By Amy Youngren
RISMEDIA, October 7, 2009—“The environment will be one of the great challenges of the 21st century. Soon it will dominate virtually all aspects of life in North America—socially, politically and economically. Today’s great leaders and entrepreneurs must look at environmental problems as an opportunity to set themselves apart from the competition.”
- Steve Morris, Founder and CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International
The green real estate movement is today’s mantra for everything from energy-efficient appliances and toxin-free building materials to all-natural cleaning supplies or water-saving products. Everywhere we turn, marketing screams for our lives to “go green!” Whether it’s the bag you pack your groceries in, separating recyclables before putting out the garbage or checking the tags on what you buy to ensure it’s organic, day-to-day living centers around being—or quickly becoming—eco-friendly.
One of the most important things to buyers and sellers today is the environment. And in order to meet the demands of first-time home buyers (whose average age, according to the National Association of Realtors®, is 30), agents must become savvy, green-educated professionals. Age 30 is between the Gen X/Y era where green is not a consideration to that demographic—it’s a lifestyle. Environmentally-friendly features are deemed as very important by 90% of buyers, according to NAR. The stats make perfect sense since owning a green home is said to be good for your health, will save you money and benefit the environment.
If that’s not enough motivation, green homes are expected to account for 10% of new-home construction in 2010, up from 5% in 2005, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. Not to mention that while the average U.S. home lost 5.7% of its value in 2007, eco-friendly homes have actually held their value, some even appreciating in price. According to the Appraisal Institute, green properties typically appraise for 10% to 15% higher than comparable conventional homes (depending on region and upgrades).
Buying green real estate is more affordable than ever before. The premium is minimal compared to what it used to be and can be easily offset by the long-term savings on things like energy-efficient furnaces, for example. That alone could save you $570 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
What qualifies as a green home to one might not necessarily make the cut with another, but the key is recognizing the significance of the green movement in real estate and heading aggressively in that direction. The green housing market is creating a tipping point in the real estate industry. Realtors® that don’t get on board the green train will get left behind.
At EXIT, It’s All About Our Agents
EXIT recognizes the value in making this educational opportunity available because, like everything else we do, our agents are the focal point of our company. With that in mind, at the 2009 EXIT Annual Convention, EXIT announced the launch of our green initiative, “Teal is the New Green,” which includes training, resources and other tools to assist our agents in marketing themselves as proficient green Realtors®. By aligning ourselves with EcoBroker® International, the world’s first and largest green designation program for real estate professionals, we keep giving Realtors® more and more reasons to choose EXIT for a successful career.
EcoBroker’s® green designation training and communications will provide EXIT agents with the resources to be constructive green ambassadors in an ever-changing business and consumer world. They will be able to knowledgeably assist clients in their pursuit of properties that provide affordability, comfort and a healthier environment. EXIT-EcoBroker certified professionals will also help sellers effectively market their properties with green features.
Because EXIT offers only the very best in training and education, EcoBroker® is the only designation that is taught by experts in both the green industry and the real estate industry. With over 5,400 agents trained worldwide, they are the largest green designation program for real estate.
“We are also the only green certification program that requires our members to take four hours of additional education each year,” says John Stovall, Vice President of business development for EcoBroker® International. “Our annual Advantage Course will keep EXIT-EcoBrokers on top of the latest information in the world of green real estate.” EXIT has negotiated special pricing that is not available anywhere else in the industry, so our agents can affordable become certified.
EXIT-EcoBrokers will be equipped with additional energy and environmental information as well as tools to help them provide added value to all of their real estate transactions. “This training helps our agents address the newest topics in real estate, such as green home certification programs like ENERGY STAR®, says Tami Bonnell, president of EXIT’s U.S. Organization. “It also provides practical solutions to assist them in working through issues that may arise in any real estate transaction, such as mold, radon, or poor indoor air quality, just to name a few.”
By becoming an EXIT-EcoBroker, our agents will be able to grow their client base by attracting the green-minded consumer and providing valuable energy and environmental information to all consumer types.
For more information about EXIT Realty Corp. International or the “Teal Is the New Green” Program, contact Amy Youngren, Green Program Representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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