The REsource Newsletter

July 2018

In This Issue


GRC Survey: Use Your Benefits, Improve Green Practice
Knowledge Refresh: Net -zero Homes
NAR Convention Preview: High Performance Home Tour 
Tips: Natural Weed Killers

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GRC Survey: Use Your Benefits, Improve Green Practice


Late last year, the GRC surveyed members to get a read about how they’re using their NAR Green Designation and benefiting from it, and how we can better serve your needs. 
 

When possible, the results were compared to data from the 2014 survey. 
 
We’re using the insight to tweak our services in response to your needs. 
 
There’s also some takeaway for you. 
 
Changing building codes
Many GREEN Designees have had only a handful of transactions involving green. But with green building codes on the upswing, that’s likely to change. 
 
For example, 66 percent say that building codes in their areas are being changed to encourage green or energy efficient construction (36 percent) or that codes already encourage this (30 percent). That’s up from a combined total of 57 percent in 2014. 
 
In addition, 46 percent of Green Designees say their local MLS has implemented RESO-compliant green fields. Of these, half have used them when listing a property to help them promote a home’s unique green features. 
 
With changes to the building codes and an increase in RESO-compliant green MLSs, greater green awareness among REALTORS® is likely to follow. Be sure you ask clients questions about energy and home performance so you can include information about greener features in listings even when a house isn’t certified. All of these changes help make your knowledge become more valuable. 
 
Tip: Attend local government meetings to encourage your city or town to adopt greener building codes. Also, push for RESO-compliant fields and encourage colleagues to learn what the fields mean and how to use those them properly. 
 
Choosing green homes
The top three reasons that clients choose green homes: 
1. Home performance or energy efficiency (35 percent)
2. Cost savings (23 percent)
3. Healthier living space (11 percent)
 
Tip: Be sure you’re up on all the strategies and systems that improve energy efficiency and be prepared to show clients how to save money with select upgrades and how a greener home can affect their health and well-being. 
 
Referral business
Everyone loves a referral, and 38 percent of Green Designees say they’re very likely to refer someone to a NAR Green Designee in another market. Another 30 percent say they’re somewhat likely to do so. 
 
Tip: People need to get to know you and trust you. Boost your name recognition by participating in GRC Networking Community and by attending the NAR convention to meet fellow designees in person. For a preview of the 2018 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Boston, see “NAR Convention Preview: Net-zero Home Tour” in this issue. 
 
Tap your member benefits
The survey showed that members aren’t taking full advantage of all that the GRC offers. 
Webinars bring green education—delivered by experts in the field—in a format that’s quickly digestible and offers information you can use immediately. 
 
Customizable client handouts help buyers and sellers better understand the green concepts you’re talking about. 
 
Flyers, postcards, and brochures keep you top-of-mind with prospects. 
 
The social engagement platform provides ready-to-use green-themed content for your social media channels. 
 
The REsource newsletter keeps you up to date on critical legislative issues, industry developments, and it provides client-centric news and tips. 
 
The GRC networking community connects you with other members, find referrals, and get questions answered. 
 
So head to the GRC site, explore all the benefits available to you, and take full advantage of everything that’s included in your membership dues. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the GRC directly (greendesignation@realtors.org) to discuss what’s on your mind!




 

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“Zero (net) energy (ZE, ZNE) – building something that produces enough energy onsite to meet its own needs on an annual basis – is a “sticky” idea. People grasp it, and they like it; it’s captivating and motivating.” 



 

                                           --Net Zero Energy Coalition’s 2017 Zero Energy                                                                            Residential Study          

                                                                                 

Knowledge Refresh: Net-zero Homes

Practitioners in California are sure to start meeting more clients who will be asking about net-zero homes, since the state has mandated that new homes be built to net-zero standards by 2020. 
 
But even if you don’t practice in California, the technology is becoming more prevalent and clients may expect you to be able to answer their basic questions. 
 
Between 2015 and 2016, the number of net-zero units increased by 33 percent. And between 2016 and 2017, the number spiked to 70 percent, according to the Net Zero Energy Coalition’s 2017 Zero Energy Residential Study
 
A good a start is to review the Green Day 1 Course materials to refresh your knowledge. 
 
