Are Realtors doing enough for “Future Generations?”

This time two weeks ago I was in Anaheim, California, at the National Association of Realtors’ Annual Conference, themed “Seize the Day“.

I am still struck by the bigness of it all. Not just the sheer numbers (over 20,000 of us!), but by the strength of the passion and the vision.  Yet I am still wondering, are we delivering what future generations of home owners need from us today?

Plenty of the sessions addressed NAR’s vision – and especially the increased emphasis on the Public Advocacy Campaign.   The Realtor brand and our Code of Ethics has always been about protecting home ownership, and never has the organization been more focused on that than this coming year.  One key element of the campaign is the “Future Generations” commercial you’ve probably seen on TV.  A grandson dreams about owning his own home one day, while the grandpa wistfully wonders if he’ll ever have that opportunity.

My own “future generations” moment came in a session called Energy:  New Approaches and Challenges for the Future.  A Realtor in the audience came to the mic to mention a 20% increase in energy costs in her Vermont market.  Here we were discussing energy as a land use topic.  But without intending to, she hit the nail on the head:  energy is an affordability topic.  And if we continue to mislabel it, each Realtor’s business will suffer.

I caught up with her later (literally passing on the escalators!) and learned more.  It’s an example that should put all of us on notice:

  • 20% rise in utility prices bumped her bills up to $240 per month
  • She owns an 1100 square foot ranch
  • similar home on Realtor.com is available for around $180,000
  • According to Realtor.com calculators, mortgage for a house like this would be about $700 per month, with $200 in taxes

It got me thinking.  Now my smart $180,000 client is a $160,000 client.  Can I still find them the right home at the lower price point?  Are they going to be satisfied with my work? What if there’s just not enough house to make them jump in, or what if the new numbers have them too nervous to move?

And what about my not-so-smart client?  What if they proceed at $180,000 but energy costs rise again?  Have I done good work for them?  Or are they up at night wondering how they are going to pay the mortgage?

I run my business 100% on referrals, and foreclosure resales – even the just the shadow of one – is simply not acceptable in my plan.  

So when it comes to protecting home ownership and future generations we need to step up and acknowledge that empowering clients with energy efficiency should be part of what we do – both to enable our own livelihoods, and to strengthen our own communities.

Printed with permission from Not Yet Green. Original article available here

 

 

Views: 101

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Tom White on November 30, 2011 at 4:51pm

Thanks for this post Laura.  This is encouraging to hear that energy efficiency and affordability are coming to the forefront of realtor-buyer decisions. 

Walking through my neighborhood of mostly single family homes, I wonder what proportion of the homes are owned by older boomers (aka seniors) who won't be living at home--or anywhere--in the next 15-30 years and if there are enough potential heirs or buyers for these homes.   If so many homes were to come on the market at once now, there's not enough buyers who could afford them or get the credit--they'd simply sit vacant or have to be rented.

Featured Forum Discussions

Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?

Started by Steve in General Forum. Last reply by Eric Kjelshus yesterday. 4 Replies

Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.

Started by Daniel James Grundy in Training. Last reply by Daniel James Grundy on Thursday. 5 Replies

BDT with vermiculite in hollow CMU walls?

Started by Brad Cook in General Forum. Last reply by John Nicholas on Thursday. 2 Replies

Strange IR Image

Started by Larry Nissman in General Forum. Last reply by Brad Cook Mar 9. 7 Replies

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Derrick Brodanex joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
9 hours ago
Eric Kjelshus replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"Its more about run time with high RH removing, than to large over sized AC unit, in houses.  …"
yesterday
Sarah OConnell posted a blog post

Crowdsourcing for Innovation

Share Your Ideas!Novel Building Envelope Design for Increased Thermal PerformanceIn 2014, more than…See More
Friday
Colin de Paor is now a member of Home Energy Pros
Friday
Walter Ahlgrim replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"The 5 ton system you have is not 500 hp racecar engines they are 500 hp truck engines. The duct…"
Friday
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"So I wanted to start with a basic who can help then go into more detail later. But yes find…"
Thursday
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"My tutor got back to me and while areas don't quite feel right a little to much assumptions…"
Thursday
Brennan Less replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"Daniel, I'm assuming you're trying to predict the airflows through the different openings…"
Thursday

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service