Marketing for Real Estate - Why Do I Need To Use The Internet To Market My Real Estate Business?

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.

Environmentally Friendly Real Estate

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.

Green Washing And Your Real Estate Carbon Footprint

As an internet platform for green, energy efficient and sustainable homes, we have reviewed some interesting and creative verbiage used by some sellers in the real estate marketplace. In the environmental business we call this "green washing".

Green washing is when someone uses "green" terminology to help drive more interest to an otherwise typical (in this case) home for sale, in a currently flat and bloated real estate market.

This "green" terminology could be words such as:

  • Solar
  • Stewardship
  • Eco-friendly
  • Environmental
  • Healthy environment

We've seen ads that would say "a solar home", when all they really had was a wall that faced south.

Or maybe the home just has CFL's (compact fluorescent lighting) and not much else in the home. Although minimal improvements help the environment in a small way, there are cool innovative green homes out there that are making heads really turn in a BIG way. includes ( loves to promote) innovative building technologies that we believe will make the quickest (and the biggest) change in the environment regarding the way we live, the homes we live in and the way we build them.

Listed Green

Things we take for granted every day, do have a direct impact on global warming. The toilets we flush, the indoor air we breathe, the utility bills we pay; all these everyday duties affect the environment and our health.

There currently are so many new technologies in sustainable home building, that we could make a huge impact right now, not years later. We can currently heat most of our water with thermal solar and not the black stuff you see on roofs, but innovative glass tubes that absorb UV rays year-round; recycle all our grey water (sinks and showers) and redirect that water to flush our toilets; building design and orientation to take advantage of the natural heating and cooling effects in a particular location; construct living environments utilizing innovative building materials that may come from recycled or renewable sources that also offer a tremendous R-factor.

A one-two punch in not only saving our limited building material resources, but also less requirement from fossil fuels and the like, to heat and cool our homes everyday.

ListedGreen strives to make a difference in educating the general public about what makes a home truly "green" and helping bring an elevated increased value to these exciting energy efficient improvements, to a level that they really deserve in the real estate marketplace today and in the years to come.

Green Eco Homes and Real Estate

Have you ever wondered what makes real estate properties 'green' or 'eco friendly'? Hopefully I can help you learn how to identify properties that meet some or all of these green qualifications in both construction and operation. Whether you are looking to buy green, or you want to 'green' your present home in order to sell it I hope to help you in your endeavor, and especially if you are simply looking to implement easy green features and habits, creating a green home and a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

I definitely know there are countless things I could add to my list here, but for now I want to merely create the mood of what a green home would look like. One thing's for sure, no matter how green you go, make sure it's done in a light, joyful way that doesn't impose on others. We are where we are at any given time in our lives, and there will always be someone greener than us! Green pride, should always be personal.

These green lifestyle choices not only enhance our health, but also our finances! Yeah green, puts green in your pocket!

So what features might make a property green or eco-friendly...

Usually homes are demolished, but do you know they can be deconstructed instead? Antique stores have known for centuries the brilliance of reclaimed and reuse of materials. Certainly a great percentage of a homes materials can come from a pre-used source. I know of one yoga studio that has the most gorgeous wood floors reclaimed from an old Bank of America historic building that was being refurbished. And it was free! Only the cost of removal! What a conversation piece! Just as relevant are materials derived from easily renewable sources, bamboo versus ancient oak trees.

The paint we use, low or zero VOC paint. You know that 'new home smell' we all love, usually from a fresh coat of paint? Well that's the smell of your lungs being poisoned! There are many sources of green power or at least eco choices, such as solar panels for electricity, natural day lighting via skylights and low voltage lighting for the evening. Site orientation makes such a difference, imagine orienting the home toward the sun in colder climates and alternatively catching cool breezes in warmer climates? Not only that but using landscaping to help. Deciduous trees to shade windows in the summer, yet let in warm sun in the winter. Green comes in many shades! Overall, we should seek durable, healthy, sustain-ably sourced 'green' building materials, ones that are non-toxic thus helping improve indoor air quality.

