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Real Estate Agent with Real Living Real Estate Solutions

A recent survey by Consumer Reports indicated that while 5% of consumers thought of themselves as Earth Friendly Advocates, 9 out of 10 people considered health and environmental factors as part of their purchasing decision.

Think about that. 

5 out of 100 people say they are radically concerned with the environment, and 90 out of a 100 people say the environment and health issues play a major part in their final buying decision.

You can't find worse odds in Vegas.

And yet, for us Realtors at least, there is the answer:  It sounds radical, but it feels good.

My approach has always been to equate green environmental issues with money saving healthy alternatives.  We are now at the point where 'going green' not only is healthier, but it definitely saves money.

We would all like to believe that all people everywhere want what is best for the planet and the people on it.

That is a luxury that can be considered when all the bills have been paid and you are about to sit down to watch television before going to bed.  The reality check is that when you are about to loose your house because you have already lost your job....the only green that matters is money.

And so we come full circle.  Going green is about money.  Money to support the family, money that saves the environment, money that is tied in with the future.

An environmentally friendly house (or at least a house with green friendly features) will not loose its value the same way your typical McMansion will.  And there is the rub.

And then, last but not least, know your stuff.

When asked as to why a house is green in terms of Real Estate, don't say:

"This home is environmentally friendly because it was build by people who care and the architect is a vegetarian."

What people want to hear are facts.  So, tell the truth:

"This particular home was build with windows with low-e coatings and has been upgraded with Energy Star appliances.  The recycled carpets contain 100% post-consumer content."

And then explain explain explain.  Do not assume the customer knows any of those terms (more than likely they do not).  And be ready for questions.

And, be prepared to honestly admit you do not know all the answers. 

It is a new field for us Realtors as well.  And at this point, it is about establishing honesty and trust.  Let us learn together.  As a former teacher I must admit that there are no stupid questions.

Green is Gold.  For both sides of the fence.



Comments (6)

Kat Malone
Charlestown, MA

Couldn't say it better myself! Most people could care less about reducing carbon output but you talk about saving money and people get exicted. - Kat

Feb 12, 2009 06:44 AM
Douglas Garbe
Real Living Real Estate Solutions - Orlando, FL
Real Living Real Estate Solutions

Kat - Thank you.  And ironically enough, it seems that  you and I are in the minority here.  People tell me that I am way too negative when it comes to people's faith in the green movement.

Baloney! (or Tofu-Baloney). 

I see a 'green movement' that is going the way of  a Southern-back tent Revival.  I have heard people say that if they are not for the environment, that they are for death.  And now the Churches are getting in as well (they smell money).

I believe Kat, that in the end, it is only the people who are working by example that will make it.  If I can show you the seed, you can plant it and grow it.

Same thing for the novelty, apparently, of honesty and hard work.

Best of luck.

Feb 12, 2009 07:07 AM
Jim Hirschhorn
Real Living Real Estate Solutions - Orlando, FL
GRI, Real Living - Orlando

Bravo Douglas! I really like the specifics when talking about a house. Having never had a vegetarian builder, I have recently got an education on Low E windows and we even put one in and have seen a remarkable difference with the amount of heat that has been reduced in the house! Keep the good info coming.

Feb 12, 2009 08:58 AM
Douglas Garbe
Real Living Real Estate Solutions - Orlando, FL
Real Living Real Estate Solutions

Jim - Thank you.  That's not to say that vegetarian builders would not build a great house.  It has to do with information, valid information, and how it is passed on.

Feb 13, 2009 04:08 AM
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

Green is gold, but facts are platinum. 

Get specific and let people know why green makes sense for everyone, not just hippies driving VW buses and vegans wearing canvas shoes and driving EVs. 

Feb 18, 2009 03:33 AM
Douglas Garbe
Real Living Real Estate Solutions - Orlando, FL
Real Living Real Estate Solutions

Brenda - I love your first sentence.  I think I'll make that my calling card (no kidding, awesome).

Exactly, not only the charlatans taking the movement hostage, but then the bad retro-publicity from the 60's and 70's aftertaste.

Thank you again. :)

Feb 18, 2009 04:49 AM