Green Real Estate Practice
Green Tool Kit for REALTORS » Green Real Estate Practice
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Green Real Estate Practice

Are you wondering how a real estate professional become green? Real estate professionals can take several approaches to green the service they provide and reflect those efforts in their marketing.

Integral to any of these strategies is walking one’s green talk. Homebuyers, sellers and the public in general are increasingly aware of green issues and are coming to expect products and services labeled “green” to have integrity. The consuming public’s interest in green is as varied as the spectrum of light to dark green services and products offered to them. See the greener clients and green defined pages for more information.

Why Go Green?

As the number of homeowners and buyers interested in a greener lifestyle increases, so does the green building market. The biggest obstacles to purchasing a greener home are:

  • Lack of buyer education and awareness
  • Perceived higher costs
  • Lack of local availability
  • Green building perceived as a fad

As established communicators with the general public about housing, property, and lifestyle choices, real estate professionals have an opportunity to enhance their service to this growing market by addressing these obstacles:

  • Educate consumers and homeowners about the benefits of greener homes by recommending appropriate resources and services.
  • Use personal relationships to maximize outreach as word-of-mouth is the most popular conduit buyers are finding out about greener homes.
  • Use demographic profiling to reach these targeted markets.

Green Designations

Real estate professionals can green their services by becoming certified by one of the many designations available. The British Columbia Real Estate Association doesn’t recognize or endorse any designation.

The EcoBroker Certified® Designation’s (US) core curriculum offers energy, environmental, and green strategies and tools for real estate professionals. In order to earn the EcoBroker Designation®, licensed real estate agents must fulfill a set of requirements including their energy, environmental, and marketing training program.

The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers is a registered non-profit organization offering a GreenRealestate™ program leading to the Accredited Green Agent™ and Accredited Green Broker™ designations. These designations are only awarded to those who meet the association’s requirements, such as required green building courses and involvement and service to the association.

Earth Advantage (US), an Oregon certifier of green homes now offers Sustainability Training for Accredited Real Estate Professionals (S.T.A.R.) Certification. The program’s goal is to equip REALTORS® with the necessary knowledge and tools to educate their clients on products, features, building methods and values that make homes energy efficient, healthy and green.

LEED professional credentials demonstrate current knowledge of green building technologies, best practices, and the rapidly evolving LEED rating systems. They show differentiation in a growing and competitive industry, and they allow for varied levels of specialization.

Green-Related Training

City Green Solutions offers a Building Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Energy Workshops Series with Langara Collage in Vancouver that includes workshops such as Making the Sale - Added Value of Home Energy Efficiency.

Dollars to $ense is a series of one-day workshops that provide information on finding and realizing energy savings. The Office of Energy Efficiency holds the following workshops in cities across Canada throughout the year:

  • Spot the Energy Savings Opportunities
  • Energy Monitoring
  • Energy Master Plan
  • Energy Efficiency Financing (New)
  • Customized workshops for specific types of organizations

Light House Sustainable Building Centre offers Green Building 101, a two-hour, non-technical workshop for those interested in learning how to green a home.

Greener Business Operations

Work Space – Company and home offices offer plenty of opportunities for greening. As with most of these sorts of transitions, reduction and conservation are the best places to start. Once systems are in place to minimize the amount of material or energy needed, it’s time to source environmentally friendly products, (used) equipement and processes.

Transportation – The real estate industry has a long history with personal vehicles. Professionals of all sorts are now choosing to make a green statement with their personal mobility choices by opting for more fuel-efficient vehicles, such as hybrids. Some REALTORS® have traded in their SUVs for bus passes and memberships in the local car co-op (for example, the non-profit Co-operative Auto Network), while others have hopped on their bicycles.

More information on operations and lifestyle is available from Light House Sustainable Building Centre.

Greener Niche Markets

Green Team – Finding and associating with complementary professionals who share your philosophy or marketing focus can be effective.

Specialize – Some real estate professionals use their related green interest or skills, such as alternative energy, energy efficiency or natural building, as a niche marketing angle. Networking with potential clients with similar interests and values can leverage this niche approach or one can choose to only represent certain types of products.

Volunteering – An old marketing favourite and still relevant. By volunteering with an organization related to your niche interests, you build credibility, knowledge and can potentially engage with your targeted green market.