New Jersey will be the last state in the nation to mandate continuing education for its real estate licensees, legislation in place now to implement for the license renewal cycle July 2011 thru June 2013. With all the programs/monies promoting energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings, it would be comforting to know that our real estate professionals have the capability and skills to properly market energy efficient buildings.
Why not have the NJ Real Estate Commission mandate that 3 hours of the ~15 mandatory hours be specifically on "green real estate." (It is not uncommon for state real estate commissions to mandate specific topics for one or two courses of the mandatory set of courses required for relicensing).
(1) Property values might be appraised and marketed more in line with the increased value truly attributable to the property that is, say, more energy efficient than its competitor property.
(2) Site Selection - Renewable energy firms around the world looking to locate in the USA will take note of our cultural mindset favorable to green building and renewable energy ... it will get us top of mind in site selection officials and onto their short list.
It's important for NJ to be first in mandating green real estate education (3 hours) as mandatory continuing education for its real estate licensees. Branding for the state(s) that mandate such a green real estate educational requirement would be enormous.