Net-zero basics 
 
In the simplest terms, net-zero energy homes, powered by solar or wind, produce as much electricity as they use. 
 
Such homes still have utility bills for gas, for example, unless a property is completely disconnected from the power grid. 
 
Net metering is a term that describes what happens when a home generates more electricity than it’s able to use or store. 
 
Smart energy habits
 
If you have clients who are truly committed to reducing their environmental impact and who want to create the most efficient, healthy home possible, there are additional strategies they can embrace. 
 
Here are some things to discuss with them. 
 
Conservation 
Adequate insulation 
Good habits like turning off lights, electronics, and appliances when not in use 
Adjusting the temperature when away from home 
 
Energy Efficiency 
Right-sized, high-efficiency heating, cooling, and water heating. 
Taking advantage of natural ventilation, lighting, and solar heat gain 
 
Power Generation 
Solar PV or wind power 
Back-up connection to power grid, storage batteries, or generator 
 
Going off the grid
 
Homeowners interested in disconnecting from the grid need to generate enough energy to power their house 24/7. 
 
Thus, few net-zero homes are completely off the grid because if the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, electricity isn’t being generated. 
 
Marketing net-zero 
 
When you’re talking to clients about net-zero homes, steer clear of industry jargon. 
 
Consumers just don’t understand what things like low-VOC materials or net-zero homes mean, according to the Shelton Ecopluse™ study. And even if they like a product or concept, they react negatively to the buzzwords used to describe them. 
 
Additional resources 
 
Stay up to date on developments in the net zero arena.  

​• The Zero Energy Project 

 

 

 
 
 

NAR Convention Preview: High Performance Home Tour

If you’re anxious to see the latest in green homes up close and learn more about their inner workings, don’t miss this year’s 2018 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Boston. 

During a pre-conference, half-day tour of Boston's next generation of high-performance buildings, you’ll get guided visits of several green-rated and energy-positive properties and commentary from John Dalzell, senior architect for Sustainable Development for the city of Boston and director of the E+Green Building Program. 

The event will give you a better understanding about the technologies that make such properties leaders in performance innovation. You’ll also hear from both buyers and real estate practitioners about why such properties are so desirable. 

Sign up before October 12, 2018 for a discounted price of $39.00 per person. After that, the per person cost goes up to $49.00. Space is very limited, though, so don’t wait !

Another not-to-be-missed pre-conference event is the NAR Green Day 1 Course  that will be taught by Craig Foley, Chief of Energy Solutions for Leading Edge Realty, Cambridge, Mass., on Wednesday, October 31st.  

Encourage your colleagues to take the class to put themselves on the path toward getting their GREEN designation. And if it’s been a while since you got your designation, this class would be a great refresher. Instructors also are invited to audit the class if seats are available. To be added to the list, please  call 312-329-8887 to save a seat. 

During the next few weeks, keep an eye out for the announcement of this year’s EverGreen Award winners, who will be introduced and celebrated at a reception during the convention. 

In addition, the GRC will be hosting an exclusive Green Designee Mixer on the expo floor during the Grand Opening. It’s another great opportunity to network with Green Designees from around the country. Register here for this ticketed event.

Find full convention information here!  

 
 

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This Month's Tips: Natural Weed Killers

Don’t let weeds mar your summer garden. 
 
Instead of resorting to harmful chemicals, try some natural, inexpensive remedies to keep weeds at bay. 
 
Bob Vila offers nine ideas, including: 
 
1. Vinegar. Spray vinegar on weeds on a windless day to avoid spreading the natural herbicide to other plants. Sun activates the killing properties. 
 
2. Table salt. Put a pinch of salt at the base of each weed. Avoid getting it on other plants. 
 
3. Corn meal. Sprinkle corn meal to keep weed seeds from germinating.

 

 

 

 

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Where Homebuyers Will Spend Green Dollars 

Fixr explored single-family home trends and took a look at green strategies and renewables in its 2018 Single-Family Home Trends Report.

Reprinted with permission.

 

 

All articles written by Elyse Umlauf-Garneau unless otherwise noted

 

 

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