For realtors to utilize many programs available to them as well as their clients, Build It Green provided an information-packed presentation in Oakland called "Making Money Selling Green Homes." Filled with data and examples to help navigate the "green building" auditors, rating types and certifications, it also supplied resources for achieving financing for improvements to existing homes.
Some of the agenda showed opportunities for real estate professionals in today's market. A focus was to demystify "What is green?" as knowledge is key to understanding and implementing opportunities. The time investment to clarify the different standards, credentials and labels along with green marketing opportunities will stimulate prosperity advantages for those who attended.
Becoming a "Source for the Right Source" was another main point. Whether it is for rebates and financing programs or finding the qualified professional who will do the job right the first time, John Shipman, with Energy Efficiency Management, Inc., shared resources, knowledge and stories. Communicating the value of green was woven throughout the presentation.
Since the topic was targeted towards realtors and making money, some of the first slides showed how to accomplish this. A few resources to increase your business are: All Green Contractors, Energy Professional, Energy Upgrade California, Green Point Rated and Green Mortgages.
Energy Upgrade California is blanketing the media with statewide attention through radio, billboards, TV ads, newspapers and flyers. They even had the "Home Makeover Contest" with winners from Los Angeles. A total of six contestants won - one won $50,000 while the other five walked away with $10,000 each to make energy upgrade improvements.
I heard about EEM (Energy Efficient Mortgages) - loans up to $35,000 - for homeowners to obtain better resource efficiency when purchasing a home with an FHA loan. Wow! That's a big one to help new buyers save money on water, electrical and gas costs.
Still working on educating the public, realtors need to sell the benefits of "green" homes. These are the ones discussed today:
- Cost of operation
- Healthier air
- Less maintenance
- Pride of ownership
- Good for the environment
- A truly more comfortable home
- Resale value
Several appraisers were in the audience voicing a stumbling block - Finding comps! Without them, there is no base from which to draw.
Yes, there are people out there who want "green" homes, but at what cost? One of the appraisers stated an investment of about $5000 more than a neighboring home seemed to be about the average threshold.
This is just a short list of points communicated in "Making Money Selling Green Homes." I'll share more in the future.