I am always amazed when I read an article that states that people do not understand the greening of real estate concepts and the opportunity it offers both buyers and sellers. In fact, I remember when I first heard that indoor air quality in homes can be worse than outdoor air quality I was not happy. Here I was, in 2005, a practicing broker, managing agents, and agents always feel responsible to suggest to sellers ways to improve the future sale of the largest financial investment they make.
While managing 2 offices in Sarasota, Florida, I kept hearing about green building. Sarasota is a leader in the state of Florida in green issues and sustainability so I began learning through osmosis and found no one was training the real estate professions on these issues. When I contacted my trade association to ask why, they had “no interest. They didn’t know what green building was and did not see the need for Realtors® to know about it. Oh boy, I knew something was not right. Going into a deep study mode for a year, I started to learn quite a bit and documented my newfound knowledge. I was discovering that certain types of insulation and building materials could contribute to lower utility bills and a healthier indoor environment. In my travels, I learned that a TV uses 25% if its energy when it was turned off ( called phantom energy) and TV’s could give off 4,000+ chemical fumes daily and since I had 4 at the time. I began to think of all of the buyers I sold homes to, and my agents sold property to who may have had a type of respiratory problem in a family member or friend and I could see how important this was to initiate education for the industry. When it comes time for a consumer to invest in a property, they need to about the ins and outs of this type of financial investment.
Traveling the country, going to seminars and conventions, and just listening and taking notes, I realized green building concepts were important for how clients to know how to have a better ROI. Concepts of lower utility bills, healthier indoor air quality, sustainable systems installed all sound like facts those in the industry need to A common term in real estate is Return on Investment. in the current climate, in general, this is not a feature or benefit people are experiencing as they were in the past. Many people are beginning to accept the fact that first costs are not the only factor to consider when building green or renovating with energy efficient materials and systems. It is the life expectancy of the structure that is considered for green upgrade decisions. I see a dollar value in this. Don’t you? Consumers are learning so much through the Internet and learning about energy efficiency and the long-term value of the renovations they invest in. In the long run, they will see a difference in the quality of life and their bottom line when selling the property in the future. Energy retrofitting current housing inventory is something that is just beginning to come to the attention of the public. This could be a huge job creator. People who desire bringing renewable energy driven systems as solar and water conservation measures into their lifestyle will create new awareness and new jobs for people to learn these technologies and installation techniques.
Job creation in the construction fields needs immediate attention in the current economic downturn o educating from the agent and their affiliate industries to guide clients in becoming more energy efficient holds such promise for the future. When buying a piece of real estate, if it isn’t offering green attributes now, consider what it will need in terms of upgrades to be a healthier place for your family to live and to be more energy efficient. In addition to better health, lower operating costs and good selling points for the future, there are many reasons to promote the greening the real estate markets.