Do You Have the Power of Green?

New Realtor designation goes beyond initial education

by Al Medina, GREEN, LEED AP

There is no doubt that interest in green and sustainable properties is revolutionizing the real estate industry. Increasingly, consumers are seeking out green homes and buildings, and they understand that there is a link between green properties, cost savings and healthy living.

Policymakers are embracing green real estate as well. According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009, the number of states with green building policies, standards, legislation and programs increased from 13 to 31 states between 2005 and 2008. Local governments’ policies have increased at similar rates during this time period.

The increasing rate of green-based codes and building regulations, coupled with strong consumer interest in green buildings and homes, will certainly translate to a future where sustainable design considerations play a role in most real estate transactions.

The only way you can remain competitive in this rapidly expanding market is to arm yourself with the tools and training necessary to seek out, understand and market green properties. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Green Designation provides vital training, support and information to real estate professionals who are looking to advance their businesses and raise awareness of the effect commercial and residential building has on the environment. NAR’s Green Designation doesn’t just raise the bar for Realtors, it encourages a crucial dialogue among industry professionals about the impact all our choices have on the world around us.

In the first eight months of the existence of NAR’s Green Designation, more than 3,700 students completed the designation’s core course, and at the beginning of July, more than 2,200 individuals had been awarded NAR’s Green Designation. These designees enjoy membership in NAR’s Green REsource Council, which provides assistance and constantly updated resources, marketing tools and referral information for its members. With almost 300 courses already scheduled across the United States and Canada in 2009, NAR anticipates educating almost 3,000 Realtors in the curriculum by the end of 2009.

The Green Designation is awarded to individuals who complete a rigorous 18-hour program on the current issues and innovative research regarding green real estate. This is critical during this time of environmentally conscientious consumers who also are interested in reducing wasteful consumption in a depressed economy. NAR and the Green REsource Council not only equip Green Designees with the tools they need to represent consumers in the ever-expanding world of green real estate and green building, but continue to support them through referrals, networking within their communities, continued training and access to the latest information, research and resources. Rather than treating the Green Designation as merely a credential to add to a business card, the Green REsource Council mobilizes and encourages Green Designees be a positive force for creating sustainable and energy-efficient communities.

Access new markets, build your customer base, be a positive force for change in your community and tap into the power of green.

Al Medina is director of NAR’s Green Designation, which provides real estate professionals with knowledge and awareness of green building principles applied in residences, commercial properties, developments and communities so that they can help consumers in purchasing, retrofitting, and operating green properties. For more information, visit GreenREsourceCouncil.org.

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