What does the process look like for a real estate professional and how does it benefit buyers and sellers?
EcoBroker Certified® real estate professionals are agents who have gone through the extra training to understand the concepts behind proper construction where homes are built to house a healthier indoor air quality, offer energy savings as well as comfort and longevity. Real estate professionals, just like informed consumers, can get the gist of information about sustainability and energy conservation by researching on their own, but going to the extra effort to be trained and certified is a whole next level which makes EcoBroker Certified® real estate agents a very valuable resource to their clients and community.
Last week, along with some of our other Arbour Realty team members, I spent three fantastic days getting to “green” and earning my EcoBroker designation right here in Arlington, Virginia. It was awesome to be able to take the class with an actual real-person instructor in a classroom in Courthouse. Just a little bit about me: My background is in the green construction of high end custom homes and so I was overjoyed when our instructor was all about the construction science of things and not ever “dumbing” things down. I work very closely with the EarthCraft Virginia Technical Adviser team for audits and inspections for home energy efficiency, so construction science and green building
are two things that are important to me. My clients in Northern Virigina have come to enjoy that about me; I can throw down with the rest of ’em out on a construction site- and it turns out, I know a thing or two. He discussed open and closed cell insulation, properly ventilated house systems, and even potential issues with combustion appliances. Typical real estate agents may have heard about Radon and carbon monoxide, but how many of them can tell you what it is, where it comes from and how to avoid issues for homeowners regarding these substances? EcoBrokers can!
The fact that the director of the development of the EcoBroker program was our instructor made it that much more engaging; he was so chalk full of information, facts, and examples that we went over on our seven hour classes every day, and not just because we are real estate agents who are long winded, we all wanted to share in the often complex conversations- asking and answering and finding solutions to common and not-so-common real estate and construction issues. We went ran the whole gamut from “the house as a system” to the terms and conditions of each of the nationally recognized programs which define green construction even down to locally noted energy raters and regional green home building programs.The course was very detailed in regards to how the real estate agent should understand the inner workings of a whole home system while being able to guide their client through a seamless transaction with a top notch team of eco-professionals to answer questions and concerns along the way.
One of the things that I recognize as someone who is an environmentally conscious individual is that even though all of us in the training are competition, in a sense, we were all about the camaraderie of sustainability. I saw evidence of this during the class: we were all about sharing information. We weren’t trying to harbor information as if it was proprietary or some sort of real estate secret, we wanted for each EcoBroker to have the best of the best on their side to help guide clients to the optimally energy efficient, healthy home that is appropriate for them. One of the most important elements of an environmentally focused professional is to educate first and guide with a gentle hand.
A good real estate agent can research information and relay it back to their client. A great real estate agent will be trained on the front end, and keep them self educated on the current topics and issues that are relevant to their clients. Getting to green means keeping yourself set up as a great agent; keeping up on current topics and getting educated about construction science, who the best professionals are to have on your team and how to get answers for your clients as expeditiously as possible. Being an EcoBroker is a valuable resource to any client because an EcoBroker will have that team ready for their client. Whether they are looking for a high performance home, a healthier home, or a home that is all about the cost, an EcoBroker will be able to guide you with that gentle hand I mentioned, listening to what is important to you and your family, while providing you with information about a myriad of topics regarding to how a home will be the best investment for you in the long run.