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Put Earth Eco on Your Agenda This Year

 

The New Year is a good time to reflect on our past performance, our present considerations and how we see them fitting into our dreams for the future.

As we take leave of another holiday season, a time of year often marked by excess, we should turn our thoughts to ways in which happiness and contentment fill our hearts not by how much we consume but by what we save and spare.

As a realtor, your role as a trusted advisor in the lives of your clients cannot be undermined and that’s why it’s vital that you use your position to spread the word about saving the planet. We’re not talking about getting self-righteous and preachy, but sharing your know-how from a place of compassion and practicality. Besides, in this day and age, it’s the socially responsible thing to do. You’ll be surprised at how influential you really are.

So when you consider how you’d like to make 2015 better, think about the ways you can help the environment and, by turn, your clients. Know also that they’ll appreciate your tips, advice and recommendations. After all, you’re helping them save money.  In the end, their estimation of you is elevated and that’s good for everyone.

Raising your green IQ might be a good place to start.  Generally speaking, green real estate has less impact on the environment in its construction and its day-to-day operation when compared to its less environmentally friendly and conventional neighbours.

Do you know about efficient ways of using energy and water? How’s your knowledge on environmentally sustainable materials?  What constitutes a healthy house in your mind?

So that your clients can take advantage of government-sponsored rebates and incentives on eco-friendly upgrades, get acquainted with whom they should talk to about obtaining energy audits in their market area. The audit essentially pre-qualifies them for the grants. It’s probably also a good idea to find out what rebates are available in your province and, if applicable, in your municipality.

But don’t let your heightened awareness stop there. Find out about ways your clients can save on their energy bills. What types of insulation are best suited for mid-century homes? Are tankless water heaters really worth the investment? Is it worth replacing your older appliances with Energy Star ones? What renovators and builders in your market take into account green principles when plying their trade?

Take a look at your own eco footprint. As a real estate professional, do you burn through fuel, paper and energy as though there were a limitless supply? You might want to think of better, cleaner ways to run your business.

Consider the National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB), a national non-profit professional association that aims to educate real estate professionals about energy conservation and environmental awareness.  NAGAB offers designations that help realtors gain more clients and increase profitability, protect the natural environment, fight climate change, access new markets and create a positive, long-term impact on their community.

As January begins a shiny new year filled with hope and optimism, we’re eager to earn more money, mend ailing relationships, lose weight, and go to the gym more often. But why not do our earth a favour and add the environment to your list of resolutions for 2015? The world will be glad you did.

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