendly mindset isn’t just good for the environment, but good for your business’s bottom line. Your business saves money by reducing the amount of resources used and waste accumulated. Whether you have a home-based real estate business or a brokerage, switching to a more environmentally friendly business is simple.
When someone brings up being environmentally conscience, many just think of recycling their products and waste. Even though recycling plays a major role on how the world maintains its waste products (and should be done whenever possible), it’s only the start to being more eco-friendly. By implementing these simple ideas into your business, you will start to see the benefits of operating an environmentally friendly business and feel better about the carbon footprint you leave behind.
Tips for Going Green
As real estate agents, you have contracts that need to be signed and open house flyers waiting to be printed. However, you can save reams of paper by taking full advantage of your tech. Smart phones, tablets, and computers have an unlimited number of apps that can do just about anything and are great for conducting business. Download them, use them, and save paper. For example, instead of printing out quotes to send your sellers, try using an editable PDFs that you can fill in with your tablet and then email to your clients.
When choosing printers for your business, make sure they have a standby mode and are multi-functional (print, scan, copy, and fax). For example, if you have to print something, think about switching to double-sided printing (cutting the amount of paper used by half) or making text font smaller (reducing the amount of pages needed to print your document).
A great way to reduce electricity costs is by simply turning off the lights, but no one wants to work in the dark. What if you could turn the lights off and still not work in the dark? If your home office or office building has a sufficient amount of windows, open the blinds and let the natural light shine on in. Using glossy, lighter tones on the walls can also help increase this natural light, due to its reflective surface. If you feel you might need some extra light, look into purchasing an energy efficient lamp rather than turning on the entire office’s lights.
By switching your office’s light bulbs to LED, you reduce electricity consumption and cost. In addition, LED light bulbs can last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs, saving you the cost of constantly replacing them. By installing motion sensors in your office (and entire home), you don’t have to worry about turning off the lights. The motion sensor will automatically turn lights on when you walk into the room and can be set to turn off automatically within a given time frame.
Office Equipment / Appliances
Office equipment is probably one of the most expensive items you purchase when starting your business (and is all tax deductible). With that said, when buying electrical appliances and equipment make sure it is energy efficient. Microwaves and refrigerators consume the most energy in the breakrooms and should always be energy efficient. When purchasing office furniture, try finding second-hand and/or multi-purpose furniture. A tremendous amount of material and energy is consumed to produce and dispose of these bulky items; extending a chair’s lifecycle with some handy “upcycling” makes a huge difference.
As an agent you drive around town showing listings to clients and there is not much you can do about that however, you should consider alternatives that can reduce your travel miles in other aspects of your business. For example, real estate agents who have a geographic farming strategy in place can cut down on long commutes between appointments. If lengthy trips from one end of town to the other are unavoidable, consider trading your car in for an electric or hybrid vehicle. These types of cars reduce emissions, use little or no gas, and are very affordable, saving you money.
Another great way to reduce vehicle emissions is to use video conferencing instead of driving to meet a client. You don’t have to leave your office to provide the face-to-face interaction you like to give your client.
Setting up personal and work computers to shut off after a certain time will reduce energy costs. Remember that screen savers don’t preserve energy and should be turned off. Since computers, printers, and just about anything else plugged into an electrical outlet still consume energy even when they are powered off, make it a routine to go around your office and power down all electrical extension outlets at the end of each day.
If you are really serious about reducing your carbon footprint, how about installing solar panels? With costs on the decline, solar panels are beginning to become more affordable and they pay for themselves in no time.
Finally, there is one way to literally go green—plants! By adding plants into your office space, airborne pollutants are absorbed and clean oxygen is emitted. Adding color and life, plants are a great decor item to have in any office.
By implementing these tips into your business, you are on your way to GOING GREEN. Let Homes.com Local Connect help your ‘green’ business connect with leads locally. Secure your zip codes today.