Established in 2008, NAR’s Green Designation is one of the fastest growing designations out in our industry—and it’s not because of crunchy, granola hippies, say Craig Foley. Listing high-performance homes is a huge market opportunity, but many REALTORS® don’t know how to sell this product in the marketplace.
“We’re way past the tree-hugger phase of the marketplace,” says Foley, who has is the Team Leader for Rethink39, Chair of National Association of REALTORS®’ Sustainability Advisory Group, and Chief Sustainability Officer at LAER Realty Partners. “I love tree-huggers—some are my friends—but it’s not just about coming to a tree-hugging class. It’s just a smart economic model of building and selling that’s out there, and there’s a lot of content you need to know.”
ABoR Global Liaison, Special Programs Lead Christine Wren invited Foley down for ABoR’s Global Week to both teach the Green Certification, a two-day bundle on June 26 and 27, and to participate in Speaker Series at Night: Constructing a Green, Global Future on June 25. We’re combining green building with our global programming because there is a new wave of consumer expectations around sustainability, and many of our agents are working with clients requesting sustainability plans from everything from to how to retrofit existing homes for peak efficiency, to the latest photovoltaic and geothermal technologies, to emerging technologies, such as building with hempcrete.
The demand for sustainability is rising, and it’s touching every corner of the world. Eighty-eight percent of consumers want the products and services they buy to help them make a difference for our environment, according to a recent survey by Futerra. That also includes the homes and commercial properties they purchase and lease.
Over the past decade, Foley says he’s noticed so much progress in the high-performance homes in Boston that now some of them—especially those using photovoltaic technology (aka solar or solar PV)—are producing energy and making money for their owners. While Central Texas may not be catching onto the green building trend as quickly as Boston has, Foley says people realize change is inevitable and this is where the market has to go. Now REALTORS® need to learn the rules of the game when it comes to sustainable valuation strategies.
“REALTORS® can get away with just knowing about energy efficiency, but with solar PV, it’s very visible... and they’re going to look like idiots if they don’t have the info,” Foley says. “One of the things we talk about during day one is thinking about homes with solar PV: It’s like putting a power plant on their rooftop. That has changed everything in our valuation. We were taught in early real estate days comps, market analysis, cost analysis, cost approach. All we focused on was comps, comps, comps … With solar PV, we can run a solar valuation tool, and it’s very specific. Valuation changes considerably, and there’s no way I’d feel comfortable having just anyone listing a home with a solar PV because they are not doing the seller justice—and they have a really good chance of creating liability.”
As Austin's population grows (and our state's population grows around it), rising energy costs, the burden on our state's energy grid, and the need for long-term cost-effective building materials are only going to grow. The green revolution is coming...are you ready?
The NAR Green Designation course takes place at ABoR HQ, with The Resource Efficient Home (TREC #36165 | Provider #0001 | 8 CE hours | TAR) on June 26, and Representing Buyers and Sellers of Resource-Efficient Homes (TREC #36190 | Provider #0001, 8 CE hours TAR) on June 27.
Have questions about Global Week? Reach out to Christine Wren at firstname.lastname@example.org.