In the garden permeable paving helps guide 'fresh' water to underground tables rather than run off via drain pipes to the salt water ocean. The use of native, zero or low water use gardens not only replace a strange obsession with antiquated English grass lawns but also encourage native birds and butterflies into your garden! Green landscaping can create a truly magical garden.

Not every green home will embody all features. The hope is that we are making lifestyle choices that are healthier for us, cheaper on a daily basis and kinder to our planet.

I think green, eco-friendly lifestyle choices are not only the logical thing to do, but the financially clever thing to do. I'm no Donald Trump, but if I had two homes, one build in the conventional manner with all toxic formaldehyde off gassing materials, with my kid suffering from asthma, expensive to heat and cool... then across the street is another home for sale, essentially the same design and price except it's cheaper to run and healthier to live in... what is the choice?

The green one of course! No doubt you would choose the green, eco-friendly home. Ask anyone... Green is the new black!

The Beautiful New Tampa Real Estate Market

The masterfully planned and laid out area of New Tampa real estate contains acres upon acres of striking award-winning homes set among a dramatic natural environment. A search of the New Tampa homes for sale will quickly reveal a range of home sites from lakefront property to wetland and tree lined natural environments. All these sites take advantage of the serene and peaceful mood provided compliments of Mother Nature.

The rapid growth of the New Tampa real estate area can readily be attributed to the nearby location of the University. The University of South Florida is a not only a cultural and educational enticement to many but also draws vast encouragement from the medical community. These features tend to make this an especially sought-after location in which to reside for families with either older or younger offspring. The close proximity of the various office parks appeals to many individuals that are employed within the telecommunications, financial and insurance industries.

The lifestyle exhibited within New Tampa is compatible with that of the surrounding area. It readily offers a pleasant measure of various sports, an abundance of recreational activities, nature parks and trails, first-rate golf courses, recently established tennis courts and several swimming facilities.

It is fairly easy to gain access to New Tampa as it connects to highway I -75 and the Bruce Downs Boulevard junction. You can not miss the turn off location.

The New Tampa area affords you as a resident a great day of shopping in the many petite quaint shops which line the streets. Should you require a needed break you can readily rest and enjoy a good inexpensive meal or partake of a refreshing drink at one of the many dining facilities.

There are several smaller communities which comprise the New Tampa real estate vicinity. I would like to briefly introduce you to one of them known as Arbor Greene.

Arbor Greene

Arbor Greene is a very popular New Tampa community that features many modern updated amenities. It is huddle peacefully away from the busy city noises. If you are seeking an old Florida style home site location, this is the place for you. This tranquil community is situated upon 596 acres of environmentally friendly land and well suited for the complete family. Here you can discover a family fitness center, several wholesome and clean swimming pools plus a community center which employs a full-time director. You and your family can enjoy an exciting tennis game at the community tennis complex or if you happen to be into golf there is the nearby Hunter's Green community country club.

New Tampa is an area of over 90 full acres of fun filled scenic lakes, eleven recreational parks, and an abundance of nature trails plus over 100 acres reserved as a conservation area. Should you require a few hours of city life you merely need to step beyond your staffed security gate and experience the best dining, shopping and banking facilities around. The immediate area also boosts of a new modern YMCA and a vast regional library.

Tampa Real Estate Goes Green

With the world in a tizzy over the climate changes and the effect of carbon emissions, what is the latest bug to have bitten people? 'Go Green' seems to sum it up aptly. And Tampa real estate is no different!

Today, Tampa real estate is going green, and how! Let's take a look at some of the top green housing trends that are dictation the real estate market in Tampa region.

