Metrolist, Colorado's 800-Pound Gorilla, Goes Green

On March 8, 2012, Metrolist, Denver’s real estate colossus, will finally unveil its “green-field addendum.”  And it’s been a long time coming, says Jamil Dillon.

 

Dillon would know because he helped hatch the idea.  He was the Residential Program Senior Associate at the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) in 2010 when he and green home builder Sean Smith began conversations with some Colorado MLSes, including Metrolist, to provide “green” and energy-efficient home-listing info.  Dillon says that even GEO management was at first hesitant about promoting and helping fund such a far-reaching initiative, affecting all the state’s listing services.  But like Tim Tebow  spotting an upfield opening, Dillon and Smith grabbed the ball and bolted for it. 

 

“In hindsight, people commend it.  But at the time, they were like, ‘They’re doing their own thing.  Can we do that?’” Dillon recalls.  “Sean and I formed our own [working] group [within the GEO], started talking to Metrolist, to the folks on the western slope and with the U.S. Green Building Council.”  Fast forward to today, and their conversations have become bricks-and-mortar reality.

 

Metrolist is the 800-pound gorilla in Colorado real estate with approximately 50 percent of the state’s REALTORS and almost 70 percent of the real estate transactions.  Compiling this data in Colorado is critical because green-building advocates say it will mirror what’s been happening in the Pacific Northwest – that, in fact, green homes sell faster and for more money than conventional, code-built comparables.  Cities like San Antonio, Santa Barbara, Phoenix and Charleston already have green-field addenda (GFAs) in place. Though several MLS’s in Colorado already have GFAs, when Metrolist snaps this new lens in place, nearly everyone will see green.

 

Kirby D. Slunaker, Metrolist’s chief operating officer, says the organization had to cover ground quickly against the backdrop of other sea changes – rolling out new software and real estate tools to Metrolist members, plus a rental property database.  Also, Metrolist’s founding president of 27 years left the organization in fall 2011, and the organization is exploring a possible merger with IRES – Boulder and northern Colorado’s MLS. 

 

Slunaker identified two major reasons why he and Melissa Olson, Metrolist senior manager for marketing and sales, recently punched the gas on the GFA.  “Social responsibility – it’s the right thing to do,” says Slunaker, noting that buildings consume 39 percent of the nation’s energy use.  “And REALTOR differentiation – there’s a value proposition here,” he says, noting that anything REALTORS can do to differentiate themselves is good.

 

Until 2009, there was a disconnect between hearth-and-home green improvements, and increased appraisal values.  And in fact, some additions like solar panels historically decreased the value of a home.  One Boulder banker and appraiser aptly named Elizabeth Million says all this re-tooling and data capture is largely focused at loan underwriters. 

 

“The ultimate decision maker in the green real estate chain is the underwriter,” says Million.  “An owner says, ‘This home is worth 20 percent more because it’s energy-efficient.’  When it gets to the underwriter, the underwriter says, ‘What’s a PV panel?’  We need these data points because underwriters make decisions based on the data they have in front of them,” she says.  And that translates into higher appraisal values for green features.

 

Million also notes that GFAs don’t just benefit listing agents (with bigger commissions) and sellers (with higher sales prices), but GFA data can also help buyers’ agents.    That, however, hinges on two critical words – searchable fields

 

 “If someone is here from California, they want to see four properties, and they want them to be energy-efficient.  That client has half a day.  You have to be able to search quickly,” she says.  “Addenda are great for documentation, but really what we need is more searchable fields.” 

 

Slunaker points to a couple of issues that could significantly slow adoption of the GFA.  The first is the age of Metrolist members, 40 percent of whom are 55 years old or older.  Many may not be earth-friendly natives like younger REALTORS. 

 

Also, real estate agents may be slower on the uptake to learn how to use the GFA.  MLSes across the country, and even IRES, deep in the heart of Boulder, have experienced a much slower adoption than expected.  

 

Slunaker also says some of these older brokers feel like their older, affluent buyers don’t care about lower utility bills or other green benefits.  Yet hardly anyone, even the wealthiest, wants to pay Xcel Energy $800 (or more) every month because their homes are energy hogs.  “If you miss an opportunity to help buyers and sellers, hey, you’re glossing over something.” 

 

Dillon agrees that it’s up to Metrolist to make this a bottom-line concern.  “I consider myself an environmentalist, for sure,” he says.  “But the primary benefits have to be about the bottom line – saving money on utility bills and health.  Money’s very in-your-face.  Explaining to people about formaldehyde and paints is much more abstract.”

 

-          Melissa Baldridge

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION …

  • ATTEND – Metrolist’s RE Bar Camp, “Greening the MLS,” March 9, 2012, 9 – 10:30 a.m., Denver Metro Association of Realtors (central office), 4330 E. Warren Ave., Denver, CO  80222.  For reservations, call 303.756.0553 or email at janet@tbgdenver.com.

 

  • READ – Ann Griffin, “Certified Home Performance:  Assessing the Market Impacts of Third Party Certification on Residential Properties,” Earth Advantage Institute, May 29, 2009.

 

              

Views: 264

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Tom Delconte on February 29, 2012 at 1:17pm

Melissa: love your post!

I also love Denver, because it has Wildsage: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Designing_a_Great_Neighborhood/70... 

The main takeaway from Designing a Great Neighborhood is that south facing glass should not be low-e, or at least soft coat low-e, for overall max solar gain This is not in the design books!

A real estate agent with GFA certification is definitely going to be an improvement over your average real estate agent. Tell me, I've tried to instruct them: conduction, convection, radiation...

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Jim Gunshinan posted blog posts
17 hours ago
H.O. Electric posted a photo

about us-team

H.O. Services is your residential Electric-Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Specialist. We are an…
17 hours ago
H.O. Electric added a discussion to the group News & Announcements
Thumbnail

Stay Cool With Easy To Install Ductless AC System!

Stay Cool With Easy To Install Ductless AC System!   Save $300.00 Off A New AC System For A Limited…See More
17 hours ago
Richard Wells commented on Diane Chojnowski's group Facebook Pages
"Three thousand home energy efficiency audits, and nearly a thousand retrofits in four short…"
19 hours ago
Richard Wells joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Facebook Pages

Does your company or organization have a Facebook Page?This group is for pros who have facebook…See More
19 hours ago
David Baerg replied to Blake Shurtz's discussion Air sealing wood-burning fireplace from the crawlspace below
"Hi Blake, Do you mean around the underside of the hearth?  Are you trying to seal between the…"
19 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

Rebirth Realty: Restoring Detroit properties for Venture for America Fellows

Its been a long, cold winter, but we've made significant progress in the restoration of 760 Virginia Park. Join Tim Dingman on a walkthrough to see what we've done.
21 hours ago
Kim Tanner added a discussion to the group Multifamily Buildings
Thumbnail

Blower Door Applications Guide

TEC and Camroden Associates have released their big building testing manual, Blower Door…See More
21 hours ago
Profile Iconmichael coleman, Dan Liska and Rob Moreno joined Home Energy Pros
21 hours ago
Christopher Morin's blog post was featured

5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly…See More
yesterday
Jim Gunshinan's blog post was featured
yesterday
Kim Tanner commented on Diane Chojnowski's group Home Energy Pros on Twitter
"Follow The Energy Conservatory on Twitter! We'll follow…"
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service