The most important part of a house is the roof, but did you know that green real estates are mostly made of solar panel roofs? These panels will allow you to convert the energy of the sun to electricity that will help you maintain the power of your house. This may cost more money on your side, but the amount that can be saved in the long run will be worth more than the amount that you have spent. Aside from this, you will also make your house self-sufficient, allowing you to have worry-free living. Just make sure that you are going to get a professional who will be installing your solar panels, because this will ensure that you will get the most out of your investment.
Another option that is commonly used by a lot of people who are building eco-friendly houses is the eco-friendly paint. There are different types of paint, but if you are planning to build your own green real estate, then it would be better if you are going to use the one that can absorb carbon in the air. This may not be too beneficial for you, personally, but if there are several hundreds of houses that use this kind of paint, the carbon in the air will be a lot less. This may cost more money on your side, but the results that you can get from it are worth more than the money that you are going to spend for the special paint that you will be using for your house.
The latest trend that is being used in most green real estate properties today is the roof garden. There are a lot of houses that have their own garden on their rooftop. Aside from having the ability to grow plants, you will also be able to help the environment by reducing the carbon in the air. This will also be beneficial for you, since you have a place that can provide you with fresh air. You no longer need to look for a property that has a huge lot, because your garden can be placed on top of your roof. This will not only help you save more money, but will provide you with a place that can help you relax.
We are now well into the new millennium. Marketing for small businesses has changed drastically over the past five to ten years. It is now necessary to market to both your current and potential clients through both online and offline means.
The idea is to increase your visibility. There are tens of thousands of realtors across the country. Depending upon where you live there are most likely hundreds or thousands of realtors competing for business in your neighborhood. You must rise above the crowd so that clients can find out who you are and how you can help them solve their problem. The very best way to do this is to leverage the power of the internet in your real estate business.
We live in a global economy. Someone who is planning on moving into your neighborhood, maybe even next door to you, may be presently living half way around the world. You know that you would be the best person to help them find the house that is available, negotiate the deal, complete the transaction, and help them get moved in. You also know that you could do this within the next six to eight weeks. But how will that person find you and figure out that you are the one who can best help them? Through the power of the Internet.
Offline marketing is still useful. If you currently send out postcards when you have a new listing or make a sale I would encourage you to continue that practice. There are many people who like the idea of receiving something personal from you. But, tell the truth, do you personally write or even address those cards that are sent out? If they are prepared and sent out by a bulk mail facility you have lost the personal touch anyway. Direct mailings are also very expensive. If your company is helping to defray some of the costs it may fit within your marketing budget, but you may still want to look at reaching people through the Internet. The mailing cost there is still zero.
Being environmentally friendly was once just about recycling and using products that had minimal impact on the planet, but now it has spread to real estate. Driven by the ever important green consumers market, home builders are starting to build homes that are more efficient, and are eco friendly.
The push towards eco friendly real estate started with the government backed 'Energy Star' program, which was more aimed at saving the consumer money rather than saving the environment. It covers such aspects as home appliances, heating and cooling systems, high performance windows, home insulation, and exterior air seal. Energy Star homes are typically 20% to 30% more efficient than normal homes. In order for a home to receive an Energy Star qualification, it must pass an Energy Star inspection.
In 1998, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification was introduced. This certification took the whole idea of sustainable green building and development practices to the next level. In addition to the items covered by the 'Energy Star' program, LEED covers such items as:
- Site selection. For example, not built within 100ft of water, does not impact endangered species, not built on public parkland, not built on floodplain.
- Home Air filtration.
- Construction waste management and recycling.
- Use of environmentally preferred products and materials for construction.
- Landscaping and irrigation system (minimal amount of grass, drip system irrigation for plants, native planting, irrigation systems connected to weather station).
- Nontoxic pest control.
- Surface water management.
- Reduction of local heat island effects.
Based on these and other criteria the builder can be awarded one of 4 levels of certification.
Lets take a look at a real life example of how developers and builders are trying to become more eco friendly. The Daybreak Utah development is the largest new home development ever to be built in the State of Utah. When complete it will have over 14,000 homes all of which will be Energy Star compliant. In addition to this the Daybreak Community Center was awarded a silver LEED certification. They were awarded this certification based on the following achievements:
- More than 40% of the pavement is either shaded or light colored to reduce the heat island effect.
- Storm water runoff is controlled in order to prevent water pollution.
- Outdoor water usage reduced by 50% via the use of native plants and high efficiency irrigation system.
- Indoor water usage reduced by 22% by using low flow fixtures.
- Ground source heat pump system utilizes the earths constant temperature to efficiently provide heating and cooling.
- Use of high efficiency lamps.
- More than 57% of the construction waste was recycled.
- High level of materials with recycled content were used for construction.
- Promoted the use of locally constructed materials thus reducing transportation impacts,
- The building was designed to accommodate educational, community and recreational resources. This combined use of facilities provided savings in physical space, and reduced the mechanical, material and parking.
Daybreak is just one of many eco friendly developments that can be found, and with Green consumers here to stay, builders and developers will continue to build more environmentally friendly homes and developments.