Green Real Estate: Selling a Higher Standard
As consumers become increasingly aware of the benefits that green buildings offer, builders and developers are following suit. According to a recent study from the National Association of Home Builders, at least one-third of single and multifamily builders surveyed reported that green buildings make up a “significant portion” of their overall activity, representing more than 60 percent of their portfolio. Additionally, incentives from local municipalities and utility companies make green building and retrofitting an attractive option for homebuilders and homeowners.
Green homes provide both financial and environmental benefits. Improved indoor air quality reduces the likelihood of allergens and asthma triggers as well as moisture and mold. Homes built to sustainable standards also reduce energy and water consumption, and in turn, utility bills. Green building construction also lessens the impact on natural resources, because only what’s needed to build is used, and often recycled materials are utilized for construction. Sustainably-built homes also benefit from improved property value, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
Southface’s EarthCraft Home, a high performance building certification program, provides a blueprint for builders to construct healthy, comfortable, energy efficient homes. Designed specifically for humid Southeastern climates, EarthCraft Homes are designed with nine categories of focus to ensure healthy indoor air quality, high standards of energy and water efficiency, reduced resource consumption and cost savings for maintenance, repairs, and utilities.
The 2018 “REALTORS® and Sustainability” report from the National Association of REALTORS® indicated there is an opportunity to better inform real estate professionals who want to capitalize on consumer interest in green homes. Thirty percent of survey respondents cited a lack of information and materials on green homes as a pressing issue among agents and brokers.
To address that information gap locally, this year EarthCraft launched a Real Estate and Broker training program to ensure that industry professionals are well-equipped to help homebuyers navigate buying and selling a green home, and are well-versed in explaining the benefits of an EarthCraft Home.
Continuing its professional development opportunities, on Nov. 14 Southface partners with the City of Decatur Public Works to host a lunch and learn session for real estate professionals interested in learning how to best market themselves as EarthCraft Real Estate Professionals. During the training attendees will learn about building science basics, the benefits of green building and techniques and strategies for identifying demographics of green home buyers. Additionally, attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of how homes with green features should be marketed differently than traditional homes.
In any aspect of real estate, realtors and brokers are crucial ambassadors for consumer adoption, more so when it comes to green building. Well-informed real estate professionals can help drive market demand for more energy efficient homes, resulting in better outcomes for our communities and the environment.
For registration details on the EarthCraft Real Estate Professional Lunch & Learn, visit www.southface.org.