Eco brokers help with smart housing choices

English: Energy conservation in Woking. Woking...

Click here for a Good Dirt Radio 5-minute eco-spot on eco brokers.

One man, in Evergreen, CO, saw the need for real change in housing and real estate. Well aware of the major impact on climate change caused by buildings and their energy needs, real estate brokers are learning how to get smarter with the use of sustainable choices — in construction, energy conservation and plain common sense. Join us to find out how Eco Brokers help people make smarter housing choices.

Click here for resources and information on this topic.

Read the transcript below.

Welcome to Good Dirt Radio, reporting on positive change…  taking root.

One of the most important questions, often overlooked by people shopping for homes is how these homes compare to one another in terms of energy use over the life of the building. Well aware of the major impact on climate change caused by, buildings and their energy needs, many Realtors are learning how to get smarter with the use of sustainable choices, in construction, energy conservation and plain common sense. One man, in Evergreen, CO saw the need for real change in housing and real estate and took action.

Dr. John Beldock, founder and CEO of Eco Broker, International, teaches Realtors how to apply the principles of conservation and sustainability in their work. With the leveraged role brokers play in the housing market, he realized that when consumers make smart choices with their housing dollars, they create less planetary wear and tear.  The National Association of Realtors recently embraced Beldock’s program as the ‘educational opportunity of the year’ for Brokers.

Beldock:  We saw a tremendous missing link between the real estate industry and the green building industry.  The green industry has been looking for a way to communicate with the real estate industry for years and we’ve built an energy and environmental training curriculum that reaches right down to the level of buying and selling a home, buying and selling a commercial building. It’s a new way of doing business, an opportunity for the real estate professional to really provide additional information that can be of keen value to clients.   

Beldock’s program now has trained Eco Brokers in 42 states, 4 Canadian provinces and the Caribbean.  His work helps Eco Brokers make substantial contributions toward needed change in the real estate world.

Beldock:  Well, as real estate professionals, we are the ones who drive people around, or bike them around as the green case may be, to look at these properties, to talk about what the tradeoffs are, to look at the choices that are available on the green side of the ledger.  And, it’s really the real estate professional who’s in an ideal position to encourage the green change, the green market transformation in a very positive direction.  Whether that means that we’re helping a client find a home with better indoor air quality for a family who has a child with asthma or a family that’s interested in finding a way to use solar energy for their advantage and for the betterment of the planet.

Katie Jo Eisenhower is the first Eco Broker in N. Carolina.  She is passionate about helping clients make informed choices.

Eisenhower:  Well, as an Eco Broker, I’m a knowledge broker because Eco Broker learns about a lot of different environmental aspects and I can share that with my clients, everything from home orientation to active solar to water collection systems.  I try to help educate my clients in regard to sustainability and energy efficiency for their housing because housing has such a huge impact on the environment.  The green movement is rooted in the way we live so the choices we make have to be wise choices for the good of our future.

Eisenhower is clear about the economics of sustainability.

Eisenhower: Going green doesn’t mean going broke.  When you make sustainable choices, yes, sometimes there’s a larger cost up front but the savings over the long haul is appreciable, its much larger than your initial investment.  

We also spoke with Don McCoy, an Eco Broker in Medford, Oregon.  He connects green building with conventional housing, in his real estate practice.

McCoy:  My perspective is that we have a tremendous amount of technology out there.  And so by paying attention to building materials, or the types of appliances that we put into the homes, the type of windows, recycled materials, low formaldehyde glues in the cabinets and the carpet that we put in, high-efficiency air conditioning systems, building tighter homes, all of this contributes to better built, more energy-efficient homes and at the same time, we take pressure off the environment.  

Beldock:   We’re just so proud of these guys! The quality of the real estate professionals that have come out of the woodwork to earn the Eco Broker designation and provide energy and environmental services that set them apart from the pack, it’s the most reassuring thing I’ve ever seen in my professional career.

Whether you are a home-owner or renter, embracing sustainable products and services, in your home, may benefit you and the climate. For more info about Eco Broker, Intnt’l or green building, please visit our website at gooddirtradio.org.

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