The REsource Newsletter
In This Issue
Find Friends, Build Your Green Network
The launch of a solar blog. Seeking advice about putting on a green event. Styling a green home features sheet like a nutrition label. A happy hour event at an under-construction house for a behind-the-walls look at energy efficiency features. Questions about promoting a newly minted GREEN Designation.
These are just some of the announcements, ideas, and requests that you’ve missed by not participating in NAR’s Green Designation Networking Community on Facebook.
The community, featuring 780 members, has been operating since 2014 and includes both new GREEN Designees who are learning the ropes and veterans who have made green a centerpiece of their business.
The networking community is a resource that connects you with your industry and its people, keeps you up to date on news, and helps you find answers to your most vexing questions.
That’s one benefit Maury Kelly Oglevie, a practitioner with TNG Real Estate Consultants, found this spring. She’s had her GREEN Designation for just a few months and recently was invited to make a listing presentation for a high-end green house.
The property’s features, including recycled materials, a grey water recycling system, solar panels, and radiant heating, are still uncommon in her Fullerton, Calif., community. Plus, the house likely will be the highest priced luxury home in the city to date.
“I knew that its uniqueness – the fact that it was green – was how it was going to stand out,” she says. But she was uncertain about acing the listing presentation and how to market the property.
So Oglevie turned to the networking site and posted some questions.
Fellow designees came through with advice about what to emphasize, along with information about green appraisals, energy efficiency mortgages, and strategies to market the property.
She landed the listing.
Oglevie credits her GREEN Designation and the community’s advice with helping her to get that first green listing.
“It was nice to have someone to talk to who has done this,” she says. “It helped me head in the right direction, made me think about the right things, and I didn’t feel like I was spinning my wheels.”
Lone voice singing green
And it’s not just new GREEN Designees who benefit from the networking community. So do veterans.
Eileen Oldroyd, of Oldroyd Realty, Mission Viejo, Calif., heads there to glean ideas from what other agents are posting, check out events they’re attending or promoting, and to see how they brand themselves and market green properties. “There is always something new to learn or a personal story that inspires,” she says.
Scan through the posts and you’ll find several from GREEN Designees with a similar lament: “I’m the only GREEN Designee in my city. No one around here gets it.”
That’s one reason that Oldroyd thinks the community has particular value to those who feel like theirs is the lone voice singing about green.
In some ways, that’s Richard Proulx’s situation. He’s one of a just small number of Green Designees in his Calgary, Alberta market.
He sees green housing as something with a promising future, especially as Calgary focuses less on being an oil town and it transitions to a green collar economy.
“I check in with the networking community often and try to be as active as possible,” says Proulx, a practitioner with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central).
He also posted about a success he had when he suggested that a client buy a fixer-upper townhouse and transform it into a high-performance property.
That’s the listing for which he devised the energy efficiency “nutrition label,” which quantified the benefits of each green feature for prospects. “I had it conditionally sold for list price in 5 hours with four backup offers on it,” he wrote on a post in the networking community.
More is more
He’s interested in the potential that the GRC Networking Community offers in helping him connect with like-minded professionals and build his knowledge. It’s also a way to raise his profile and keep his expertise in front of fellow designees.
“It will get better as more people participate,” comments Proulx. He’s looking to the network for more content, more people, more bright ideas, and more information about innovative technologies.
And once the Fullerton, Calif., house officially goes on the market – most likely in late June – Oglevie expects to tap the network again to collect names of local GREEN Designees to invite to her broker open house.
Keeping the faith
Another reason Oldroyd participates in the networking community is to encourage new GREEN Designees. She wants them to know that “there is a big world of opportunity out there and to keep the faith.”
Still another motivation is just being a part of a community – her tribe, as she calls it. “My vibe attracts my tribe. I like that,” she says. “There are so many great minds out there, and this is a perfect place to share the love.”
Make the most of your networking
Here are four ways to get the most out of NAR’s Green Designation Networking Community on Facebook.
1. Participate. Join and check the site regularly for news, updates, and Webinars. Share your own successes and frustrations, encourage others, and offer advice when you can.
2. Ask questions. You have green gurus at your fingertips, so tap their knowledge.
3. Network. Add your name to the Green Referral Roster
4. Find content. This is your gateway to GRC’s Social Engagement Platform -- pre-written content that you can share on Facebook and Twitter. “Agents are busy and have little time to search for social media content,” comments Proulx, who regularly looks to the networking community for information and videos to share with his clients. Plus, the community is just for Designees, so you’ll also find information about other designation benefits and resources.
“There is always something new to learn or a personal story that inspires."
--Eileen Oldroyd, GREEN
Bringing Consumer-driven Solutions to Your Business
If you’re not familiar with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the clean energy think tank, the GRC’s April 2017 webinar is a good introduction to the organization and how it can improve your business.
One RMI focus is its Residential Energy+ initiative, which is focused on examining consumer views about home energy performance and developing solutions that motivate people to invest in home energy upgrades.
RMI would like to see home energy efficiency become as compelling to consumers as granite countertops are and to make home performance something that buyers and sellers notice, discuss, and expect in their homes.
During the webinar “Sold! Home Energy Performance & Real Estate Success,” Doug Miller, a RMI senior associate, talked about evolving consumer demands concerning energy efficiency and some specific steps you can take to better position yourself in your market and use your skills to help your clients in tangible ways.
Some ideas include:
• Make energy efficiency more bite-sized and understandable to the average consumer.
