In This Issue
GRC Initiatives Align with New NAR President's Priorities
Creative Thinking. Greater Revenue?
Knowledge Refresh: Water Heaters
GRC Renewal. 10 Benefits to Ramp Up Your Business
Tips: Fire Safety: Protect Your Home
GRC Initiatives Align with New NAR PResident's Priorities
November, the month when the National Association of REALTORS® swears in a new president each year, is always a time for reflection and an opportunity to look at where we’re headed.
Just a couple weeks ago NAR welcomed and swore in John Smaby as the 2019 NAR President.
Beyond our enthusiasm about the direction that the new president is taking, we’re also gratified that Smaby’s strategic priorities
dovetail with much of what the GRC has been doing and will continue to do for you.
NAR’s core mission is helping to make REALTORS® more successful and profitable.
It’s our goal too. Consumer engagement, industry partners
Smaby sees value in broadening NAR’s influence and increasing consumer engagement through partnerships with like-minded organizations.
We’ve also recognized the importance of industry connections and have built crucial relationships with organizations like the Appraisal Institute, Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS
), and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB
Joining forces with such groups has helped to move the green conversation forward, brought you deeper understanding of green topics, and has delivered tools that you use in your day-to-day business. The Appraisal Institute’s Green & Energy Efficient Addendum
, for example, is crucial in getting your clients’ green features valued. And the CMLS has played an integral role in simplifying the introduction of green fields into MLSs across the country. Greater professionalism
We’ve always been deeply committed to Smaby’s goal of raising the bar on professionalism.
We do it by providing you tools, education, and partnerships to build your brand, keep you up on industry developments, and help you to nurture powerful industry relationships.
For example, GRC’s partnership with HomeSelfe
serves both the goals of engaging with consumers – another of Smaby’s priorities – and raising your level of professionalism. HomeSelfe helps you to be a stronger professional in your market by helping clients create more value in their homes. HomeSelfe RE provides lead generation and social marketing platform for REALTORS® focused on home performance and is designed to grow your sphere. The tool also provides a natural way for you to launch a green discussion with any client and really showcase what it means to be a NAR Green Designee. You can get information
on the special 70% discount for designees.
And through NAR's Green Designation Networking Community
on Facebook , we work to connect you with one another – fellow NAR Green Designees who are in the trenches each day – to learn, to network, and to commiserate.Tools for success
Giving members the opportunity to be successful and providing business tools and resources conducive to success are also among Smaby’s priorities.
To that end, The REsource, the GRC’s newsletter, introduces you to the industry’s movers and shakers and their ideas and routes to success. It also provides in-depth coverage on legislative issues and trends, case studies, and content that you can share with clients.
The newsletter, along with other GRC content, helps to achieve Smaby’s goal of improving member and consumer communications and consistency in messaging. We work every month to keep you informed so you can better communicate the benefits of green with clients. For more about the many business tools and member benefits we have in place, see “GRC Renewal. 10 Benefits to Ramp Up Your Business” in this issue.
Know that no matter how green or un-green your market is or how much green is a part of your business and daily client interactions, the GRC and NAR are watching out for you. We’re working in tandem to make it easier for you to reach for success and continue making the valuable connections that will maintain the health and well-being of your business and clients and the real estate industry as whole.
back to top
“Green is something that really needs to be sold and shared face to face.”
--Steve Nauert, GREEN, The Green Retrofit, Canyon Lake, Calif..
Creative Thinking. Greater Revenue?
Creative entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of trial and error or testing ideas. They know that some things will be a hit, others won’t.
Steve Nauert finds himself in the trial-and-error stage with some of his green efforts.
When he got his NAR Green Designation in 2016, Nauert, GREEN, president of the Green Retrofit, Canyon Lake, Calif., was enthusiastic and saw it as a way to transform the housing stock in his Riverside, Calif., market.
He used many of the GRC ideas and marketing materials – brochures, flyers, logos, and so forth – and expected his efforts to fire up his business.
