Jamie Gerber on Green Technologies

Jamie Gerber, Manager of Real Estate Development, recently appeared on the Open Door podcast by Cox Communities. The podcast tackles the “big questions on the minds of smart community business leaders."

In the introduction to the episode – The Power of Keeping it Green – host Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, says “Green initiatives and technologies are quickly replacing many of the ways we've traditionally lived our lives and conducted business." The episode looks at how important green technologies are to residents.

Here are some of Jamie's key quotes from the podcast:

  • Are residents looking for green tech? "Absolutely they are…It depends on the person and location. We absolutely are seeing that renters and buyers alike are willing to pay for green technologies both to make their homes more convenient but also to save money and feel like they're positively impacting the environment."

  • Do residents ask questions about green technology or is it on their checklist of needs? "We usually expect one to two questions about green technology or how the building recycles or attempts to be environmentally friendly…So that's definitely something we're frequently being asked about and not just from renter perspective – also from our capital partners…A lot of times what we're seeing is that might be one of the first questions they ask us is what green technologies do we have planned for this area…So we're seeing it both on the capital markets end but also from the renter user end, which is really great."​​

  • What about electric vehicle (EV) charging? "On one of our projects – it's a 335-unit garden-style development in southern Phoenix. Initially, we had about 15% of the total parking spots planned to have EV chargers. Our capital partners requested that we actually provide the capacity to have 100% of the parking spots EV capable. So what that means is all of the conduit and everything is going to be run so those spots are EV ready…You're not going to be able to charge the entire parking lot on day one of the project, but they recognize that this is a trend that's real and that they expect that sooner rather than later they're going to be installing the rest of those EV chargers."​

  • What about the risks with EV charging? "I'll start with the risks. The biggest risk is that you spend all of this money incorporating good technology that either nobody uses – or worse that people actively dislike…So that's kind of the risk side as we view it. Yet from a positive perspective we're finding that technologies like EV are attracting renters. It is a feature that renters want to see in a community that they live in. Outside of just looking at renters, vehicles that are EV are lighter and less wear and tear on your parking lots, on your infrastructure that you've installed, so they're also beneficial from that perspective. I think there's a lot of benefits that come along with EV that far outweigh the perceived risk."​

  • What is the future? "I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I don't think we're going to be referring to it as green technologies five years from now. I think there's a marketing issue with that. You can pursue other avenues to convey the benefits of it without necessarily limiting it to this one little area."

Listen to the Complete Podcast ​