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Going Green: 4 Ways to Promote Sustainability as a Real Estate Brokerage

Solar panels on a house roof

Going green. It’s the task at the top of everyone’s to-do list recently, consumers and real estate pros alike. Buyers are increasingly interested in sustainability and green efficiency and sellers want knowledgable professionals who can properly value and market their green home. As environmental awareness continues to increase, it becomes more and more important for real estate brokerages to start “greening” their companies to meet the wants and needs of today’s real estate consumer.

 

A quick look at the numbers…

According to NAR’s 2018 Realtors and Sustainability report:

  • 61% of consumers are interested in sustainability and green efficiency
  • 71% of real estate professionals say they find it valuable to promote energy efficiency in listings
  • 39% of agents are comfortable answering questions about home performance and efficiency
  • 44% of agents don’t use their MLS’s green fields to promote sustainability
  • 30% ogif real estate pros say there’s lack of information and materials to educate them

These figures show that there’s great opportunity to get educated, involved and to promote sustainable living. Here are 4 strategies you can implement to start greening your real estate brokerage.

 

1. Populate the green fields in your MLS

As of January 2018, every MLS in the United States has implemented standard green fields. If you’re not already familiar with these, take some time to understand what they mean. RESO has a great list of the standard green fields to help get you started.

By filling out the green fields you make it easier for buyers to search for sustainable homes. It also creates a larger data pool of comparable properties for appraisers to use when they’re calculating property value. Energy efficient homes tend to sell at a higher price than conventional homes. That means higher appraisals, bigger commissions for agents…and ultimately more money for everyone involved in the sale. It’s win-win situation!

 

2. Provide information about lending options on your site

One of the current top market issues is that consumers are finding it difficult to understand lending options for energy upgrades. Millennials (now the largest group of home buyers) tend to prioritize eco-friendliness when they’re buying a home. That means they are highly likely to search the web for information about energy upgrades, and you want to make sure you rank in search engines for those types of queries. One way to capture those searches is to create a page on your broker website where you explain explain different lending options. Here are the essentials you’ll want to cover:

  • Energy-efficient mortgage
  • Home equity loan
  • Energy-efficient loan
  • Leasing VS. purchasing solar panels

If your state or local area offers any special incentives you’ll definitely want to highlight that as well. For example, Massachusetts HEAT loan program offers 0% financing options for homes and businesses conducting energy upgrades. 

By having a page like this on your site, you let consumers know that your brokerage has a lot of expertise on the topic, which could could mean they choose you when they’re ready to buy or sell.

 

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3. Educate your agents on the topic

Your agents are the ones out in the field. They are the ones answering the questions at open houses and responding to prospects through emails and phone calls. Make them look like superstars by educating them and providing information and materials they might need.

Going green is a universal cause and there is a ton of resources online to help facilitate your training. Here are a few worth checking out:

 

4. Post about it on your blog

Let buyers and sellers know that your brokerage is knowledgable and care about green energy by writing about it on your blog. This is an opportunity to work on your SEO and drive relevant traffic to your site. If you’re looking for some expert tips on how to write, check out our blog post on how to create content for real estate. Remember to write consumer-focused content that your visitors want to read, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Buying an Energy Efficient Home: Everything You Need to Know
  • 5 Benefits of Home Energy Upgrades Every Homeowner Needs to Know
  • The Advantages of Living in a Zero  Energy Home
  • 7 Ways to Make Your House More Energy Efficient

 

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