Leslie Rouda Smith and Jenelle Brevard

© NAR

Our Precious Resource

Join the growing ranks of sustainability champions in our association.

Summer
2022

by 2022 NAR President, Leslie Rouda Smith

There are many benefits to being good stewards of our land—helping our clients save money through energy efficiency, using fewer precious resources, and creating vibrant, livable communities. As you gain knowledge and insight on sustainability, you create another layer of information value for your clients. That’s what this issue of REALTOR® Magazine is all about—a chance to hear from pros who use sustainability in their marketing, apply it in their lives, and contribute to it in their communities.

The language around sustainability can be divisive. As someone with a passion for this topic, I hope that changes—and I’m encouraged that it is. There’s an understanding today that when we talk about green, we aren’t just talking about energy sources. We’re talking about all the essential components of healthy homes and buildings, including energy-efficient doors and windows; insulation; ventilation and moisture management; smart thermostats; and resilient, nontoxic building materials.

That message is resonating with more and more members and consumers. Half of agents and brokers surveyed for the 2022 REALTORS® and Sustainability Report,released in April, said they had helped a client buy or sell a property with green features during the past 12 months. That’s a big jump from 32% in 2021. Nearly two-thirds said promoting energy efficiency in listings was very or somewhat valuable. And 51% said their clients were somewhat or very interested in sustainability. The report also noted rising anxiety among members about the effect of extreme weather events on their business. More than one in three respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned.

For me, taking action is the best way to combat anxiety. That’s what the National Association of REALTORS® is doing by modernizing our headquarters buildings, developing a one-hour online sustainability course for members, and forging partnerships that amplify our work. For instance, at homeperformancecounts.info, we’ve partnered with the National Association of Home Builders to educate consumers and industry professionals about the benefits of a high-performance home. We’re also partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to get a better understanding of climate risk.

REALTORS® are uniquely positioned to address sustainability head-on. So strongly does our Leadership Team believe this that we have made it a strategic priority for NAR. Sustainability is woven into our decision-making and the many activities and initiatives we’re undertaking to unlock opportunities for health, equity, and well-being. Yes, equity is an important component to sustainable communities, because when all people have access to resources, together we share in a healthy outcome.

What Can You Do?

Use and advocate for green data fields in your MLS. Only 35% of respondents in the sustainability report said their MLS had green fields, yet homes with green certifications often appraise at a premium. Earn your GREEN designation from the Green REsource Council (green.realtor). And visit nar.realtor/sustainability for resources you can use. Together, let’s be valuable contributors to the success and health of our communities.

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