How to Thrive as a Green Realtor

The last few years have been marked by a decisive shift toward clean energy. A 2015 study published by Nielsen on sustainability, cars, and consumer trends found that from a global pool of participants, 45% of responders said that they would choose a product based on its sustainability. The desire to be eco-friendly does not stop at transportation: the US saw growth of 29% in the use of solar power in 2016 (Vaughan). In order to keep up with current trends, the real estate industry has also been making strides in sustainability, and offers several green certifications to agents wishing to take their business to the next level.

What is “Going Green”

“Going Green” is a term that is used to describe the mindset and practices focused on shrinking your carbon footprint and becoming more conscientious about conserving energy and helping the environment. This can mean installing solar panels in your home, using energy-efficient technology, or buying from companies that have high sustainability ratings.

How to Go Green

If you are a realtor looking to go green or become an eco-friendly lifestyle real estate agent, there are several programs that offer the green designation. In general, these programs can be completed in less than a week and involve learning about the different aspects of green real estate through educational courses that cover topics such as marketing, clean energy, and the environment. The course material can include more technical aspects, like retrofitting older homes with new technology and training on how to better represent and advocate for buyers that are looking to go green.

Being a green realtor involves more than selling eco-friendly properties. As a green realtor, you can help prospective buyers identify the top-rated green brands for any appliance upgrades, complete energy audits, and advise clients on which energy-efficient enhancements they should incorporate or skip.

How to Succeed       

  1. Know your buzzwords: Words and marketing can have a significant impact on the choices we make, and the choice to buy a home is no exception. The National Association of Home Builders found in a 2015 study that consumers were more than twice as likely to find value in a home that was advertised as ‘eco-friendly,’ as opposed to ‘green.’ When communicating with buyers, it is imperative to connect with them on a personal level and use words that resonate with them. For example, using phrases like “lower bills” to discuss energy output places the phenomena that you are describing in the buyer’s terms and makes it more accessible to them.
  1. Identify and avoid greenwashing: Many businesses practice greenwashing by claiming through extensive marketing campaigns that they are sustainable and environmentally friendly, when in reality they are not. This is a harmful practice that ultimately causes damage to the environment by enticing consumers to buy their products. Prospective buyers may not know the difference, but as a green designer, you can help guide them towards energy efficiency.
  1. Be passionate: In being passionate about the environment and clean energy practices, you will attract like-minded clients that you can use as a network to build your business. Follow up with recent buyers to see how they are enjoying their new eco-friendly home and remember that being authentic with your buyers is an investment in your future.

 

Conclusion

The time for going green is now. Our planet and resources are in danger, and it is up to us to take an active role in reversing this trend. With a green real estate designation, you will be in a position to make a significant positive impact not just on your clients, but also on your community and our planet.