• Don’t focus strictly on the economic benefits of energy efficiency changes. It just isn’t captivating, believes Miller. Messages about comfort, shelter, and health resonate more strongly with consumers from all demographic groups--from Millennials to Baby Boomers.
• Showcase your skills in ways that directly benefit consumers. Help them find contractors and financing options and increase the visibility of green upgrades during the selling process.
• Partner with a BPI professional and offer to get a HERS Score for each house as a part of your service package. That could increase the visibility of green upgrades for sellers who are looking for a speedier sale at a higher price. And a HERS score also could show buyers that you’re hiding nothing about a property, and it helps them identify energy efficiency changes they could make after they move to a new house.
Employing such strategies builds greater trust, Miller believes. And by helping and supporting clients, you’re also helping yourself gain an edge over your competitors.
Miller offers this tidy summary of how to support your clients.
EverGreen Award Nominations. Find Our Future Green Stars
Some of the Green REsource Council’s past EverGreen winners have become stars of the sustainable housing industry.
Think of Craig Foley and his expertise on everything from valuation and marketing of high-performance buildings and energy management, to green advocacy and education.
Eileen Oldroyd first gained a name for herself with her Veggie Mobile, an old Mercedes Benz tricked out to run on cooking oil. She steadily gained prominence and has been president of the Women's Council of REALTORS®, South Orange County Chapter and an advisor to the Green REsource Council. This September, she’s heading to Las Vegas to serve as a panelist at the realtor.com Results Summit 2017.
John Shipman is considered a thought leader on green housing and has become an in-demand instructor for green home education. He also has used his previous experience to become involved with Build it Green as senior director of Southern California.
Jan Shomaker is known for inviting just about anyone who’s interested into her 1970s home to show off the systems and strategies she used to transform that property into something energy efficient and eco-friendly.
Who’s the greenest of them all?
Why not join their ranks by nominating yourself or a colleague for the 2017 EverGreen Award?
Winners are all unique, but they share a commitment to advancing the green building industry, enhancing their green industry skills and education, and sharing their know-how in ways that betters their communities. Nominees must also hold NAR’s Green Designation.
So who’s that person in your office or city?
We want to know.
Nominating someone is a cinch and the nomination form is short and sweet.
Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Questions? Contact the Green REsource Council by e-mail or call 1-800-498-9422.
Back to Basics: Eco-friendly Summer Celebrations
It’s the season for picnics, weddings, graduations, barbeques, fish boils, and clambakes.
Fun as they are, at the end of these events, garbage cans typically are overflowing with plastic water bottles, paper plates, and food waste.
So it’s worth employing these 10 eco-friendly basics to make sure your summer party isn’t too hard on the environment.
Invitations. It’s a no-brainer. Paperless invitations are the way to go.
Transportation. Let people know how to reach your event by public transit. If it’s a big shindig -- a wedding, for example – consider renting a bus to ferry people from venue to venue. Better yet, hold your ceremony and reception at the same place so there are fewer cars moving from place to place.
Water. Opt for pitchers or coolers, not disposable bottles.
Decorations. Banish the cheap, use-it-once-and-toss-it party decorations. Instead, consider creating a tablescape with fresh fruits and veggies, potted plants or herb pots, and fresh flowers that guests can take home.
Disposables. Find alternatives to disposable plates, napkins, cutlery, and serving trays. Trot out ceramic dishes, raid your cabinet for washable tablecloths and napkins, and have a set of inexpensive, reusable cutlery for outdoor events. For more elegant events, rent glasses and dishes.
Who knows what Miss Manners would think, but why not try a BYOP (bring your own plate) request on an invitation for a picnic or barbeque? No?
At the very least, be sure that any disposable item you use is compostable.
Food. Think local. Think organic.
Single servings. Single-serve items – ice cream and yogurt cups and ketchup and mustard packets -- may seem convenient and practical, but they generate too much garbage. Opt for refillable containers.
Recycle and compost. Label your compost and recycle bins and make it clear to guests where they can toss waste.
Party favors. Avoid party favors that will get thrown out almost immediately. Hand out plants, seed packets, or organic edibles – chocolates, teas, coffee, and spices, for example – from a local shop.
Pinterest. Look to Pinterest for creative ideas on planning and decorating for an eco-friendly soiree.
This Month's Tips: No Smoking Policies in Multifamily Buildings
Increasingly, residents and owners of multifamily buildings are opting to ban smoking.
If you’re considering such a policy, the American Lung Association can help.
Here are three tips.
1. Heads-up. Tell residents several months in advance that a no-smoking policy will be instituted and why you’re doing it.
2. Communicate. Address the smoking ban in community newsletters and on bulletin boards and have meetings so residents can ask questions and weigh in on the new policy.
3. Implementation and enforcement. Determine how you’ll implement the policy, manage complaints, and enforce the rules.
Cites with the Cleanest Air
The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air® 2017” examines and ranks cities’ air quality.
Here are the six cities (listed alphabetically) with the cleanest air.
1. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.
2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers-Naples, Fla.
3. Elmira-Corning, N.Y.
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
6. Wilmington, N.C.
ACEEE Scores U.S. Cities on Energy Efficiency Programs, Policies
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its City Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2017, which ranks 51 large U.S. cities on how they’re doing with energy efficiency improvements.
Here are some of this year’s best performers.
All articles written by Elyse Umlauf-Garneau unless otherwise noted