We’re nearly to fall – the season where leaves change color, pumpkin spice lattes make a comeback, and most importantly for multifamily property owners and managers, rental applications soar. Students are moving into apartments for the new school year, families are relocating to settle before the holidays, and new job contracts often begin, making it a peak period for the rental market. Preparing your multifamily community for this bustling season isn’t just smart, it’s essential for keeping profits high and residents happy.
Sure, there’s a lot to prepare for ahead of this season, but one area you may not have considered is sustainable junk removal. Implementing a green approach to waste management not only aligns with global sustainability goals, but it also adds value to your property. And, let’s face it, nobody wants to move into an overly cluttered property.
Let’s jump into this step-by-step guide on how to prepare your multifamily community for the fall rental frenzy – with sustainable junk removal as your secret weapon.
Why Fall Ushers in a Rental Frenzy
Traditionally, the rental market experiences cyclical highs and lows throughout the year. Summer is often viewed as a peak season, especially for families who prefer moving when school is out. But fall shouldn’t be underestimated. As summer winds down, you’ll see a second surge of renters looking to lock in a lease. Why? Well, there are several factors at play:
- Back to School. College students and even post-graduates are on the move, looking for housing as the academic year gets underway. With many universities starting back up in September, their move-ins are right at the transition from summer to fall.
- Job Market. Many companies also align their fiscal calendars with the calendar year, which means new hires often start in the fall.
- Pre-Holiday Settling. Families and individuals prefer to get settled before the holiday chaos ensues, making fall an ideal time to move.
The months of September and October experience higher-than-average volumes of rental applications as people look to get settled before the cold winter months. Understanding these trends can give your property a strategic advantage to help you adequately prepare to meet the demands of potential tenants – and the likely surge of junk and waste that comes with so many new tenants moving in.
Why Sustainable Junk Removal Is So Important
Traditional waste management, often characterized by simple hauling and dumping of waste in landfills, has extremely adverse environmental consequences. Landfills are notorious for releasing methane – a greenhouse gas that’s over 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere. Not to mention, e-waste often ends up in landfills, leaching toxic materials into the soil and water – which is an increasingly common item found in apartment clean-outs.
The EPA found that the U.S. generated 292.4 million tons of waste in 2018, only 32.1% of which was recycled or composted. These numbers illustrate the urgency of reconsidering our waste management practices with sustainable junk removal and recycling practices.
Adding Value to Your Property Through Sustainable Practices
Switching to sustainable junk removal is both a sustainable and business-smart move. Here are some ways sustainable junk removal can directly add value to your property:
- Tenant Attraction. A green property is an attractive proposition for younger tenants; a 2020 Nielsen report showed that 74% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable offerings.
- Operational Costs. Partnering with a sustainable junk removal company that also focuses on donation and recycling can reduce the costs associated with landfill fees.
- Community and Brand Image. Sustainable practices contribute to a positive public image, making your multifamily community more appealing to prospective and current residents.
- Regulatory Benefits. As sustainability regulations become more strict, adopting eco-friendly practices now can save you from future compliance headaches.
By focusing on sustainable junk removal, you’ll be strategically positioning your multifamily property as a modern, responsible, and appealing choice for renters. To prepare for fall with a sustainable junk removal approach, follow these 5 steps:
Step 1: Conduct a Property Audit
The first step in your journey towards a sustainable, fall-ready multifamily community is conducting a property audit. In simple terms, a property audit is a thorough inspection of your property to identify areas that need attention – including repairs, upgrades, or in our case, junk that needs to be removed. Think of it as a “health checkup” for your multifamily property. By knowing exactly what needs to go, you can plan your sustainable junk removal efforts more effectively.
Action Item 1: Create a Checklist for Areas Requiring Junk Removal
Organization is key. Before you embark on the audit, create a checklist of areas that are common culprits for accumulating junk. These may include:
- Common Areas. Lobbies, lounges, and recreational spaces.
- Storage Rooms. Often forgotten and cluttered over time.
- Outdoor Areas. Playgrounds, parking lots, and green spaces.
- Empty Units. Especially ones that have recently been vacated.
Having a checklist keeps the audit structured and ensures that no area is overlooked.
Action Item 2: Gather a Small Team for the Audit
While you might be tempted to take this project on solo, involving a small team can make the process faster and more efficient. Each person can be responsible for auditing specific areas or types of items. For instance, one team member could focus on electronics, while another could tackle furniture.
Involving staff who typically handle maintenance or property care can also be beneficial. They’ll bring their on-the-ground experience and might point out areas you hadn’t considered.
Step 2: Partner with a Sustainable Junk Removal Company
Now that your property audit is complete, you’ve gained some clarity to take the next vital step – choosing a sustainable junk removal partner, like CheckSammy. But what should you be looking for in this collaboration?
Your ideal partner should align with your sustainability goals and offer solutions that go beyond mere landfill disposal. Look for companies that prioritize:
- Recycling. Can they separate recyclables from landfill-bound items? Do they have specialty recycling partners for less-common types of recyclables like e-waste, textiles, and cleaning supplies?
- Donation. Do they have partnerships with local thrift stores and charitable organizations?
