Real Estate Agents Open the Door for Opportunities with EarthCraft
By David Bailey
Real estate agents and brokers know the value of sustainability in real estate. According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, 61 percent of the nearly 7,000 agents and brokers surveyed reported that consumers are interested and asking about it at some point in the home purchase process, but it is up to the agents to understand what is available in the marketplace. .Equipping agents and brokers with education and resources gives them the opportunity to capitalize on the potential of this growing trend among homebuyers.
Southface’s EarthCraft House a regionally-based high performance building certification program, provides a blueprint for builders to construct comfortable, energy efficient homes. Recently, the program added a Real Estate and Broker training program to its offerings to ensure that these critical players are well informed about the potential for questions and inquiries about residential green building.
“As a team of building science and green building experts, we know that market growth relies heavily on education,” said Amelia Godfrey, Program Manager of EarthCraft at Southface. “We have been approached by a number of real estate professionals from across the metro Atlanta area, who have been asking for training to better understand green building principles.”
Among the top issues in sustainability agents and brokers cited a general lack of information and materials provided, as well as understanding the lending options available to make energy efficiency improvements. Last year, EarthCraft developed a curriculum to provide real estate agents with a foundational understanding of building science, while also giving them the tools to explain the benefits of a green home to potential buyers.
Earlier this spring, EarthCraft partnered with the Atlanta REALTORS© Association to host the first of what will be an ongoing series of realtor-specific trainings. The half-day course was well-received, with nearly 100 real estate agents in attendance and requests for additional opportunities to learn. Other local real estate associations and municipalities, including the City of Decatur, have also indicated an interest in real estate education on EarthCraft principles.
As a next step the program will roll out additional training opportunities for real estate professionals, connecting them to the broader EarthCraft Builder and Technical Advisor (or independent verifier) networks. In doing so, EarthCraft certified Real Estate Agents will be able to work closely with builders and contractors to effectively communicate the benefits of EarthCraft.
While it may take some time, green building in metro Atlanta has planted its roots and is ready to grow into new residential markets.