The REsource Newsletter
In This Issue
From the Director: Sustainability Poised to Reshape NAR, Consumer Demands
The NAR-wide sustainability effort now really has legs and its roots are getting deeper.
And that’s a good thing because sustainability is poised to reshape the real estate industry and consumers’ expectations of their housing, communities, and of their REALTORS®.
Those are key takeaways from the two-day NAR Sustainability Summit that took place last month in Denver.
The invitation-only event brought together a diverse group of REALTORS®, including longtime NAR volunteers, GRC board members, and members of NAR’s land use, smart growth, and sustainability committees.
The summit was a fact-sharing and planning mission that allowed us to examine sustainability trends and the technology and social changes that will affect the real estate industry.
It also was an opportunity to develop strategies to more thoroughly integrate sustainability across the entire REALTOR® family, something increasingly important if our industry is to remain relevant and essential to consumers.
Attendees explored the ways that sustainability may affect the world – the built environment, how we live, what we want in communities, and homeowners’ needs.
For instance, if autonomous cars become the norm, what happens to our roads? What’s the fate of garages? What do we do with the acres of parking around shopping centers and the towers of parking garages in urban cores?
This event solidified the idea that as the world changes and homeowners’ preferences and lifestyles evolve, NAR needs to adapt and respond.
This will entail a cultural shift across the entire REALTOR® family, with national, state, and local associations embracing sustainability to help their members understand and adapt.
We asked, “How can we integrate sustainability throughout all REALTOR® associations, and find practical ways for REALTORS® to integrate sustainability into their businesses?”
Presentations, research, and group discussions led to some answers, and AEs and CEOs were left with practical steps to introduce sustainability to their constituents and overcome roadblocks.
One strategy is finding a topic – a sweet spot – for members to rally around.
In one place, that sweet spot could be preparing for and combatting the effects of wildfires. Elsewhere it could entail lessening the effects of flooding or water pollution. Addressing the challenges of that one hot-button topic could be the spark to get an association’s sustainability strategy off the ground.
We closed the event by choosing several strategic priorities that I’ll talk more about once they’re approved.
As this subject continues to evolve and sustainability starts getting integrated into associations’ strategic plans, we need your input to ensure that consumers’ and NAR members’ interests and needs are being addressed.
As NAR Green Designees, you have knowledge, skills, experience, and passion that are essential to these conversations.
So, get involved and let your voice be heard at all levels of your REALTOR® association.
“Green has become a force. Long may it continue.”
--Gerry O’Connell, 2018 President, New Hampshire Association of REALTORS
Bran, Not Lucky Charms
Associations typically bow to members’ wills. If they ask for Lucky Charms, leadership tries not to deliver Bran Flakes.
Then there’s the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS (NHAR).
Though a poll showed NHAR members’ indifference to green and sustainability, that resounding meh didn’t discourage NHAR leaders.
They took a stance: “Give ‘em what they need, not what they want.”
Preparing members for their future
That attitude got the association’s sustainability program off the ground in 2017, and the GRC is recognizing its efforts with a 2018 EverGreen Award.
Though planning started well before 2017, NHAR’s push for green ended up delivering a green symposium, a crop of new NAR Green Designees, and a freshly minted sustainability committee all in the space of one year.
“Green was coming, and it was high time to prepare for it,” says Gerry O’Connell, NHAR’s 2018 President, who considered it a responsibility to give members the skills they’d need.
There were other reasons too.
New Hampshire has long, cold winters. Energy is expensive, and those high costs did little to make the state desirable and competitive when trying to attract new businesses and residents.
Plus, homeowners were making noise about their pricey energy bills, and some had already taken steps toward sustainability by tapping the state’s solar incentives.
Al Michalovic, NAHR’s 2016 president, spotted condo buildings that were connected to communal solar and farmers with solar arrays on their barns, for example.
His own awakening came back in 2008 when he traded in his pick-up truck for a hybrid and then started reading about sustainability and energy efficiency. He also started attending national real estate meetings and hearing compelling messages from speakers like Sandy Adomatis, SRA, LEED Green Associate, Adomatis Appraisal Service, and Craig Foley, GREEN, Sustainable Real Estate Consulting Services.
Thanks to his own home greening efforts, including the installation of solar PV and a heat pump, Michalovic saw his monthly electric bill plunge from $190 to $12.80.
Wouldn’t others want such savings? Didn’t it make sense for real estate practitioners to be able to discuss solar with clients who already were shopping for it? And isn’t it part of practitioners’ jobs to advise homeowners on saving energy and money and making their homes more comfortable and efficient?
NHAR’s first foray into green was a one-day educational event it put on in March 2017. The New England Green Homes Symposium attracted about 125 real estate practitioners, appraisers, builders, solar PV providers, and homeowners.
