How Can Real Estate Businesses Practice Environmental Sustainability?
With sustainability at the top of many corporate agendas, the real estate industry will undergo a seismic shift. Demand for sustainable real estate companies is increasing rapidly and expected to accelerate as younger generations enter the housing market. Over the last decade, there has been a greater emphasis on going green. Individuals and businesses have made significant efforts to become more environmentally conscious and friendly, and the real estate industry is no exception. Green realtors have been around for quite some time and have the certification to prove it.
Thankfully, it has also become a lot easier to be more environmentally friendly in the real estate industry. Technological advancements have altered many aspects of how real estate agents conduct business. As a result, they can do everything, from marketing to the mortgage process, in a much more environmentally friendly manner. Let us explore the top ways to achieve real estate sustainability.
1. Establish remote work policies
A remote work/technology policy should be the first step in your eco-journey. These policies will encourage remote brokers and realtors to use greener technologies or less energy and water at home. For example, establishing a paperless system can make the real estate transaction process more environmentally friendly. In addition, you will save energy by reducing your transportation costs. If you must use paper, use recycled materials.
Here are the following processes to incorporate:
- Use low-energy appliances at home (for example, LED lighting or smart lighting).
- Reduce your water and energy consumption at home and work (for example, put your computer in sleep mode when not in use).
- Reduce the hazardous material intensity of property and commercial spaces.
- Reduce your use of paper wherever possible. Instead, use phone apps or software.
- Increase the longevity and functionality of your commercial property.
2. Use an electronic money transfer system:
Another great way to be more environmentally friendly and help your clients do the same is to eliminate paper cheques and embrace an electronic money transfer system instead. Many real estate professionals are already abandoning the antiquated and inconvenient system of obtaining cashier’s cheques for earnest money deposits, closing costs, and other fees or payments that must be made during a real estate transaction. ACH transfers are not only more environmentally friendly but also more secure and convenient than cheques and wire transfers.
Using an electronic money transfer platform eliminates the need for the home buyer to visit the bank to obtain funds. It also minimises the time required for the real estate agent and the buyer to meet to hand over a cheque.
Real estate agents can use electronic money transfer systems to request a down payment or other payments. The home buyer is informed on their computer or mobile device, and from the comfort of their own home, they can instantly send a payment. This reduces the carbon footprint of such a task and keeps the mortgage process running smoothly.
3. E-waste can be recycled or donated
Over time, your company will generate a significant amount of e-waste from obsolete or idle electronic devices such as cellphones and tablets. When electronics reach the end of their useful life, they are treated as valuable trash and are frequently discarded in landfills. Even when people try to recycle their old electronics, they frequently place them in standard recycling bins, which do not accept them and send them to the landfill.
The truth is that old electronics comprise several valuable things, such as gold and copper that can be recycled into new raw materials, thereby conserving our precious metal supply. Donating e-waste can also help those in need who cannot afford the latest iPhone. So, instead of throwing away your old phones, tablets, and computers, recycle or donate them. In addition, you can enrol in a sustainable real estate online course to learn more ways to recycle your e-waste.
4. Your business through the clients
Making your company green is critical but other ways to create sustainability involve your customers directly. For example, eco-friendly homes are in high demand among Millennials and Generation Z, so if you demonstrate your concern for the environment, you will attract clients. When selling to a prospective buyer, explain the green initiatives a homeowner can take advantage of if they purchase a fully equipped, eco-friendly home.
When purchasing Energy Star appliances, for example, homebuyers can benefit from tax credits and improved energy efficiency. However, consider that green property buyers may need to be more knowledgeable to seek out homes with green features such as water-saving fixtures, sustainable flooring, and energy-efficient windows. It is a must for realtors to explain these features and experience an easier time selling their properties.
5. Promoting sustainable homes
Realtors can support low-carbon homes with greater interaction with home buyers. “Eco homes” have a minimal environmental impact and use far less energy and resources than traditional houses. There are several benefits of purchasing eco-friendly homes that can be promoted to your prospective buyers, which include:
Improved Health and Safety: The houses are built with materials that protect human health and safety by preserving indoor air quality.
Significant Cost-Savings: Eco homes offer low utility bills compared to traditional homes. This is primarily due to greater energy efficiency and resource conservation.
Improved Liveability: Eco homes use more natural light and airflow, resulting in a more uplifting and comfortable environment.
Low Carbon Construction Process: Typically, eco-home construction limits the amount of carbon emissions produced by the materials used and the building process itself.
Green building practices are becoming more common. So, it makes sense to get certified now so you can stay ahead of the curve and be up to date with the latest green initiatives and home features. Green homes also have a very high resale value, and because the population buying homes today is younger than it was a decade ago, the emphasis on eco-friendly homes is only growing.
Overall, green homes are cost-effective and practical and provide various benefits to homeowners, regardless of whether they actively live a green lifestyle. Making changes to your real estate practice to make it more sustainable can provide many advantages, including the ability to:
- Attract environmentally conscious homebuyers and capitalise on the growing demand for green real estate.
- Reduce operational costs whilst saving valuable time and resources.
- Expand the number of clients you can reach.
- Improve your brand and distinguish yourself from the competition.
Enrol in a sustainable real estate course online to explore the different dimensions of sustainability in real estate.