National Association of Realtors’ Goes Green
On July 8th 2009, About 230 real estate professionals took part in the National Association of Realtor’s(NAR) first class for the new GREEN designation at the 2008 Realtor Conference & Expo. The two-day course highlighted what makes a property sustainable and energy efficient, strategies for educating clients about sustaniable features, financial incentives and rebates available, and how to market yourself as a green real estate specialist once you obtain the GREEN designation.
To obtain the GREEN designation, attendees must complete the course, as well as(at least) one elective on residential, commercial, or property management. The designation was created by NAR’s Green REsource Council. The designation comes at a time of increasing demand for environmentally friendly home features. Environmentally conscious buyers purchase homes that cost, on average of $12,400 higher than the median home price in 2007, according to NAR’s 2007 Profile of Buyers Home Features Preferences.
The Green Resource Council and NAR’s Green Designation were established by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council(REBAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®
In the spring of 2008 in response to the increased interest by real estate buyers, sellers, and practitioners to go green. With a panel of subject matter experts, the council developed a comprehensive cross-disciplinary program in the summer of 2008. That fall, they launched the pilot Core Course to a live classroom of students.
“As energy costs rise along with concern for the environment, homeowners are looking for innovative ways to save money and live responsibly,” says NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, who is a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, California. “Realtors who earn the GREEN designation will add value to the real estate transaction with their knowledge of resource-efficient building materials and processes, as well as their understanding of simple actions that can reduce energy and water waste.”
Forty percent of Realtors® report that sustainable building is important to their business and clients, while 87 percent believe it will be of even more interest a year from now. NAR is engaged in various green building issues through initiatives like the Smart Growth Action Grants Program that helps Realtor® associations create livable communities. In addition, many state and local Realtor® associations are developing programs to teach members about energy-efficient and environmentally conscious home features.
For Qualified Realtors Only
In order for realtors who attend the course to obtain their GREEN designation certification, here are the guidelines that they must satisfy:
• Understand what makes a property environmentally friendly
• Explain to clients and customers the cost benefits of green building features and practices
• Distinguish between industry rating and classification systems
• List and market sustainable homes and buildings
• Discuss the financial grants and incentives available to homeowners
• Guide buyers in purchasing resource-efficient homes