REALTORS® Answer Call for Greener, Sustainable Homes

Apr 10, 2017 by

More homebuyers and sellers are in the market for greener, sustainable homes—and REALTORS® are answering the call.

Over half of REALTORS® recently surveyed in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTORS® and Sustainability report say consumers have an interest in sustainability as it pertains to real estate—homes that have features intended to conserve natural resources, such as solar panels or walkability. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed have been involved with at least one “green,” or sustainable, property in the past year.

One of the more valued features, according to the survey, is efficient lighting, cited by 50 percent of the REALTORS® surveyed as important to consumers. A “smart” home is also in demand, according to 40 percent of those surveyed, and, to a lesser extent, geothermal technology and “green community features” (e.g., bike paths). Sixty percent of those surveyed say consumers are looking for outdoor recreation and/or parks in proximity to home, while 37 percent say consumers are looking for “local food.”

Eighty percent of the REALTORS® surveyed, in addition, say solar panels exist in their market, but just 42 percent say their presence gives a boost to perceived home value. Twenty-four percent say tiny houses exist in their market.

The real estate industry has recognized the mounting significance of sustainability—in fact, 70 percent of those surveyed “feel strongly” about the benefits of marketing sustainable home features to consumers, and 43 percent say their MLS has green data fields to input information related to those features.

REALTORS® and Sustainability is part of NAR’s Sustainability Program, a “platform for dialogue on sustainability for REALTORS®, brokers, allied trade associations and consumers,” with a “focus on coordination and articulation of NAR’s existing sustainability resources, while also supporting a growing area of interesting for consumers, helping members to assist homebuyers and sellers,” according to a release on the report.

“As consumers’ interest in sustainability grows, REALTORS® understand the necessity of promoting sustainability in their real estate practice, such as marketing energy efficiency in property listings to homebuyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “The goal of the NAR Sustainability Program is to provide leadership and strategies on topics of sustainability to benefit members, consumers and communities.”

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The post REALTORS® Answer Call for Greener, Sustainable Homes appeared first on RISMedia.


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Looking to Build a Sustainable Brokerage Business? Lay the Foundation with a Strong Culture

Nov 23, 2015 by

In an industry that’s constantly changing and evolving, building a sustainable brokerage business that can withstand market fluctuations is not only a challenging proposition, but one that can’t be taken lightly. As the industry continues to strengthen on a daily basis, it’s more important than ever that brokerage leaders take the time to set their […]

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How to Build a Model for Sustainable Success

Oct 28, 2015 by

On Nov. 13, six powerhouse brokerage executives will get down to business and share their philosophies and hands-on tactics for creating sustainable success—no matter what the market serves up. RISMedia’s 20th Annual Power Broker Forum, held in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego next month, will provide attendees […]

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Preparing for Tomorrow: Set Yourself Up for Sustainable Success

Sep 23, 2015 by

John Featherston moderates the opening session with panelists Jeff Detwiler, President and COO of the Long & Foster Companies, left, Dottie Herman, President and CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, center, and Mark Stark, CEO and Owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties and Arizona Properties. RISMedia’s 2015 CEO Exchange kicked off on Wednesday, September […]

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How sustainable are your financial habits?

Dec 23, 2013 by

Sustainability has become a key concept in environmental and resource-management circles. It’s also a good goal for your personal financial practices.

I’m sure it once seemed as if the world contained an endless reservoir of oil; but by the end of the 20th century it was clear that when people draw on a resource faster than it can be replenished, eventually shortages will occur. Similarly, there are some common financial practices that may seem harmless from week to week, but which will back you into a troublesome corner over the long haul.

The test, then, for your personal finances is whether or not your habits are sustainable — if you project those habits out into the future, do they result in your building wealth or facing bankruptcy? The following are several ways in which you should consider the sustainability of your personal finances:

  1. Is your debt level rising or falling? Controlling debt isn’t simply a matter of meeting minimum monthly payments or not having maxed out your credit limits. If your debt is rising month to month, it is only a matter of time before it becomes unaffordable and/or no one will extend you any more credit. There are times when it is necessary to take on debt; but for the most part, a fundamental goal of personal financial management should be to pay off any debt that isn’t backed by an asset of equal or greater value.
  2. What will happen to your monthly payments if interest rates increase? A common complaint of people with credit problems is that their credit card rates increased, making their debts unaffordable. Although the Credit Card Act limited the ability of credit card companies to raise rates on existing debts, if you depend on credit to make ends meet, an increase in rates will squeeze your budget by making subsequent purchases more expensive. Remember, the deeper in debt you get, the more likely it is that credit card companies will increase your rates.
  3. Have you stabilized your housing costs? Credit card rates aren’t the only form of interest that can rise. From 2007 to 2012, mortgage rates dropped by over 3 percent before starting to rise again in 2013. They could be headed back to where they were; so if you haven’t locked into a fixed-rate mortgage by now, you should do it soon. Also, if you face a balloon mortgage payment, do you have a realistic plan for meeting it? Finally, renters should realize that they also face the risk of fast-rising housing costs, which should be a factor in any rent-versus-own decision.
  4. What kind of shape is your car in? Cars are not only expensive, but for many people they are indispensable. If yours is somewhat the worse for wear and tear, you had better start planning on how you will afford a replacement.
  5. How secure is your job? The economy in recent years hasn’t just been generally weak, but it has been especially disruptive in wiping out large parts of the workforce in many industries which once paid well. Never take your job for granted — always keep tabs on what is happening in your industry, and make sure you keep your skills marketable.
  6. How close to the edge is your budget? Between spreadsheets and budgeting tools, people can plan their budgets with a great degree of precision, which has the unfortunate effect of leading them to believe it’s an exact science. It isn’t. A variety of unexpected setbacks can await, so a good budget isn’t one that is planned down to the last cent. A good budget is one that leaves plenty of cushion for the unexpected.
  7. What will happen to your income when you retire? Retirement isn’t some sort of finish line for personal financial planning. In fact, it is the phase when sustainability becomes most important because your future earning ability is limited. Retirement planning should include figuring out what kind of income you’ll need to meet inflation-adjusted expenses and how long you can expect to sustain that income.
  8. Are you burning up your assets? One common risk in retirement also sometimes occurs at other times in people’s lives — the risk of burning through their assets to meet short-term expenses. If you are relying on past savings or any sort of windfall to meet regular expenses, you need to figure out how long you can continue at your current burn rate. This can be subtle — for example, people who take a home-equity loan to make ends meet have just diminished an asset to meet expenses that very well may outlast that asset.

As with energy and environmental policies, sustainability in financial habits can be tough to attain after years of damaging practices. However, the starting point is to put yourself on a course leading to sustainability, because if you are not heading in that direction, you are heading for trouble.


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