Shimmering copper roofs made from copper and copper alloys like brass and bronze are in demand they are being used on roofs, facades, gutters, entranceways, and downspouts. Of course, these pretty copper pieces are expensive, but they are a sensible long-term investment because copper is tolerant to inclement weather. A copper roof installed now will last you, hold your breath, 100 years! But perhaps the best about this metal is that it is fully recyclable.

Doors and windows that absorb heat; Yes, you read it right. Low emittance or Low-E windows and doors and skylights are the latest trend. They block the sun's harmful UV rays that are responsible for heating up the inside of your home, forcing you to reach for the aircon remote. These special Low-E window fittings also prevent your expensive drapes, wallpaper, and precious paintings from fading. Wow!! Just for this, you should get these fitted in your Tampa home. However, make sure that you find out the percentage of sunrays these Low-E doors and windows can block or check the UV label on the glass. Typically, Low-E products block between 70% - 90% of sunlight. And while you are checking, make sure you also check the clarity of the glass used.

Tanks that hold rainwater are great for your Tampa real estate. After rainwater harvesting, rainwater tanks help to capture water when it rains as well as from storm runoffs and help to reduce the burden on your local sewers. Use the collected water to water your yards or flushing your toilets. According to a National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHome, a 4,000 square-foot rainwater cistern can collect up to 95% storm water that can not only be recycled, reused, but absorbed as well.

In Tampa, green houses are available in some of the new developments such as FishHawk Ranch.

Essential Green Factors for Real Estate - Turn Green Time for Real Estate

The factors to be considered by Construction / Real Estate firms to turn green are:

Energy Saving Electricity: - Solar Power

Moving away from first generation power usage techniques i.e. depending on Electricity generated by power plants which run on water / coal, present day Realty sectors could possibly adopt the technique of absorbing the power of Sun, otherwise named as Solar Power to generate electricity.

Solar power makes us to think of energy efficient techniques in constructing a home or gated community's viz. quipping solar Facades in exteriors to absorb the energy of SUN, painting interiors with brighter colors to radiate more light with less power etc. The other useful power saving technique could make Realty firms in turning green is automatic power off system which helps in turning off unused electricity automatically.

Inserting solar panels, solar equipped glass facades, solar powered water heaters & illuminating systems and using energy efficient paints at interiors could really help Realty firms in turning attentive to Green Earth Revolution by reducing usage of power and coal generated electricity.

Water Storage: - Rainwater harvesting tank

Water shortage, the popularized household problem these days is the major concern for Realty builders. Against drilling down 1000 to infinite feet down the ground for water and settling with non-resulted trials, some Real Estate firms have dusted the age old technique of storing water through tanks to tap the requirement of daily necessity - WATER. With the increase in demand for water and less adequate resources to fulfill it, apartment builders adopted the Rainwater Harvesting System which possibly can resolve the water problem restricted to certain qualitative measures.

Rainwater Harvest tank is a specially paved area on the rooftop / in the courtyard of a building to store rainwater or sometimes even a gutter in the garden would help to be a water harvesting tank. Heightening these kind of water storage techniques, builders could give uninterrupted water facility to dwellers though it depends on water sources i.e. rainfall in that particular area. With the minimal concerns for clean and safety water, builders can effectively use this technique to address water related problems especially without depending on ground water levels.

Plastic Usage:- High toxic levels

Matching up with the global uproar against plastic usage and to be in the path against global warming, 'plastic-free environments' are rapidly dotting up the cities like never before. Plastic the excessive use of which may contaminate under ground water due to its very slow decomposition levels compared to other materials can harm the marine population and is severely hazardous for drinking water. Disposal of plastics either into water or on ground should be avoided cause of the high toxicity it has in using and by manufacturing them.

Hence, in the course to turn towards greener earth, real estate firms have the need to build their gated communities or any other form of group housing insisting on absolutely 'Plastic - Free' environments. Indeed, attaining plastic free environment certificate will also be beneficial in escalating flat or plot sales, is also a major factor for real estate firms to turn green.