But prospects weren’t as enthusiastic as he was about green.
So he’s been working on some creative ways to create new revenue sources. Here are four.
1. Drought-tolerant gardens. Even before getting the NAR Green Designation, Nauert was a proponent of drought-tolerant gardens. He’s worked with homeowners to show them the value – saving dollars and the environment -- of xeriscaping. During the last three years, Nauert has partnered with contractors to install about 30 such gardens.
2. Landlords and investors. Landlords of multi-unit buildings are prime candidates for making green upgrades, thinks Nauert. He’s done some math and sees an opportunity for landlords to use green retrofits – air sealing and insulation, solar water heating systems, Energy Star appliances, and so forth – to slash their consumption and operating costs and make their buildings significantly more profitable.
3. Green consultants. Another idea is to train real estate practitioners and non-practitioners about green home retrofits. They’d be given a zip code to farm, set up face-to-face meetings with homeowners and discuss the value of and sell green retrofits to them. “Green is something that really needs to be sold and shared face to face,” says Nauert. Licensed contractors would perform upgrades, and Nauert and his team would get a referral fee.
4. Crowd funding. Earlier this year, Nauert launched a crowd-funding campaign with the intention of pooling funds to buy a home in Riverside County, Calif., and then greening it up and flipping it for a profit that investors would share. But it’s a tough sell to get people to hand over money to a stranger. Nauert was disappointed with the $8,200 he raised and nixed the plan. He’s rethinking his approach and is planning a new crowd-funding campaign with a revised strategy.
Nauert is waiting to see which ideas will have legs. He calls his efforts “little teardrops” that all make a small contribution to revamping the country’s housing stock.
The takeaway for you is to not fear trying something fresh or something that looks a tad off-the-wall. Look at your market, think beyond the traditional ways of using your green skills, and create your own teardrops.
Knowledge Refresh: Water Heaters
The thing about water heaters is that they sometimes just conk out unexpectedly.
And homeowners usually rush out and buy a new one in a pinch.
There’s little time to find the best deal, let alone understand all the options and the long-term impact of what they’re buying.
When a client calls in a panic, be ready with sound advice. And for those not in a crisis, it’s a smart move start learning about replacement options before one is needed.
Your GREEN course materials will help you refresh your understanding on the types of water heaters, how to evaluate them, and what to consider.
Given that water heaters are the second highest source of energy usage in a home, it’s worth shopping around to understand the models before making a decision.
By helping clients pick an energy efficient water heater, you’ll be saving them money for a decade or more.
Compared to a standard gas storage model, for instance, an Energy Star-certified tankless water heater can save a family of four more than $1,500 over its lifetime on gas bills. You can also check whether incentives or rebates exist in your market to usher even more savings upfront.
Time for a replacement?
The life expectancy of a water heater is about 10 years. Some signs that a water heater is on its last leg include:
• Rusty water
• Rumbling noises
• Water around the heater
• No hot water
Help clients understand their options for energy efficient water heating. They include:
• Tankless – Instead of storing a tank of warm water like conventional heaters, the tankless heater produces hot water on demand by flowing cold water through a heating device. The savings comes from not using energy to continuously maintain the temperature of water in a tank.
• On-demand water-circulation pump – The pump moves water quickly from a heater to the fixtures and reduces wait time at the faucet.
• Tankless coil indirect heaters – The coil heater relies on the furnace or boiler as a heat source. They’re most efficient in climates with a high number of heating days.
Solar water heating
Solar water heating is another possibility, though one drawback is that a dependence on solar energy may let water cool down overnight, leaving you with not-so-hot water in the morning. The system can be supplemented by an electric heater to ensure hot water 24/7.
Solar water heating systems include:
• Direct-pumped system – Rooftop Solar energy collectors are connected to an indoor storage tank, and a pump circulates water between the tank and collector. The sun’s heat is transferred directly to water that’s circulating through the collector tubing and storage tank.
