Over the course of the last decade there has been an increased focus on going green. Both businesses and individuals have made substantial efforts to at least become more environmentally conscious and friendly, and the real estate industry is no exception. In fact, green realtors have been around for quite some time, and they have the certification to prove it.
But what exactly is a green agent anyway? Is it someone who just specializes in finding green homes and properties? Well, that’s just part of it. A true green realtor also focuses on making their own business as environmentally friendly as possible, and this concept has been catching on across the industry as the focus on helping the planet becomes more important than ever before.
Further fueling the going green movement in the real estate industry is the fact that more prospective homeowners, and especially millennials, are seeking green and eco-friendly properties to move into. Many individuals even seek to work only with real estate agents that are also eco-friendly.
Thankfully, being more environmentally friendly in the real estate industry has become much easier over the past decade as well. Advances in technology have changed many of the ways in which real estate agents do business. Everything from marketing to the mortgage process can be done in a much more eco-friendly manner, and there are plenty of green initiatives and options that can be integrated into the daily role of real estate professionals.
Consider these ways real estate businesses can be more environmentally friendly, and not only will you make your business more sustainable, but you’ll also likely attract new clients as well.
Green Your Business
There are many different things you can do to make your own real estate business more environmentally friendly, from using energy-saving LED bulbs in the office to installing solar panels.
Obviously, transportation is a large part of the real estate industry. You can make this important part of your daily responsibilities eco-friendlier by investing in a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Recycling, of course, is also a worthwhile endeavor, as is cutting down on paper waste overall. Instead of direct mail campaigns and other forms of marketing and advertising that leave a big carbon footprint, opt for email and digital marketing instead to severely reduce waste.
Learning about green initiatives that homeowners can take advantage of for tax credits and improved energy efficiency is also important, as you’ll not only appear more informed, but you’ll also showcase your concern and desire to be more environmentally friendly.
After all, as you’ve likely already noticed, eco-friendly homes are a pretty hot commodity right now. Even if a prospective homebuyer isn’t part of the green movement, they do know enough to seek homes that feature green amenities such as energy efficient windows, Energy Star® rated appliances, sustainable flooring, water-conserving fixtures and plumbing, and other items that are currently large selling points.
Another great way to be more environmentally friendly and help your clients do the same is to eliminate paper checks and use an ACH payment platform instead. Many real estate professionals are already moving away from the antiquated and annoying system of getting cashier’s checks for earnest money deposits, closing costs, and other fees or payments that need to be made during a real estate transaction.
ACH transfers are not only more environmentally friendly, but also more secure and convenient than both cashier’s checks or wire transfers. For example, using an electronic money transfer platform such as paymints.io eliminates the need for the home buyer to find time to travel to the bank to get a check or initiate a wire transfer, as well as the time needed for both the real estate agent and the buyer to meet in order to hand off the check.
Instead, the real estate agent can utilize paymints.io to request an earnest money deposit or other payment. The home buyer receives the notification on his or her computer or mobile device, and can instantly send a payment from the comfort of their own home. This not only significantly reduces the carbon footprint such a task used to leave, but also keeps the mortgage process flowing smoothly.
As mentioned earlier, being knowledgeable about green initiatives makes you a better candidate as an agent for those who also take eco-friendly and sustainable housing very seriously. But by truly advancing your knowledge and expertise in areas such a building performance, environmental effects, green rating systems, energy efficiency, and other aspects related to environmentally friendly housing and buildings, you can establish yourself as an authority on environmentally friendly real estate. This can be a great competitive advantage if an increasingly competitive industry.
You can even get yourself certified as a green real estate specialist by taking courses and solidifying yourself as part of the green movement. You might also discover more about the advantages of being an environmentally real estate agent by visiting online forums and blogs that discuss a wide range of topics related to the industry.
You can also visit the National Association of Realtors® Green REsource Council, where agents can learn more about how eco-friendly homes offer numerous benefits to homeowners.
Being an environmentally friendly realtor with the knowledge and the expertise to help clients find green-certified homes is of great benefit to both your business and the environment. And when you consider that green building practices are becoming more the norm each year, it only makes sense to become certified now, so you can stay ahead of the pack and up to date on the latest green initiatives and home features.
Green homes also have a very high resale value, and as the population currently purchasing homes is younger than it was a decade ago, the focus on eco-friendly homes is only growing larger. Overall, green homes are cost-effective, practical, and offer a number of benefits to homeowners whether they are actively living a green lifestyle or not.
And, while some ways to make your own business more environmentally friendly might take some time, you can start using an ACH transfer system today. To learn more about how using paymints.io can be both environmentally friendly and a benefit to your business and clients, schedule a free demo today!