Happy New Year!
The real estate market seems to have a mind of it's own. Most of us are experiencing the same things, but we might be approaching it differently. My magic sauce is my niche that sets me apart. Offering energy tidbits to clients and how they effect a home has helped me gain clients when I'm in competition. I've used the same strategy but have also kicked it up a notich from 2018.
This past year brought lots of growth both in the classes that I teach, expanding into a Public Benefit Corporation, events with the newly created Sustainability Committee at the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS and volunteer efforts with the US Green Building Council. As a full time residential real estate agent in Scottsdale, these extra endeavors are HUGELY rewarding given my sustainable niche in real estate.
The class that I created 9 years ago used to be a multi-speaker panel class. Panelists were a lender, appraiser, energy auditor, myself and sometimes a utility company representative.
The entire class focused on why and how to add energy efficient features to your home, how to pay for it, how to get value for it, and updates on utility rate plans.
The class evolved in 2019 to include one master educator partner, Daran Wastchak, versus the other partners. Daran brought sponsorships by both APS & SRP our utility companies, builders, energy auditing companies, Pearl Certification, title companies and home warranty companies. The classes have been very successful, providing building science knowledge as well as marketing, selling and getting value for energy efficient features. We're currently working on a new class to educate new-build agents on how to understand and sell these high performance homes. In a large market like Phoenix and with incoming new agents, it seems we'll never run out of attendees to teach this valuable knowledge.
The name of the class title changed from "Knowledge is EmPOWERing" to "The Fifth Element of Home Ownership."
Now to me POWER means electricity, but not everyone thinks that way. A lof of us would immediately think, "Yeah, knowledge is power - duh!"
So the class title was changed this past year to "The Fifth Element of Home Ownership." Most everyone knows homeownership to be Principal + Interest + Taxes + Insurance, covering the cost of owning a home. (P + I + T + I) But as we all know, utility bills can be as much as a car payment both average and luxury models, depending on the house.
So the Fifth Element of Home Owership is utility bills, P + I + T + I + U !
In late 2018 and early 2019, was selected to be part of a team, grant recipients, of an Edwards Mother Earth Foundation grant to replicate a tiny home project. The group has expanded into a Public Benefit Corporation in 2019, "Sustainability Advisors." Our group hosted an event 11/6/19 sponsored by Arizona State University. It was exciting to have three ASU Sustainability graduates working on this event with us. Bright young minds are amazing!
This event included different speaker panels and included information about sustainable building, small scale development, how to navigate the public policy world and construction methods.
It was exciting and also disheartening to hear Dr. Astrid Caldas, Senior Scients, Climate & Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists.
Presentations by Austin Trautman, Vali Homes touched on double wall construction and managing humidity in our homes. His examples clearly showed the differences in construction practices and energy efficiency, air quality humidity levels.
David Crummey, Real Estate Developer for Newtown, gave highlights of the upcoming Tempe Micro Estates project. We have been closing following this project and a couple of team members are integrally involved. Watch for them to break ground Q1 2020 on 13 micro-estate homes zoned single family wth a community building near ASU!
I'm very proud of this event! The room was filled and it was exciting to see familiar faces!
My continued involvement as a Director for the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS has been very rewarding having created the first Sustainability Committee at a Real Estate Assocation in Maricopa County.
The Sustainability Committee accomplished great things in 2019. Advancing our home tours with sustainable efforts, Earth Friendly Expos, partnering with the Keep Scottsdale Beautiful recycling event, the Water Summit held at the Scottsdale Water Campus, and continued work on a Sustainable Advisory for the public. I'm honored to see their work!
And lastly, volunteering for the US Green Building Council has been an ongoing effort since 2009. In 2019 I began another volunteer project, initiating another 2 day appraiser course event. I'm almost finished raising funds to produce a course (I'm not teaching) for appraisers in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Creating this appraiser education event was derived due to a phone call from a Prescott, Arizona builder last fall. He complained to me that he wasn't receiving value for extra features in his new-build homes on appraisals and could I help. His homes are more energy efficient and built to the current building code. Other similar homes included in the appraisal either aren't built to the current code or don't have the same features. He had heard me speak in 2018 at a Xero Energy Expo and thought to call seeking guidance. So I asked him, "Do you want me to put together appraisal courses?" And of course he said, "YES!"
Our instructor for this 2 day appraiser course will be Sandy Adomatis, Adomatis Appraisal Services, Punta Gorda, Florida. The class is March 12 - 13, 2020, Northern Arizona Association of REALTORS, 1515 E Cedar Avenue, Suite C-4, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004.
Sandy has taught these 2 day courses three times in the recent past in Phoenix thanks to our Residential Committee, US Green Building Council. Each time, funds were raised to host the course and hard work ensued to fill seats. She is THE go-to for this type of education. If you click this link you'll see her talking about the Commercial Green & Energy Efficient Addendum. The same exists for residential and is discussed in her courses.
This time in Flagstaff, the hope is to fill 30 seats as there aren't any appraisers in Northern Arizona with this much-needed knowledge. Fingers crossed please for a good turnout!
2020 will be a great year and I hope to move into projects with the Sustainability Advisors, helping companies enhance their energy efficiency, indoor air quality and helping employees realize that have the POWER to make significant changes to their own homes!