The real estate industry, and society as a whole, is currently paying more attention than ever to energy efficiency and green building opportunities. Green building is here--and it's here to stay!
Simply put, green building is a more mindful approach to building and remodeling through the use of environmentally-friendly materials and methods. Compared with traditional building materials and methods, green building materials and methods generally:
- require less overall maintenance
- use less energy
- are more organic
- save money over the life of a home
- produce less pollution
- are healthier for people, pets, and the environment
Implementing green building approaches means a longer life for the home, a healthier home environment, and ultimately, a savings of both time and money for the homeowner. The benefits of a "greener" home can include better health, more leisure time, more expendable income, and an overall higher quality of life.
Realtors® who are EcoBroker Certified® have gone through an extensive training program on energy and environmental issues that impact real estate and the consumer. EcoBroker Certified® Realtors have been educated to help our clients navigate the green real estate market, and/or guide our clients through the preparation and building of an environmentally sound home.
Typically, EcoBrokers are "green-minded" individuals who have a desire to minimize their own impact on the environment and reduce the overall consumption of non-renewable resources. As EcoBrokers, we help our clients make good decisions regarding a home's energy efficiency, and help with other green home issues such as how to orient a home or landscape a property for the maximum energy efficiency and minimal impact on the environment. An EcoBroker might consult with a client on:
- How to better insulate their home
- How and where they might shop for energy efficient mortgages
- Getting tax rebates for installing solar panels
And these are just a few examples of the many issues EcoBrokers work with clients on implementing.
Each and every home falls somewhere in the spectrum of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, and you can't always assume that a newer home is a greener home. For example, an older home built with quality, time-tested materials can be considered much "greener" than a brand new but poorly built home. And an existing home that at first glance may seem anything but green, can often be updated, modified, or renovated to make it energy efficient and environmentally sound.
As EcoBrokers, we see all the shades of green-helping a seller recognize and market the green features they didn't even know their home had, or advising a buyer on possible approaches to improving the environmental and energy issues of a "not-so-green" existing house they have their heart set on. This could mean something as simple as pointing out to a seller the great insulating benefit provided by their adobe brick home, or suggesting that a buyer plant trees to shade a home and thereby reduce excessive sun exposure or create a windbreak. Small details perhaps, but little-by-little, these small details add up. As EcoBrokers, we see to it that these details add up to positive home-buying and selling experiences for our clients (as well as for the planet).
While EcoBrokers are well-educated about-and committed to-green home features, we are NOT experts in "all things green," and we must always be sure that our clients know this. However, a well-trained and certified EcoBroker is far better equipped to advise clients on the energy efficiency and environmental aspects of home-buying and -selling than are our non-EcoBroker certified colleagues.
Ultimately, being an EcoBroker is about creating value for our clients, and positive change for our planet. In advocating for wise and responsible home-building, remodeling, and maintenance choices for our clients, we can make great strides in a very positive direction for the whole world.