Being a REALTOR® can be challenging. You are expected to be the go-to resource for all matters related to buying and selling a home, which means you will have to learn a lot of information. But, one area that REALTORS® often forget to brush up on before meeting with a client is energy efficiency.
What does energy efficiency have to do with real estate?
As people around the country hope to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, more homes are being built with green features than ever before. You may have noticed homes with smart home features such as programmable thermostats or automated lighting. Or, you could have spotted Energy Star energy efficient appliances in the kitchens or laundry rooms of homes you’ve toured. These are just some of the features that make a home more energy efficient.
Why should REALTORS® teach their clients about energy efficiency?
The more energy efficient a home is, the more your clients will save on their monthly energy bills. A programmable thermostat, for example, can reduce utility bills by about 15%! It’s possible your clients don’t know they should be looking for these cost effective features, and it’s your responsibility to let them know.
If your clients are interested in buying a fixer upper home, you should definitely suggest making energy efficient upgrades. Most energy efficient home improvements qualify the homeowner for substantial tax credits, meaning the costs of making the upgrades can be offset by the credits. If your clients are on the fence about buying a fixer upper home because of the home improvement costs, this may help them make a decision.
Why should you go the extra mile to let clients know? Everybody wants to save money, and if you can help your clients save money on a monthly basis, they will immediately trust you and believe you have their best interests in mind. Trust is the foundation of every relationship—both business and personal—so if you can develop this early on, you will probably have a loyal client for life.
What tools can REALTORS® use?
Now that you know the importance of teaching clients about energy efficiency, how should you get started? A great place to start is with Homeselfe. Download Homeselfe RE and walk your clients through their future home. The HomeSelfe RE app can give you information on homes you’re viewing, selling, or other homes in the neighborhood your client may be interested in. It also gives your client a guide to how they can improve the energy efficiency in their home–making their house more desirable if they want to sell or lower their mortgage risk if they want to buy.
Keep this app on your phone and make it a regular part of your process. Clients will appreciate how prepared and informed you are, and if they do end up buying the home, they’ll thank you later for all the money you’ve helped them save!