Turning Your Real Estate Investment Business Green in 5 Steps

by | BiggerPockets.com

I often write about green trends, materials and how to leverage green in your real estate business.  Today, I am going to give you a very simple guide on what to do right now to begin greening your real estate investment business.

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5 Green Actions to Take Right Now

  1. Find out who your target market is and what they think about green.  For example:

    a. Seniors- They care about green because they are often on fixed incomes and they like the fact that green lowers their monthly expenses.

    b. Young families- They care about green because they want their kids to grow up in a healthy environment that is toxin-free.

  2. Determine the absolute easiest ways to green your investment property.  Lights, no-VOC paint, and toxin-free carpet are the first three easy things that come to mind.
  3. Find a local place to purchase green materials.  This includes flooring, eco-friendly paint, cabinet sealants, switch-plate wall socket gaskets, etc.  Talk to the manager and tell him/her that your taking your investments green and see what discounts you can get.

    On a current project I am working on I got an across the board 20% discount on all materials and appliances because I explained to the manager that the project was a green project. That store wasn’t some small, hippie store.  Can’t divulge it here but this store is everywhere and it’s initials are HD.  So you can get discounts from the big box stores if you know how to ask.

  4. Keep a running list of what you’ve done and what the benefits are for prospective buyers, tenants, appraisers, etc.  This can be a very simple, yet effective list.  For example:

    a. Installed 30 switch-plate gaskets- benefit- less air infiltration, 5% savings on heating/cooling bills.

    b. Painted with no-VOC paint- benefit- 900 less harmful toxins in the indoor air quality (amonia, benezene, etc.)

  5. Make the savings specific.  Check out the average utility expenses in your property’s area.  Then look at your improvements and figure out roughly how much you’ll save a prospective buyer. For example, say the average utilities are $300/month and you’ll save the new buyers 50%.  That’s $150/month, $1800/year.

* I’ll be rolling out to you in the next few weeks a variety of ‘green’ calculations that you can use to make the math easy and compelling for your potential buyers to understand.  Stuff that’s not been seen before that will  make your green property almost impossible to turn down.  More on that later...

Hope that helps you get on the green path.  As always feel free to email or comment with questions.  Thanks.Jim

Photo: futureatlas.com

About Author

I help real estate investors increase profits and property values through a variety of green strategies. I help clients find hidden rebates, tax incentives and credits to maximize returns on any property. www.JimSimcoe.com


  1. This is great. I look forward to your posts! I admit I am not THAT green with my investments unless it makes solid dollar sense but in my own home I have no problem spending more because I believe it does make an impact on my health. I do have a question. I’ve been told one of the biggest sources of toxins can be from the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Do you know what kind of materials are the best value but lowest toxic impact on the home??

  2. Hi Julie, Thanks for the kind words. To answer your question- the biggest issue with cabinets are the sealants and stains used on them. That is what is the most toxic, much more so than the actual wood. Look for a non-toxic cabinet stain whenever possible.

    Side note- I checked out your blog and really liked it…Jim

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