Verdant Vocations: A Real Estate Agent?
Here’s the fourth in our series of posts about that third of our day spent beavering away at our chosen craft.
[Verdant: green, lush, rich
Vocation: calling, life's work, mission, purpose, function; profession, occupation, career, job, employment, trade, business, line, line of work, métier.]
A Green Real Estate Agent might:1. list green properties so they stand out from less environmentally sensitive real estate.
2. drive to property inspections in a biodiesel, electric or a hybrid electric vehicle
3. have completed and refreshed courses like those offered by the Asheville Board of Realtors ECO Real Estate Professional program, or the US wide EcoBroker, or Leadership in Environmental Education and Design (LEED) accredited professional (AP) certification.
4. understand the issues of IAQ (indoor air quality), VOCSs (volatile organic compounds), EMFs, (electromagnetic fields), whilst being aware of building attributes that impact on asthma, hay fever, allergies, etc.
5. provide landlords and tenants with information on how to green a rented property.
6. have knowledge of a property’s exposure to asbestos, radon, lead, mould, contaminated soils, etc
7. be trained to recognise a property’s environmental benefits; proximity to public transport, passive solar design, thermal efficiency, renewable energy systems, ventilation, water saving landscaping, daylighting, etc.
8. suggest possibilities for eco-renovation of existing under-performing properties, and know of reputable green tradespersons.
9. advise both sellers/buyers of tax credits or rebates available for making energy/water efficiency upgrades to their homes, and of programs like the Energy Star Qualified Homes.
10. donate a percentage of aftertax profits to support local farming groups, land conservation funds or green building associations.
As it turns out there are already plenty of real estate agents doing much of the above. For example, we discovered the Green Realtor, Green Key Real Estate, EcoRealty, Green Homes for Sale, (although their listing of green realtors didn’t seem to require any certification), EcoProperties, Green Planet Real Estate, and GreenWorks Realty, to name a but a few.
As some realtors are looking for any marketing advantage in an increasingly tough industry, it would prudent to double check the veracity of any eco claims. Third party certification is a useful (though not always foolproof) guide to a professionals credentials. Or ask to speak some previous clients to further help in establising bona fides in green knowledge.
Checking with the the US Association of Energy and Environmental Real Estate Professionals might also turn up other useful information and leads.
Try also other links for greening your vocation:
TreeHugger’s How To Green Your Work Guide
The book: True Green at Work: 100 Ways You Can Make the Environment Your Business. [Australian version here.]