Realtors Spread Green Tips to Homeowners

Bendweekly_jpegOriginally posted March 14, 2008
by Jim Woodard, BendWeekly

A swath of green is covering the real estate industry.

An
increasing number of Realtors are taking special courses to learn about
geothermal heat pumps and success-proven techniques home buyers can use
to qualify for grants and tax credits for energy-saving improvements.
They then market themselves as eco-friendly "green" Realtors.

New
housing developers are also hopping on the green wagon, realizing this
will give them a positive marketing boost. An example is The Cherokee
Lofts, a new mixed-use project in Los Angeles.

"The
Lofts is a unique green project that carries forth the current
environmental effort to benefit the community and the planet," a
representative for the development said. "It solidifies the existing
symbiosis between ‘green’ and ‘interior design’ by offering
green-minded consumers a greener urban-living alternative while
preserving a refined design and sense of style."

Realtors
who are taking up the green mantle are listing and selling
eco-friendly, energy-efficient properties, featuring them on their Web
sites and blogs. They also consult with owners of newly listed homes on
ways to make their property greener, thus more appealing to prospective
buyers.

Realtors
say their knowledge of environmentally friendly designs and materials
can help clients in the marketing process. Buyers are attracted to
homes built with eco-friendly features such as solar power and
energy-efficient appliances. If the property is old and lacks such
features, green Realtors can walk buyers through possible retrofits
that will lower their energy bills or improve indoor air quality.

The
number of educational courses leading to green certifications is
growing. A major course currently is EcoBroker International, based in
Evergreen, Colo. It has certified about 2,600 agents over the past
year, it was reported.

EcoBroker’s
classes include subjects such as making improvements in indoor air
quality and types of retrofits that will be most cost-effective. It
also covers techniques for piecing together the state and local tax
credits or grants available for projects.

When
the course is completed, Realtors earn an EcoBroker designation. This
can be an effective marketing tool in promoting more listings and sales.

Read the rest of the article here.

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