Going Green–Still Relevant?

by Chicago Agent

I looked through last year’s Green issue while putting this issue together, and found that some attitudes about “going green” have changed within a year. According to our Survey Says results on page 19, more than half of agents surveyed this year believe that energy efficiency is still an important part of this economy. That being said, the results showed what’s actually going on in terms of today’s market and the demand to go green.

Last year, Chicago Agent asked readers the exact same questions we asked this year, fully intending to compare last year’s responses to this year’s. Some questions didn’t see much of a change – last year, 29 percent of agents surveyed believed marketing green features was simply a marketing ploy; this year, that’s increased to just 30 percent – but in other categories, there have been some major changes. Agents who have green designations, for example, have decreased from 17 percent to 4 percent, and the percentage of clients who request green properties was reduced by almost half this year – last year, 33 percent of agents were searching for green properties for clients who asked for them specifically, compared to this year’s 15 percent.

But do these statistics mean that green isn’t relevant to most homebuyers? According to Dori Gordon from Weichert, Realtors Goodchild Homes, who we interviewed for our cover story, buyers are still conscious of being energy efficient and environmentally friendly – but due to today’s market, it isn’t necessarily a priority.

“In a bad economy, people need to save money in whatever way they can,” she told us. And while in the long run, green features do save money, it doesn’t appear to be a priority to homebuyers right now.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no demand for green features at all – two agents we interviewed actively sell green homes and appliances to buyers, while CNT Energy is having great success with a few of their programs designed to help homeowners make their existing homes more green – which will be great when they sell their home in the future. Read both articles on page 14.

It may have lost some steam, but the green movement is still relevant – while it’s not at the forefront of buyers’ minds, if agents keep educating them about money-saving, environmentally friendly green features, as the market improves, the green movement will, too.

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