The REsource Newsletter

July, 2017

In This Issue

EverGreen Winners and Welcome to Chicago
10 Ways to Make the Case for Walkability
Webinar: HomeSelfe RE Step by Step
Refresh Your Green Skills at Steep Discount





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EverGreen Winners and Welcome to Chicago 

The 2017 EverGreen winners were just announced by the Green REsource Council.

The two winners, Cheryl Julcher and Craig Della Penna, have developed specialized green niches that are helping their businesses thrive. 

Recipe for sustainable homes
After 23 years in the real estate business, Julcher refocused her real estate practice and decided to make high-performance homes and sustainable real estate the center of her business. 

She and her partner launched Yellow Brick Properties in Evanston, Ill., created a new brand of high-performance homes, Zoetic Homes.

The aim of the Zoetic Homes is to provide a “recipe” that builders can use to deliver healthy, safe, comfortable, smart, and sustainable homes.  In addition, Julcher is looking to develop solar farms in Illinois.

Rails-to-trails niche
Before starting his real estate career, Della Penna, of the Murphys REALTORS® Inc., Northampton, Mass., worked in the railroad industry and for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
It seems only natural that he developed a real estate specialty selling houses near greenways and biking trails. 

He’s a recognized expert on rails-to-trails conversions and has helped to get over 1,000 miles of rail trails built in New England and New York.

As an in-demand speaker on the topic, Della Penna can illustrate the tie-in between rail-to-trails conversions and smart growth, land preservation, and placemaking, as well as such trails’ effect on nearby residential real estate values.  

 In the coming months, the GRC will feature more complete profiles of each winner. 


Celebrate with EverGreen winners 
Plan to meet and congratulate the EverGreen Award winners on Nov. 4, 2017 at the ABR®, SRES® and GREEN Networking and Awards Reception during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago. 

Naturally, green will have a big presence throughout the convention. The Green Pavilion will feature the latest cost-saving green products and services, for instance, and the High-Performance Hangout will be a chance to connect with fellow green-minded practitioners. 

This year’s convention is extra special because it’s being held in Chicago, one of NAR’s hometowns. The city that has made great strides in becoming green, and Chicago features everything from easy public transit, walkability, and bike ability, to green roofs on public buildings, sustainable parks, and restaurants that rely on locally-sourced ingredients. 

So plan to join us in Chicago in November. Find complete information here.


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“These HomeSelfe RE reports illuminate the sought-after features of a property."



--Ameeta Jain, co-founder, HomeSelfe RE                        


10 Ways to Make the Case for Walkability  

With everyone from Millennials to seniors demanding communities where they can get around on foot, walkable communities is a trend with legs. 
And you’re a natural to make the case for walkability in your community. 
Here are some ways to incorporate the concept into your day-to-day business dealings and convince your clients, your neighbors, and your community to take walkability seriously. 
1. Knowledge and understanding. Familiarize yourself with the latest thinking on walkability. One starting point is the National Association of REALTORS®’ On Common Ground magazine. Its winter 2017 issue is devoted to walkability, and the series includes pieces about zoning, health, complete streets, and the positive effect that walkability has on housing costs and rents. 
2. Generational demand. Every generation values walkable communities. According to the Regional Plan Association, 56 percent of Millennials and 46 percent of Baby Boomers prefer to live in more walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. And 79 percent of respondents in the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey said that it’s very or somewhat important to be “within an easy walk of other places and things in the community,” when choosing a home.  
3. Aging in place. Successfully aging in place requires a walkable community, especially when seniors no longer can count on their cars to get around.  One PRB report shows a link between pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and seniors’ health and well-being. 
4. Health effects. A sedentary lifestyle carries health risks, so it’s no wonder that both the Centers for Disease Control and the Surgeon General have promoted walking as a way to boost people’s health and lower their risk of illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
5. Walk Score. The quickest way to convey the walkability of your town or listing is by using Walk Score. Send clients to the site to help them understand the value of walkable communities, and include scores for all your listings, especially if your property gets Walk Score’s coveted “Walker’s Paradise” description.  
6. Home values and walkability. Placing a dollar value on walkability is a sure way to influence walkability skeptics. Last year’s Redfin study, for example, shows how just a one Walk Score point can boost a home’s value by an average of $3,250. 
7. City rankings. See how your city ranks on walkability top-10 lists. Among the cities topping this year’s Redfin list are New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Many smaller cities like Jacksonville, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, made Walk Score’s list of 141 cities – with populations of 200,000 or greater – that have an average Walk Score of 49.  Several Canadian cities, including Brampton, Calgary, Edmonton, Laval, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto also made that list
8. Community advocacy. Be a vocal proponent of walkability in your community. Attend planning meetings, and talk with government representatives, colleagues, friends, and neighbors about the value – greater health, wealth, and happiness – of making your community more walkable. Look at America Walks Learning Center  for advocacy tools, data, case studies, and fact sheets. 
9. Small adjustments. Making a town more walkable doesn’t always entail major, costly infrastructure projects. Imagine how helpful it would be for walkers if the city council mandated shoveling and salting sidewalks during the winter. For more on how to make change at the Federal, state, and local levels, see America Walks.
10. Walking tours. Send clients, especially those new to your city, on walking tours to help them get their bearings and see how easily they can get around on foot. For citizen-led walks, try, a site that also helps you build your own customized walking tour. 

