"Earth Day for Real Estates Professionals" was hosted this morning by Craig Foley, Chief Sustainability Officer, Laer Realty Partners, Chelmsford, Massachusetts; and Chris Chopik, Real Estate Sales Representative, Sothebys International Realty, Toronto, Canada.
Chris is a sought after expert in real estate, sustainability, and the impact that climate change has on property value around the world. Chris knows the diverse real estate marketplace across Canada, and practices in his home town of Toronto.
Craig is a REALTOR, NAR GREEN instructor and co-founder at REthink 39 at LAER Realty Partners and founder of Sustainable Real Estate Consulting. Truly a mouthful and he has more titles than I've listed, but definitely a person to know in sustainability.
I've come to know Craig personally while fulfilling work on the Presidential Advisory Group on climate resilience for the National Association of REALTORs™ Sustainability Advisory Committee, February, 2020.
Craig and Chris shared information that puts a hard spin on this topic, noting that realtors are in the drivers seat to effect change.
Craig shared the 2020 Sustainability Report from LAER Realty Partners. This is their second annual report on how their company has reduced their carbon footprint, increased their 4 agents with a green designation to 50, and increased their office sustainablity initatives. This report is an excellent guide to help other agents and companies look at their company and business practice to see how they can lower their carbon footprint.
Did you know that 22% of the carbon footprint is due to the homes we live in. That's right. Twenty-two percent of carbon emissions are from our homes. Realtors have the in person to communicate with buyers and sellers about the homes they buy/sell.
- Ask a seller how much it costs to maintain their home.
- Ask a buyer if they are interested in lowering their energy bills after they buy a home.
- Ask a seller if they've made any energy efficient, indoor air quality, or sustainable improvements.
- Share those features with the buyer's agent.
Raising awareness for these features and how they create benefits to a buyer who will enjoy them makes these features public. Publicizing these features shows other agents how to market and sell these homes. Show features, but explain the benefits of those features.
If a home is not energy efficient, sustainable, and has high energy bills, market it as a force for change. An investor who installs new appliances, new roof, creating dramatic interior finishes could be selling those homes for more if the right wording is used in the listing. Make sure to include if those appliances are Energy Star.
Offer that a new HVAC (AC/Furnace) is one of the top three ways to reduce an energy bill; the refrigerator and pool pump are the other two in Arizona.
This past year, while social distancing due to covid, more residents started taking a hard look at their homes. Lowes and Home Depot were packed with home owners making improvements to their homes. Make sure to ask a seller what improvements they've made in the last 10 years. Gaining more value for thoughtful renovations spells dollars on an appraisal.
Fewer people were driving to an office last year. More home owners are now working from home, permanently. That notion is now saving green house gases. There's also a savings to companies for employees working from homes.
Maybe not all change is bad due to covid. Maybe, just maybe we all take a hard look at our work lives to see that positive changes have been, can be, made to improve the air quality in our towns and envirnoments!
\Happy Earth Day