Las Vegas Agent magazine is a progressive channel of information to real estate professionals and supporting industries. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to bring stories loaded with GREENing REAL ESTATE information.

As we continue throughout the year, we aim to bring you topics of the value of becoming a GREEN Designated REALTOR, financing mechanisms available for your clients, incentives and rebates, trends, and most importantly how you will be able to position this knowledge in becoming a leading real estate professional.

The topic of today’s issue is the value of the National Association of REALTORS GREEN Designation and how to use this designation in separating yourself from the pack while better serving your clients. First, let’s speak to the ‘WHY’ it is important for REALTORS to gain this priceless designation. The reasons are simple and clear as our industry has recognized homebuyer demand for green is growing and the insurmountable importance of properly marketing homes that have green features and/or are high performance homes. The GREEN Designation equips REALTORS with the appropriate information and tools in becoming dynamic in meeting these fast emerging needs.

The awareness that comes along with the designation’s course prepares REALTORS about the benefits of sustainable homes, distinguish fact from fiction, receive ongoing education about the green industry and learn the benefits of a green homes such as cost savings in energy efficiency technology, advanced construction methods, the various green ratings, health and comfort benefits from a sound green design, and much more.

While working with clients who are seeking homes with low operating utility costs and environmental friendly features and benefits, the GREEN Designee is grounded in how to best serve this client by knowing how to search for a home with green features or green certifications, as an example: ENERGY STAR for Homes, LEED for Homes and other likeminded programs. In addition, the designee understands the financing opportunities available during the transaction which can help their clients gain additional funds for energy efficient improvements, gaining more buying power, and leverage the various incentives and rebates available through programs and utilities.

The most popular financing opportunities are the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) and the 203K loan for adding energy efficient upgrades and the cost of doing so to the mortgage via these mechanisms. In addition, the utility companies offer rebates on specific improvements along with the state of Nevada’s Office of Energy’s EnergyFit program which offers additional incentives for improving your home by 20%.

In addition to the benefits on the purchase, GREEN Designees are confident of how to best market listings by using the GREEN MLS fields. These agents are able to strategically position a home’s performance and green features in the marketing materials and online advertisements. Utilizing the Appraisal Institute’s GREEN Addendum as a supporting document in the appraisal and lending process.

Today’s buyers are asking a whole new set of questions and seeking features which offer cost and energy savings. A GREEN Designee understands this and can better poise homes within the market place. Over the past decade, residential building codes have become much more aggressive with stringent energy efficiency requirements. By understanding the generations of building codes. A GREEN Designee is able to guide their clients in finding a home that fits their needs and wants, as well as, be the source of the source regarding building technologies.

Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS has a GREEN Committee which is aligned with the National Association of REALTORS mission and purpose. This committee creates ongoing support for local designees in keeping the members updated in green initiatives and the latest in housing trends. As well as, NAR’s GREEN Resource Council has ongoing support by providing marketing materials,connectivity and webinars of green real estate practices.

GREEN is no longer a trend or fad, it is becoming the norm as we experience transformation in the market place and fast pace paradigm shifts. It is my aim and personal mission to keep this topic relevant and timely for REALTORS as we continue down the path of becoming GREEN professionals. I hope you will be able to ake these little green nuggets of information and apply them in your day to day business.

Resources: GREENAllianceNV.org, Greenresourcecouncil.org, Energystar.gov, DSIREusa.org