Green Industry Articles

Greening Your RE Business: 5 Steps to Thriving

Are you excited about sustainability and green practices in real estate today? Are you bringing that knowledge and passion to your market and community – only to find that not enough people are listening? Don't despair!

Now is the perfect time to create your strategy and build a thriving real estate practice with the power of NAR's Green designation.

Here are five simple steps that will position you ahead of the curve and assure your future success. Plant your seeds now and watch them grow!

1) Create Your Green Vision

You can't get anywhere unless you first know where you're going.

Where are you committed to making an impact? Is it in residential or commercial? New construction or existing structures? Make it simple for yourself, and plan just one year out.

Create a vision for your business by imagining that everything you have envisioned has already happened. Then work backwards on a monthly, weekly and daily basis to acheive your goals.

Support your vision with a vision board. Include pictures, without words or quotes, of your desired outcomes, and place it in front of your desk. It is a powerful way to reinforce what you set out to accomplish.

2) Spread the Word About Who You Are

Let people know what you are passionate about. I am grateful to all the people in my life who send me something green on a weekly basis. I receive magazines, web articles, invitations to green networking events, all because everyone knows how important sustainability, health and the environment are to me.

When people know what drives you, they will respond accordingly. Come up with something catchy that represents who you are and wear it on a shirt as part of your business attire. "Ask me how GREEN can make you $$$" works every time. It will get people talking to you and save you money on your wardrobe! Use organic cotton fabrics or bamboo. Wear your talk!

3) Build Your Green Power Team

Having a team of the best people you can find will give you a tremendous advantage over the competition.

Your team should include a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater, interior designer and/or staging expert, landscape architect, painter, lighting expert and a mortgage broker who specializes in energy-efficient mortgages. Be creative. A great addition would be someone who can design a personalized green thank-you basket as a closing gift for your client.

Make sure your team shares your vision. Although independent, team members report to you. If you refer a Green Rater to a home for an energy analysis, you must be confident that he or she will contact the customer within a specified time and that there is follow-through – so you gain respect and credibility with your client.

4) Shades of Green

Invariably you will come across people who may not seem green enough, or not as green as you are. Maybe they don't recycle or have reusable water bottles, or whatever you think they should be doing differently.

Please remember that each of us does the best we can. Don't get sidetracked by judging others on their shade of green. Everyone chooses how green they want to be.

Let's all work together. That's a big ingredient for success.

5) Get Involved and Knowledgeable

Technology in this new green world changes constantly, and it is impossible for anyone to know everything. There are so many aspects of being green and sustainable that it can be overwhelming. Pick the area you love, whether it's recycling or organic gardening, and become an expert in that area.

Stick to what you know best. Never stop learning – from webinars, newsletters, courses and green websites. Join your local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, or green-up your chamber of commerce. Get to know your local developers, building owners and property managers, www.nahbgreen.org and www.boma.com. Find out about state incentives for energy efficiency in your area at www.dsireusa.org.

You will see that in time, all your work and dreams will pay off big – in green.

Janice Zaltman, LEED AP, is President of Success by Design Coaching, Instructor for the Green Designation Course and Independent Auditor for Certified Green Partners in Miami, Florida.

Green REsource Council Newsletter, August 2009