About a month ago, I attended a forum hosted by the Switzerland Embassy on "Green Building Policy and Design: Best Practices from Switzerland," in DC. This forum was geared towards promoting Made in Switzerland green building certification, which takes a different approach than the widely recognized LEED certification over here. Their approach is a bit simpler than LEED. LEED has a more complicated scoring tools before coming up to the platinum, gold, and standard certification systems.
The point that I want to make is this: why is it residential Realtors, being in the forefront of green revolution, not jumping the bandwagon in droves? I don't get it. Whatever you call it, be it green, sustainable, eco-friendly, trends - is real. It's here for us to seize the opportunities. Yeah, foreclosure and short-sale, may be the 'subject of interest' for the moment. The trend won't last forever. Foreclosures and short-sale supplies will disappear before you know it. On the other hand, green home, is here to stay.
There are many shades of green. This is a topic, which deserves a post on its own. For now, let's just talk about the trend in the new homes market from NAHB (National Association of Home Builders). Okay, NAHB may be in new homes, they're different, you say. However, we should see their efforts on pushing green as the 'best indicator' of what's coming in the pipeline for residential market.
Here's the latest survey from NAHB and MetLife Mature Market Institute done in September of 2009:
- 37% of consumers want an 'environment-friendly' home
- 94% of builders says that their buyers want more energy-efficient new homes
- 55% said buyers specifically want Energy Star-rated homes
- 25% of builders said buyers want homes with more recycled materials and less materials overall.
What's more, Kevin Morrow, NAHB Sr. Program
Manager for Green Building Standard, said the bright spot of this
recession is "builders building green homes are doing okay.." Hmm, wonder why not too many builders jumped the bandwagon sooner?
For us, Realtor magazine has an online exclusive talking about consumers interest on being green and the eco-friendly speak, published sometime in 2007. So, where are we today? Sadly, we're not there yet. We're kinda late in the game. Seriously.
The thing is, resale homes, is a huge and "untapped" market! For all purposes, i.e. remodeling, retrofitting, and more, which sometime in the future the same homes after 'green remodeling' will be bought and sold with green home label. Consider this:Energy Star plans to enter the resale market. Now, if we look at the alternative energy companies (selling solar, solar water heater, geothermal systems, etc.), they have targeted the residential market - long before any other clean, green industries enter the market! - because they see the 'upside' potential.
So, where do you see want to see yourself fit in this green revolution?
For the purpose of Full Disclosure: I am currently in transition from being an agent to be a Realtor Outreach for GreenandSave.com, because I want to make a difference. GreenandSave, has a 20 year legacy in the 'Green' Energy saving market. NAR uses G&S data for their education curriculum. GreenandSave provides information on green home trends, tools, and marketing program for Realtors. Visit GreenandSave for more details. Enter promo code "REALTOR2, " and we will donate $10 to your local real estate association.