• Indirect-pumped system – The system is used in norther climates. An antifreeze solution circulates through the collector and a heat exchanger transfers heat from the solution in the collector tubes to the tank water.
back to top
GRC Renewal. 10 Benefits to Ramp Up Your Business
During the last 10 years -- yes, we just celebrated the GRC’s tenth anniversary -- we’ve created a line-up of member benefits to keep you at the forefront of the green housing movement.
No matter your status – whether you’re a green newbie or a veteran – the GRC has you covered with marketing materials, education, and discounts to help you build your network, knowledge, and business. For example, did you know that the IECC energy codes in most markets include green features in new construction homes and retrofits? Highlighting these features when listing a home can give you an edge in your marketing.
Regardless of how much or how little your market has embraced green principles, you can use your GRC member benefits to promote your expertise, connect buyers and sellers to the benefits of high performance homes, and educate your existing and future clients.
Since it’s renewal time, take a minute to review the array of benefits you can tap as a GRC member.
Here are 10 GRC member benefits that will help you ramp up the green part of your business in 2019.
1. The REsource, GRC’s e-Newsletter brings profiles, news, and industry research to keep you up to date on the real estate and green home industries. It also provides content you can use to connect with prospects and give them something valuable every time you connect with them.
2. Webinars. Our monthly Webinars give you knowledge in a compact, content-dense format so you can make a one-hour commitment and gain new ideas to apply to your business immediately. Smart homes, green appraisals, and best practices for listing green homes have been recent topics.
3. GRC Online Community. NAR's Green Designation Networking Community on Facebook connects you with thousands of designees in markets nationwide. Here you can ask questions, share ideas, events, best practices, and client referrals.
4. HomeSelfe RE.
The GRC’s partnership with HomeSelfe gives you a tool to perform free DIY energy audits of clients’ homes and generate a HomeSelfe report that shows what updates will save them money. You’ll also get lead generation and social content to position you as the go-to professional. An exclusive offer for GREEN designees gives you 30 days free and a 70 percent discount as long as you have your designation. See Eileen Oldroyd’s take
on the value of HomeSelfeRE here.
5. The Social Engagement Platform. Ready-to-go content is available every month for Twitter and Facebook. You can share green news and data with your clients across your social media platforms without having to write any of it.
6. Green Client Handouts. Educational handouts are designed with home buyers and sellers in mind. These one-page, resource-filled marketing pieces help position you as the green expert in your market and explain home performance topics to every client. Expect fresh topics and new handouts in 2019.
7. Customizable marketing tools. Downloadable tools, including postcards and brochures, make developing your green personal branding effort a cinch.
8. GREEN. You can use “GREEN” after your name to quickly convey your expertise. Plus, only GREEN designees can use the logo to demonstrate their knowhow on their business cards, websites, and marketing materials.
9. Partnerships. The GRC’s robust partnerships with industry organizations and businesses raise the awareness about designees. National consumer and builder awareness campaigns bring education, a higher profile, and strong industry relationships to you.
10. New Website. The GRC’s redesigned website, coming in 2019, will make it easier for you to navigate and find the content you need. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of single sign-on and the ability to update your profile and see your changes automatically reflected on select CSRE designation and certification websites.
Why would you want to miss out on even a day of these member benefits?
So don’t let your membership lapse.
This Month's Tips: Fire Safety: Protect Your Home
Just last month was Fire Prevention Week
. With the holidays coming up and the extra lights, candles, and extension cords being put out, it’s a good time to review some fire prevention basics and protect your home. Three to-dos:
1. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area and in the basement.
2. Create an escape plan and be sure everyone in the house understands it.
3. Buy a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
back to top
Critical Home Upkeep. Exploring People’s Preparedness for Home Emergencies.
Some basic skills and routine steps can reduce home fires and can prevent an avoidable tragedy. But Porch.com finds that not everyone is on board. A survey they conducted contains some interesting information.Enjoy the complete findings here!
All articles written by Elyse Umlauf-Garneau unless otherwise noted