The next day, Foley delivered a two-day NAR Green Designation training class.
The headcount: 60. Among them were three key NHAR leaders – Rachel Eames, NHAR’s 2017 president, and O’Connell and Michalovic.
“I had never had a Green Designation class in which such complete support by association leadership was so clear,” observes Foley.
Ever since, NHAR’s green efforts have been snowballing.
That fall, Foley was invited to do another round of NAR Green Designation training. Thanks to those classes, the number of Green Designees in New Hampshire jumped from 23 in 2016 to 128 in 2017. More education is on tap for 2019.
In the fall of 2017, the NHAR also formed its first Sustainability Committee. The expectation is that its initiatives will be felt across New Hampshire and create positive forward motion and help real estate practitioners, builders, and homeowners find green opportunities.
“Green has become a force,” says O’Connell. “Long may it continue.”
Meet the EverGreen winners at the REBAC ABR®, SRES® and GREEN Networking and Awards Reception during the November REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston. For details, see “Plan Your NAR Convention Schedule Now” in this issue of the newsletter.
Knowledge Refresh: Put Clients on the Road to Green
Plan Your NAR Convention Schedule Now
As the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston (November 2 – 5, 2018) gets closer, now’s the time to take a look at all the green events that are in the offing and start sketching out your schedule.
It’s the GRC’s 10th anniversary, so there’s much to celebrate.
Here’s a quick line-up.
Look to the GRC’s October newsletter for more convention details and any last-minute updates.
Two pre-convention events are worth considering:
NAR GREEN Day 1: The Resource-Efficient Home: Retrofits, Remodels, Renovations and New Home Construction. Craig Foley will be teaching NAR GREEN Day 1 to celebrate the GRC’s 10-year anniversary. Get a green refresher for yourself or encourage colleagues to attend and get up to speed on green. Full details here!
October 31, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Smart Growth for the 21st Century
Learn the key principles of smart growth and what you can do to create more livable communities.
November 1, 8:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Boston High-Performance Homes Tour
Get an up-close view of some high-performance Boston properties, including the E+ Solutions Highland St. project. See “Boston Buyers Say Yes to High Performance. And Pay Extra For It” in the August 2018 issue of the GRC newsletter to learn more about the E+ Solutions Highland St. Full tour details here!
Though the event is sold out, contact GreenDesignation@realtors.org or Tonette Lauer, firstname.lastname@example.org to get on a wait list.
November 1, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Here are some education sessions, networking receptions, and fun events to keep you motivated and help you power your green business during 2019.
Green Designee Mixer
Join fellow GRC members and raise a glass to toast the GRC’s 10th anniversary. Head to the Green Pavilion in Booth #1177 for this free event and network with designees from around the country. This event is free for Green Designees but it is a ticketed event so register here to receive drink tickets.
November 2 4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Zap the Gap: Generational Differences Reexamined
Though the session isn’t specifically focused on green, understanding how to reach Millennials is valuable in promoting your green business. Learn how best to connect with this generation and figure out the best way to convey your green message.
November 2, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Bringing Green Home: Consumer Trends, REALTORS® & MLSs
Uncover how to tell the story of green home inventory data, NAR data on buyer preferences and Council of MLSs’ best practices to simplify the sales process.
November 2, 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Follow the Money: The Next Best Trends for 2019
Target your green message to the audiences with buying power. Though the session isn’t specifically focused on green, it will help you understand the hot spots in the U.S. for business and investment and get a read on Millennials and retirement buyers.
November 3, 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Breathe Easy: Improve the Health of Your Clients & Your Business
Stand out from the crowd by helping your clients improve their health and increase the value of their home through better indoor air quality.
November 3, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
REBAC ABR®, SRES® and GREEN Networking and Awards Reception
This is the reception where we meet and celebrate the EverGreen Award winners. The event is free for GRC members, but it’s a ticketed event and you do need to register. Add tickets to an existing registration here.
November 3, 6:15 p.m.–8:15 p.m.
Essential Steps to Amplify Your Business Through Video
Visuals are a terrific way to show prospects a home’s green features and get the word out about your sustainable listings. Learn how to repurpose visual content to up your social media game.
November 4, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Public/Private Partnerships & Green Building in Boston
Public/private partnerships are increasingly relied upon to provide solutions for the challenges related to energy, environment and affordability. Learn about the successful City of Boston E+ Green Building Program and how the city is supporting green real estate development and affordable housing and transforming Boston’s Fort Hill neighborhood.
November 4, 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
This Month's Tips: Disaster Prep Tips
Architects Identify Popular Home Products, Systems
The AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q2 2018 show the popularity of some green home features and technology.