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Webinar: HomeSelfe RE Step by Step

 HomeSelfe RE, the GRC’s newest member benefit, helps you help your clients to understand and incorporate home energy efficiency principles.

You also can use the tool to better engage with current and past clients by giving them meaningful information. For example, HomeSelfe RE allows you to create energy profiles of any property you’re showing or listing. 

For listings, the tool illustrates the energy efficiency upgrades that will yield the greatest savings and make clients’ properties stand out on the market. 
And when you’re working with buyers, HomeSelfe RE lets you make comparisons among houses under consideration and quickly identifies the upgrades required to make a potential home more efficient and less costly to operate.
During the GRC’s June 2017 webinar, Ameeta Jain, co-founder of HomeSelfe RE, provided a step-by-step walk-through of how to use the tool and ways that HomeSelfe RE can help you with marketing your business and listings. 
Listen to the webinar to learn how to:
Create a profile that includes your image and logo.
Tap HomeSelfe’s automated social marketing – branded to you – that includes videos, infographics, and articles that can be used on Facebook and Twitter and for your website and in email marketing. 
Create home energy reports – HomeSelfe Lite and HomeSelfe Lite Comparison Report, Energy Efficient Features Report, Energy Cost Savings Recommendation Report, Smart Home Features Report, and Solar Potential Report. “These HomeSelfe RE reports illuminate the sought-after features of a property,” commented Jain.
The tool is incredibly simple to use and you only need a property’s basic information – the address, year built, and square footage – to start generating reports, identifying energy efficiency strategies, and locating available rebates. 
“We know there’s consumer demand for energy efficiency data, and it needs to be part of every real estate transaction. We can meet this demand with HomeSelfe RE,” said Jain.
Discounts, getting started
As a NAR Green Designee, you’re eligible for special discounts on HomeSelfe RE. 
You can get a 30-day free trial and a lifetime discount of 75 percent, meaning your annual cost for HomeSelfe RE is $47.50.  Forever. Click here for more information.




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Refresh Your Green Skills at Steep Discount

Has it been a long time since you received your NAR GREEN Designation? Maybe you completed the original Green Core Course and elective or Green 100, 200, and 300. 

Regardless of what classes you took, the details of all the course material can get a bit fuzzy after a few years. Do you remember the details about AFUE and SEER, for instance? 

We understand.  

That’s why we’re offering the online Green Day 1 & Day 2 Bundle at a refresher price.
In the past year, the Designation Program has been updated and bundled into a two-day, online program – Green Day 1: The Resource Efficient Home, Retrofits, Remodels, Renovations and New Home Construction; and Green Day 2: Representing Buyers and Sellers of Resource Efficient Homes.

By taking the classes, you’ll get a review of the basics like what a resource-efficient home is and DIY strategies for improving efficiency. You’ll also get back up to speed on things like heat recovery ventilation systems, solar water heating, and thermal bridging. 

And now that smart-home technology has really taken off, maybe you want to gain more fluency on the topic so you can explain how technology contributes to a resource efficient home. 

Or maybe you’ve finally found clients who want to understand high-performance HVAC systems or solar options but you feel you could be more eloquent when you tout their benefits.

We’ve got you covered. 

As a current NAR GREEN Designee, the Green Designation online Bundle is available at a $30 discount. Register for the online Green Designation Program 2-day Bundle and use coupon code “redo” to get your $30 discount. 

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This Month's Tips: Reducing Wildfire Risk


With summer wildfire season squarely upon us, it’s a good idea to review your firescaping strategy, especially if you’re living in an area that is prone to wildfires. Here are three starting points. 

1. Eliminate vegetation that touches the house, and trim tree branches that are within 15 feet of your chimney or roof. 

2. Remove dry leaves and the twigs, plants, and needles that fuel fires. 


3.  Beware of fuel ladders that let flames leap from the ground, up a tree, and to a roof, for example. Aim for widely space trees and shrubs to eliminate such a contiguous fuel source. 

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Transit, Neighborhood Features Clients seek


NAR’S REALTORS® and Sustainability 2017 Report looked at the neighborhood features and public transportation options that clients request when they’re working with real estate practitioners. 



All articles written by Elyse Umlauf-Garneau unless otherwise noted

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