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May 4, 2022

Thinking “Green” All Year Long

While another Earth Day has come and gone, it’s important to remember being good to the environment and embracing sustainability is more than an annual one-day acknowledgment – it should be top of mind daily. It’s a way of life and has a significant impact on the real estate industry.

From Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings to green homes, Realtors play a crucial role in sustainability efforts. And we’re driving major initiatives that engage our membership at local, state, and national levels to embrace sustainability conversations. As a result, Realtors take the environment seriously, and research is showing that more and more homeowners are looking for ways for their property can be energy efficient.

A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the 2022 Realtors and Sustainability Report-Residential, shows that buyers are increasingly searching for homes that have increased energy performance and provide a healthier, more comfortable living space. Some of the highlights of the Report include:

• Half of the Realtors surveyed have recently helped clients buy or sell a home with green features, up from 32% from the previous year.
• Roughly two out of three agents and brokers see value in promoting energy efficiency in listings.
• A third of respondents are concerned about the impact of extreme weather events on the housing market.

Also noteworthy from the Report is the rising anxiety among Realtors about the effect of climate change and extreme weather events on their businesses. More than one out of three respondents – 34% – said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of extreme weather events on the housing market.

When working with one of our local Realtor members to buy or sell, you may have been made aware of the green fields in our MLS, powered by Flexmls. From curbside recycling, dual flush toilets, and energy-rated HVAC systems to hot water recirculation, low emissivity windows, and rainwater collection systems, we’ll be sure to highlight such green features for sellers and to buyers.

While NAR’s recent Report is residential-focused, a similar commercial study was completed a year ago. Highlights included:
• A majority of agents and brokers (69 percent) said that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable.
• Twenty-nine percent of buildings with green certifications, such as LEED, Green Globes, or the Living Building Challenge, spent neither more nor less time on market.
• The building features that Realtors believed were most important to clients included utility and operations costs, indoor air quality, efficient use of lighting, and windows, doors, and furnishings.

Consumers and builders depend on educated real estate professionals to help market newly constructed, remodeled, and retrofitted properties. This is why I obtained NAR’s Green Designation, which is available to all Realtors. The training provides many resources to make sure that Realtors serve the community and its “green” needs.  Our next offering of the Green Designation course is set for early August and, like many of our CE classes, will be deeply discounted for our members.

Realtors® serve our community and clients, but we also have our eye on the future, and what might affect our environment and property owners in the future. That’s Who We R®.