Plantation: - Air Purification

'How about residing amid greenery? Wake up and say good morning to 75000 Tulips'; these were the catch-up lines pitched by some of the Realty firms in recent times at Hyderabad. Having heard of the same intentional messages for numerous times, it's been proved that Real Estate has lent its hand / land to sufficient plantation required for healthy life.

More plantations in the vicinities makes the area protected from pollution thus leads to air purification which of a great concern in giving a quality living style. Against deforestation and concrete landscapes, turning to green panoramic landscapes would fetch Realty industries to cope up with the increase in need of life style away from regular hustle - bustle with more fresh and quality breath.

Waste Management Techniques: - Landfills

Probably, the foremost hectic task confronts by contemporary construction world is managing the waste. Maintaining Garbage dumping yard popularly known as landfills, has been a difficult task for present day apartment builders as the vicinities are dotted up with concrete blocks not allowing space.

In this scenario, allotting a special slot outside / inside the row housing for garbage dump is definitely a valuable idea. It creates opportunity to be hygienic and indeed can helpful in producing bio fuel. Adding to it, with the help of Plasma we can even turn garbage into Gas which is another advantage of using dumping yard or landfills. Instead of spewing up the garbage into neighborhoods and leaving the environment more unhygienic, dumping yards are of more useful methods for Realty firms in tapping the turn of green revolution.

In this way, Realty Firms can effectively turn green by following above stringent factors.

On an ending note, though the methods like solar systems and dumping yard maintenance demands more practicality, with the little care Real Estate firms can turn to greener phase easily.

The Real Estate and Mortgage Industries Can (and Will) Survive!

This is good news! Now how do we get there? All economists are a bit confused on what needs to happen. First, let's get to the acceptance piece of the puzzle. (1) We are not in an economic recovery. Change needs to happen in many areas of the system the average consumer is living in. Jobs need to be created and the only way to do this is to create new industry. Real Estate Taxes are not only too high but they are not in proportion to reality. Not even close. Think on this. Why are homes on one street, same square footage, same design and similar age taxed thousands of dollars apart from their counterparts? This needs to be addressed. Tax assessors are working within guidelines of a "boom" that went way out into la-la land. Yet, they are assessing at those sales figures. It is a chain reaction in a system that needs to be redesigned.

There is a much needed reality check. Regulators, consumers and banks need to wake up quickly, which brings us to (2) to begin assess honestly, how we can renew our systems to have them fit into the change that is occurring in our democratic way of life. I am a republican and proud of it, but reality is reality. By 2020, the world will have an estimated 9 billion people to cloth and feed. This is not a one sided problem. It is a chain of past economic predictions that were just plain wrong. We are living in a system that has been broken. The chain of real estate ownership was created years ago when people began to buy and sell, price and live it their own home. Leasing was not looked upon as the American Dream. Owning a home was. Now, renting is so much more attractive to our pocketbooks. Why? OK- Think on this. You see a $250,000 home in the paper. Should you pay out of pocket 20% down (if your credit is perfect and very few have perfect credit) so that is $50,000. Who has this in an account right now without parents? Then up to another $10,000 for closing costs. The principal and interest is about $1200 a month( about 6% rate ) then you have taxes which can be about $350 more a month plus insurance can be about $150 more. You are at around $1700 a month and if there are those homeowner association fees, oh no- please? Now, the facts of these troubled times, this home is not holding value. Not good news for the American Dream concept. Next year it will probably be worth less, yet are taxes going up? So (3) is finding a way to build value in real estate again. Now, just suppose you can pay $1100 a month to live in that same $250, 000 home? When something breaks, you don't have to pay for the fix. No taxes fees or owner concerns. Just renters insurance to protect your own "stuff."

