Sustainability provides a value proposition for real estate professionals and associations, according to a session at 2022 NAR NXT, The REALTOR Experience, in Orlando, Florida.
“When you look at the data, 39% of U.S. energy consumption is attributed to the built environment,” said Craig Foley, founder of Sustainable Real Estate Consulting Services, LEED green associate, and chief sustainability officer at LAER Realty Partners in Melrose, Massachusetts, pointing out that residential homes account for 22% of that consumption. “So, almost a quarter of U.S. energy consumption is in the homes that we live in, [representing] an opportunity for us to engage our clients about being part of the solution.”
Christopher Matos-Rogers, the associate broker at Coldwell Banker in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of the sustainability-focused team, Matos-Rogers Group, also offered context for why the conversation around sustainability has changed in a news release.
“Whether it’s renewable energy, people putting power plants on their rooftops, or battery storage and this relationship to our vehicles, everything is changing right before our very eyes,” Foley said. “We have such a great opportunity to be leading on that.”
These sustainability changes at the transaction — things that Realtors should know to provide extra value to clients — add a category of expertise for agents.
“That’s just the game of business, especially the real estate business. It’s always changing, the market is always shifting, and there are new competition models,” explained Matos-Rogers in the news release. “Sustainability is an opportunity to stand out, to provide value, and defend your value to clients and the public. It’s a great content and engagement piece. You don’t have to be an expert at it, but you need to be aware of it.”
Foley explained that only 0.5% of Realtors have their GREEN designation, and he recommended that all NAR members become knowledgeable about sustainability and high-performance homes.
“Being educated is first and foremost,” Foley said. “If you go to green. realtor, we’ve got a whole [web] page there where you can plug in ZIP Codes and find GREEN-designated agents.”