Do you market to the 83% of consumers interested in Green features?

Home Inspector with Certified Structure Inspector IOS #1730, EA #30

On a recent LinkedIn post I stated Did you know that only 17% of the consumer market has no interest in Green features? How are you marketing to the other 83%?” I thought I would expand on that here.

There are considered to be 6 demographics of consumers that are interested in purchasing items that are “green”, this includes homes. Of those 6 only 1 group is uninterested for whatever reason in these features. That group totals only 17%!

This means that 83% of consumers are interested in buying “Green”. This is a huge number. We already know that home buyers are in this number range. So the question is how do you market to these buyers? Odds are you don’t and neither is your competition. So it seems like an easy thing to do right? Not really because Reno doesn’t have many green homes. Builders are on track right now building more efficient homes but what about buyers of existing homes?

Well the solution is to show homes closer to where people want to be or near public transportation. This can be a big saving on the impact on the planet and their wallet since they won’t have to drive as much. This often comes with a tradeoff of an older home that wastes energy. We all know we can make an old home more efficient.

To do this right we have to set a process in motion. For home buyers it starts with getting an EEM or similar loan to do the energy upgrades. Then you call me. I’m a Licensed Energy Auditor and Home Inspector here in Reno. You get me in there to evaluate the home. I send the report over to a weatherization contractor and he puts a price to the work and sends it to the lender. The lender then moves forward with the loan and once the house closes the work is done in the next 60 days. Once the contractor is done he hires me to come out and “test out” his work to confirm the results. Then the money is released by the lender to the contractor and the buyers are on their way to a more economical, comfortable, and healthier home. They are reducing their impact on the planet and making a difference.

Some real estate professionals are already taking advantage of this. Read my post about Solid Source Realty or the one about the EEM Workshop  Lenders like Summit Funding and Guild Mortgage are already doing these loans on a regular basis and I’ve had several other lenders state they would do them. We have on average seen a 26% saving in energy costs on homes retrofitted with in the Energy Efficient Mortgage budget here in Reno. How can you not offer this as an option to your buyers?


Comments (8)


Hi Rob~


I gave you a Big SUGGEST on this post...I liked the way you asked that all-important question...Did you know that only 17% of the consumer market has no interest in Green features? How are you marketing to the other 83%?”


I sure would like it if you would post this on over at the ECO-ALL-STARS GROUP...there's about 1,000 greenies on this group who will find this interesting reading, I bet!

Jun 28, 2012 04:30 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Thanks for the comment. I joined the group and posted it there. 

Jun 28, 2012 04:42 AM
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Rob, great information.  I always advise people to consider pragmatic improvements that will lower the cost of ownership.  Saving the Planet is a great Bonus.

Jun 28, 2012 04:51 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Rob-excellent points, energy upgrades and retrofits can make a huge difference to your energy bills, makest total sense. 



Aug 10, 2012 04:28 AM
Lee Alley
Pro Mobile Photo - Snohomish, WA
DIY Your Own Expert Smartphone Photography

In contrast to my experience in the Wisconsin area (very green-conscious), western South Dakota is not yet a hotbed of green and ecology.  However, when I relate the green features to financial benefits it really hits home with the austere environment of the rural northern plains.

Aug 30, 2012 04:09 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

I wish more people would realize the benefits of starting at home. Most people want to buy products and patron places that are saving energy or being sustainable but fail to do it in their own home. We in Nevada are still behind a lot of other states. I'm hoping to educate and change that here in Reno.

Aug 31, 2012 03:33 PM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
Those are impressive numbers and should be considered when buying an older home. Do you have the numbers of actual costs and savings to provide on on a few homes?
Nov 21, 2012 02:01 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

David. The HERS report generated after the audit provides a percentage of savings and a return on investment type report. Since I work closely with a contractor that specializes in this type of work the numbers are true to the cost of the repair. We know what the current utility rates are and we project a small increase over time to get the idea from the modeling software what the savings is going to be. When the work is done I do back and retest the house and confirm the work has been done and from there I put it back into the program and get the new results. We regularly see over 30% improvement here in Reno on 30+ year old homes. That's with not doing anything crazy either.

Nov 21, 2012 02:34 AM