It is ironic those same policy makers, who for years have denied the existence of an environmental and energy crisis, are now looking to a “green” revolution as the route to recovery from the economic crisis. It would be easy to say “I told you so” to those realtors and developers who just a couple of years ago were out hawking McMansions to anyone who could get a sub prime mortgage. However tempting it is to gloat, it is better to welcome the realtors who realize that energy efficiency is a real selling tool.
Let's hope that realtors, builders, developers and banks use this second chance they have been given responsibly. Just last month, the National Association of Realtors held its first “green” designation training program for its members. On its website, the NAR urges its members to “harness the energy of the green designation” to “access new markets, build your customer base and be a positive force for change in your community.”
In fact, the realtor community can be an important advocacy group for energy efficiency. Informed realtors can teach their clients what makes a home truly energy efficient; can explain the cost benefits of energy efficiency modifications; and can show home owners the bigger picture—how home energy efficiency can reduce our country's dependency on fossil fuels and its carbon footprint.
It will be a tough balancing act for realtors, who after all depend upon commissions for their living. It's not easy being at the forefront of change, especially when you have your own mortgage to pay! Realtors will need to be teachers. And like all good teachers, realtors will need to be good students first. They will need to learn what energy IN-efficiency costs us, at both the personal and global level. And they will need to understand the elements of an energy efficient home.
Armed with this information, realtors can now be part of the solution to our mounting energy and environmental crisis, and effect a significant change in the housing market, by using the financing tools available for energy efficient homes Its a win, win....win situation..