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Want to Rent Green? Good Luck. Unless…

| Wednesday September 3rd, 2008 | 1 Comment

GreenRenter%20logo.jpg
It seems these days that green building is everywhere you look. It’s hard to not find a media outlet throwing in a story with a green building angle. Hurrah for those who want to build or remodel green, you’ve got plenty of resources now. But what if you’re not yet at the “Honey, which rainwater catchment system do you like? The red, or the orange?” stage? What if you just want to rent, and you want it green (or greener)? Not so easy to find.
Yes, with a lot of sweat, you can piece together listings that have what you seek, likely from many different resources, with minimal details beyond a greenwashy headline. GreenRenter.com is seeking to address this issue.
The Portland based site has launched a service that makes it simple for both those seeking and those offering properties that have green qualities to find one another. And in a generous opening of the field, they allow listings on there that have at least one of seven criteria being addressed. Come again, one in seven, isn’t that setting the bar awfully low? Their answer is interesting:

We want to showcase the efforts of all owners who are trying to improve the sustainability of their properties, regardless of whether they’ve sought out certification or awards.

I think this is commendable, as it will encourage those just beginning or having made substantial progress on their properties to have a place to connect with those that support and want to live in properties that the owners care enough to take such earth and tenant friendly measures. Yes, there are more and more new LEED certified properties out there, but mostly for sale or otherwise being used by the people who built or remodeled green.
But what if your property is has many green aspects, and just doesn’t have those magic letters on them? It’s like the quandry that farmers face in choosing whether or not to be certified as organic. They may do all the things necessary to qualify, but not be able to afford the certification process. LEED is a great standard to aim for, but at this point, prohibitively expensive to get for all but larger projects, and thus, other projects may not hit the radar, without obvious credentials.
While they work through the kinks and listen to user feedback, GreenRenter remains a Portland focused service. A wise choice, as it’s a city full of very knowledgeable, very enthusiastic, very vocal green people, from a wider demographic than the usual suspects elsewhere. In choosing to focus there first, they’ll likely be vetted well by the time they make the move to serving other cities. I would think that this would be especially useful in places that are not yet as green friendly, serving as a valuable connection point.
Would you like this in your city? They’re all ears, encouraging people to let them know here. Tell them Triple Pundit sent you!
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.


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  • http://greenrenter.com Lev Tsypin

    Thanks for the very well though out review, Paul. I am one of the founders of GreenRenter and we really appreciate the coverage and exposure as we work to improve the site and expand our service offerings. You hit it on the head regarding offering incentives to building owners aside from the complex and expensive certifications currently available. Hopefully as we grow GreenRenter, and similar services, will provide a showcase for those are making sustainable efforts.