Until a few years ago, owning a sustainable home was a pipe dream for the average buyer.
Whilst they loved to imagine themselves in a beautiful, open planned living space full of natural light and a veggie patch, the thought of shelling out for overheads such as solar panels and new eco-friendly appliances was unrealistic.
Making things even more unattainable was the reality that investing in eco technologies meant waiting eight or nine years for a return on investment. Even though you knew you’d save money in the long run, the benefits were too distant for the average homeowner to comprehend, especially under the weight of mortgage repayments and utility bills.
The good news is, being eco-friendly is becoming increasingly mainstream and we’ve now reached the tipping point where the benefits for both the environment and hip-pocket are well known and extensive enough to encourage environmental upgrades.
According to research by the National Association of REALTORS®, 11 percent of new homes are bought for energy efficient reasons which means being green is cool and no longer the exclusive domain of peace-loving hippies.
How can agents get on board with the movement and use their expertise to emphasise the planet saving features of the homes they sell?
Be able to sell the benefits to your clients
The first thing you need to do is get online and do some research. There are hundreds of industry experts who write about reduced emissions, utility bill savings and the resale value of eco homes, so why not make use of their hard work and write down statistics to use in a client presentation. Breakthroughs are happening quickly so it’s worth staying on top of the latest developments by subscribing to industry newsletters and following dedicated pages on social media. Only by immersing yourself will you be able to communicate the true value of sustainability to your clients.
A simple list of ways you can make a home more “green”
Creating a green home is easier than you think. From installing leadlights to investing in low-flow showerheads, most initiatives are affordable and can be easily implemented. Here is a list of basic steps your vendors can undertake before putting their house on the market.
- Install solar panels
- Purchase energy efficient appliances
- Insulate the home well – this means roof, ceiling and floor
- Add a water-tank to collect rainwater
- If extensions are planned, ensure building materials are non-toxic
- Get back to nature by starting a compost pile and veggie patch that new owners can harvest
- Plant natives
- Aim for open plan living that improves temperature control
Have a list of contractors for your clients
To make it easy for your seller, align yourself with reputable contractors in your area. Keep a stack of their business cards in your car so they’re always on hand. The added benefit of this is that the contractors will reciprocate referrals, bringing more eco-friendly business to your pipeline.
Learn how to market “green” features
Now that you’ve done all the groundwork and have convinced your sellers to invest in some upgrades, it’s time for you to do what you do best and start selling the home. This is when your marketing expertise come into play and you can get creative with how you demonstrate the brand new eco-friendly benefits. Use sustainability as a USP, which you can present through a variety of channels including your listing description, OFI flyers and online marketing.
Align your brand with “green” even if it’s just basic social media
If you’re going to talk the talk you should walk the walk and be holistic in your business’s sustainability strategy. This means implementing energy saving initiatives in your office, supporting eco charities or writing a blog post that showcases the positive effects of environmentalism. You might even consider re-working your branding to suggest that you specialise in these fields. Before you know it they’ll be seeking you out for your services!
The future of real estate is looking greener everyday. As people become more conscious of their footprint, agents need to keep up if they want to flourish. Harness your inner Captain Planet and think about how you can give back to the environment while making a living.