- Environmental Impact. Ask for data or metrics on how their processes reduce the environmental footprint. See what type of data they provide customers as part of their recycling and junk removal services.
Action Item 1: Research and Identify Companies
It’s a great idea to vet multiple companies. Look for customer reviews, business accreditations, and any green certifications. Reach out to other property managers or businesses who’ve used these services and can provide firsthand feedback.
Action Item 2: Establish a Contract or Partnership
Once you’ve identified a company that aligns with your goals, the next step is formalizing the relationship. Go through the contract terms carefully. Ensure it covers the scope of work, frequency of pickups, and, most importantly, the sustainability practices they commit to.
Step 3: Schedule Community Clean-up Days
You’ve audited your property and partnered with a sustainable junk removal company. Now, let’s bring the community into the fold. One effective way to do this is by scheduling Community Clean-up Days.
A Community Clean-up Day is an organized event where residents come together to clean common areas, recycle unwanted items, and perhaps even donate things they no longer need. It’s a fantastic way to engage your community in sustainable practices while getting a lot of work done quickly. Here are some tips for success:
- Provide Clear Instructions. Make it easy for residents by providing bins labeled for trash, recycling, and items to donate.
- Safety First. Ensure safety measures are in place. Gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer should be readily available.
Action Item 1: Communicate the Dates Well in Advance
Timing is everything. Make sure you announce the clean-up days well in advance. Use multiple channels like community boards, emails, and even social media to get the word out.
Action Item 2: Encourage Resident Participation Through Incentives
People love rewards. Encourage participation by offering incentives like a small discount on the next month’s rent, a gift card to a local restaurant, or even a feature in the community newsletter. The aim is to make it a win-win for everyone.
Step 4: Implement a Recycling Program
You’re almost there! Now, it’s time to ensure that sustainability becomes a lasting part of the culture of your multifamily community. Which calls for implementing a formal recycling program.
A comprehensive recycling program is more than just putting out a couple of bins. It involves segregating waste into various categories like paper, plastic, metal, and glass. Beyond the usual suspects, consider also recycling:
- Electronics – Old phones, chargers, laptops, and appliances.
- Textiles – Worn-out clothing, linens, curtains.
- Candles – Easy to recycle with the right sustainability partner.
Action Item 1: Install Recycling Bins in Common Areas
Place recycling bins in common areas like lobbies and laundry rooms and near mailboxes. The easier you make it for residents to recycle, the more likely they are to do it.
Action Item 2: Educate Residents on What Can Be Recycled
The last thing you want is for non-recyclable items to end up in your recycling bins. Clear, visible signage can help, as well as a community newsletter or even a quick seminar on the dos and don’ts of recycling.
Step 5: Track and Monitor Progress
Now that you’ve set up systems and involved your community, it’s crucial to measure the impact of your sustainable junk removal efforts. Why? Because data isn’t just numbers; it’s the quantifiable proof of your efforts and improvements. Tracking key metrics gives you insights to help you make informed, data-driven decisions that can be invaluable for fine-tuning your approach.
Action Item 1: Keep a Record of the Types and Amounts of Junk Removed
Start with the basics: What types of junk are being removed, and in what quantities? This information can be eye-opening and can serve as a baseline for future initiatives. A sustainable junk removal partner with an emphasis on sustainability data like CheckSammy can make collecting this data extremely easy.
Action Item 2: Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Sustainable Practices Implemented
To truly gauge your success, go beyond just quantities. Ask questions like:
- How much of the junk was recycled or donated?
- Did resident participation in Community Clean-up Days increase?
- Are more people using the recycling bins?
With consistent tracking and monitoring, you can make smart adjustments to your sustainability initiatives over time.
Seize the Moment, Sustainably
Preparing for the fall rental frenzy isn’t just a matter of sprucing up your property, it’s about aligning with sustainability for the long haul. The fall season offers a unique opportunity to attract new tenants, and there’s no better way to set your community apart than by integrating sustainable junk removal and recycling practices.
If you’re looking for a dependable partner in sustainable junk removal, look no further than CheckSammy. With our comprehensive sustainability offerings and network of 5,000+ haulers across North America, we’re here to meet all of your junk removal and recycling needs. Contact us today to get started.
Dive deeper into the CheckSammy Blog by reading one of our posts below
Feeling the Pain of Higher Resident Turnover? Apartment Junk Removal Can Help
If you’re a property manager, you’ve probably had a significant increase in tenant turnover over the last couple of years. So it’s no wonder apartment junk removal may be top of mind for you right now. There are several reasons for this shift. For one, the housing market is on fire right now. In 2020 […]Read More
Setting Up a Community E-waste Recycling Program
E-waste is the fastest-growing municipal waste stream according to the EPA, yet e-waste recycling isn’t keeping pace. In fact, only 12.5% of all e-waste is recycled, reports the EPA. Starting a community e-waste recycling program is a terrific way to ensure hazardous e-waste, like lithium-ion batteries, doesn’t end up in your community’s landfill. Creating an […]Read More
Waste Management’s Role in the Circular Economy
Establishing a waste management program for your business or community is one of the best ways you can contribute to the circular economy. Here’s everything you need to know about waste management’s role in the circular economy (and how to get involved). What Is the Circular Economy? Our current economic model is all about taking […]Read More