Green Industry Articles

Greening Your RE Business: Five Tips for Becoming a Successful Green Agent

1) Continual education

Green education shouldn't end when you receive a designation or complete a course. Since green technology, practices and policies are constantly evolving, it is important to stay up-to-date through seminars, webinars, newsletters and networking with other green industry professionals.

The Green REsource Council website provides access to several of these educational tools, plus other resources, such as our Carbon Calculator, green glossary and relevant links. Know the lingo, and stay a step ahead of increasingly sophisticated consumers.

2) Grow your pool of green professional contacts

It's particularly important to create your network of green industry professionals. During the development, purchase or sale of a green building, you can add the most value by being "the source of the source" and providing access to the right green industry professional. Some of these professionals include energy raters, LEED AP designers, green builders, commissioning /
certification agents, green attorneys and green lenders. Developing this network will facilitate your transactions, keep you plugged in with like-minded professionals and create a whole new prospect base. Joining green organizations such as your local US Green Building Council chapter or Green Drinks is a great way to accomplish this.

3) Hit the streets

While you discover green organizations in your area and build your green industry network, you should also introduce yourself to a variety of businesses offering sustainable products and/or businesses (beyond real estate transaction-related services). Good candidates are green retailers, auto dealerships that sell hybrid vehicles, organic food vendors, etc. Propose a referral or comarketing system where all parties benefit. These relationships keep you directly and indirectly connected to like-minded individuals who can steer business your way – and can even become prospective clients themselves.

Finding these businesses in your area can be as easy as a Google search or using the old fashioned method of canvassing an area. And be sure to attend green conferences and related trade shows to continue growing your green contacts.

4) Adjust your marketing approach

Once you're a designee, be sure to update all your marketing materials with approved logos and green language. Update your website, business cards, flyers, post cards and anything that can announce to the world that you believe in the green building movement and have advanced knowledge in sustainable design and green building practices. Many designees have already
taken advantage of our press release template, which can save you the time of writing your own release.

5) Practice what you preach

When updating your marketing materials, be sure to use alternatives to printing and mailing when possible. Use email blasts to communicate with your client base. If printing is necessary, use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper with high post-consumer waste content and eco-friendly inks. Consider a gas-sipping vehicle, which will both express your sensitivity to
the environment and be less costly to operate.

Take these steps, and you'll lead by example. Agents need to be a step ahead. Listen to what consumers want, and be the source of the source.

Al Medina, GREEN, LEED AP, was Director of NAR's Green Designation program through June, 2011.

Green Resource Council Newsletter, June 2009