This brings us to (4) curing the disconnect of communication breakdown with banks, consumers and those running the real estate and mortgage worlds. Examples are government tax offices, Realtors®, mortgage professionals, jobs depending on industries that thrive on real estate such as contracting and engineering companies, etc. Pricing and regulation needs to be cut drastically. How can one home in a neighborhood, going through a short sale dictate prices of the other homes? It is all so off balance. Have you been food shopping lately? Our food supply is beginning to offer us less and short us as packaging is less for us to pay more. Boxes are smaller. Loaves of bread are smaller. So what can change all of this?

(5) is plain and simple we need laws designed for the people, by the people. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, it called for government for us. So let's remember real estate and mortgage markets drive the economy and let's remember that these markets can help bring about change quicker than any other markets. Once these markets create ways to achieve drastically lower utility bills, and real estate taxes are forced onto a more uniform format, all can recover.

Our system as we know it, is broken- Done. We will not ever find jobs for all who have lost theirs unless we re-train, re-create and re-build in the new world energy sectors offer. Going green. Tired of hearing this yet? Don't be and wake up America. Retrain those in construction and sales ability to learn to sell and install water conservation products as cisterns, solar products, solar hot water heaters and wind products. Train sales people to sell and represent these systems in the workforce. Re-create the entrepreneurial spirit. It worked years ago and it will work again-

Is Money the Main Consideration in Greening the Real Estate Market?

I am always amazed when I read an article that states that people do not understand the greening of real estate concepts and the opportunity it offers both buyers and sellers. In fact, I remember when I first heard that indoor air quality in homes can be worse than outdoor air quality I was not happy. Here I was, in 2005, a practicing broker, managing agents, and agents always feel responsible to suggest to sellers ways to improve the future sale of the largest financial investment they make.

While managing 2 offices in Sarasota, Florida, I kept hearing about green building. Sarasota is a leader in the state of Florida in green issues and sustainability so I began learning through osmosis and found no one was training the real estate professions on these issues. When I contacted my trade association to ask why, they had "no interest. They didn't know what green building was and did not see the need for Realtors® to know about it. Oh boy, I knew something was not right. Going into a deep study mode for a year, I started to learn quite a bit and documented my newfound knowledge. I was discovering that certain types of insulation and building materials could contribute to lower utility bills and a healthier indoor environment. In my travels, I learned that a TV uses 25% if its energy when it was turned off ( called phantom energy) and TV's could give off 4,000+ chemical fumes daily and since I had 4 at the time. I began to think of all of the buyers I sold homes to, and my agents sold property to who may have had a type of respiratory problem in a family member or friend and I could see how important this was to initiate education for the industry. When it comes time for a consumer to invest in a property, they need to about the ins and outs of this type of financial investment.

Traveling the country, going to seminars and conventions, and just listening and taking notes, I realized green building concepts were important for how clients to know how to have a better ROI. Concepts of lower utility bills, healthier indoor air quality, sustainable systems installed all sound like facts those in the industry need to A common term in real estate is Return on Investment. in the current climate, in general, this is not a feature or benefit people are experiencing as they were in the past. Many people are beginning to accept the fact that first costs are not the only factor to consider when building green or renovating with energy efficient materials and systems. It is the life expectancy of the structure that is considered for green upgrade decisions. I see a dollar value in this. Don't you? Consumers are learning so much through the Internet and learning about energy efficiency and the long-term value of the renovations they invest in. In the long run, they will see a difference in the quality of life and their bottom line when selling the property in the future. Energy retrofitting current housing inventory is something that is just beginning to come to the attention of the public. This could be a huge job creator. People who desire bringing renewable energy driven systems as solar and water conservation measures into their lifestyle will create new awareness and new jobs for people to learn these technologies and installation techniques.

Job creation in the construction fields needs immediate attention in the current economic downturn o educating from the agent and their affiliate industries to guide clients in becoming more energy efficient holds such promise for the future. When buying a piece of real estate, if it isn't offering green attributes now, consider what it will need in terms of upgrades to be a healthier place for your family to live and to be more energy efficient. In addition to better health, lower operating costs and good selling points for the future, there are many reasons to promote the greening the real estate markets.