Mounting consumer consciousness and demand for sustainable, green properties is spurring an exchange of ideas between Realtors® and homebuyers and sellers. Over 50% of Realtors® find that consumers are interested in real estate sustainability issues and practices, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) recentREALTORS® and Sustainability report.
Sparked by NAR’s newly released Sustainability Program, the report surveyed Realtors® about sustainability issues facing consumers in the housing market as well as ways that Realtors® are contributing to reduced energy usage.
“As consumers’ interest in sustainability grows, Realtors® understand the necessity of promoting sustainability in their real estate practice, such as marketing energy efficiency in property listings to homebuyers,” said NAR President, William E. Brown, an Alamo, California Realtor® and founder of Investment Properties.
When asked about their association with clients and green properties, 27% of agents and mortgage brokers were involved with 1 to 5 properties that had green features in the last 12 months. A startling 70% of members worked with no properties that had green features, leaving a lot of room for growth.
More Multiple Listing Services (MLS’) are incorporating data entry fields to identify a property’s green features to meet growing consumer interest in sustainability. In fact, 43% of respondents report their MLS has green data fields. Seven out of ten Realtors® see great value in promoting energy efficiency in listings, promoting the benefits of those features to clients.
The NAR survey asked respondents about the impact of renewable energy on the real estate market. Eighty percent of agents and mortgage brokers said that solar panels are available in their market and 42% said the solar panels increased the perceived property value.
When it comes to the sustainable neighborhood features clients desire, 60% of Realtors® said parks and outdoor recreation, 37% said access to local food and 9% listed recycling. The transportation and commuting features of a community that Realtors® listed as important to their clients encompassed walkability (51%), public transportation (31%) and bike lanes/paths (39%).
The home features that Realtors® said clients consider important include efficient use of lighting inside the home (50%), a connected/smart home (40%), green community features such as green spaces and bike lanes (37%), landscaping for water conservation (32%), and renewable energy systems such as geothermal and solar (23%).