real estate pros | green home coach | marla esser cloos

3 Ways Real Estate Pros Can Be Change Agents

Real Estate Pros As Change Agents

“A change agent, also known as an advocate of change, is a person who acts as a catalyst for the change management process. They help an organization, or part of an organization, transform how it operates by inspiring and influencing others.” from There is a huge opportunity right now for those in real estate to be change agents. As change agents, real estate professionals help home buyers and sellers: 

  1. Understand and get the value of healthier, green and energy-efficient homes and features. Tools like Realty Sage can help with eco real estate pros and eco-friendly listings. 
  2. Learn the Total Cost of Ownership – home ownership. By taking monthly operating and maintenance costs into consideration, a green or energy-efficient home may have a little higher upfront cost yet the overall cost over the life of the home is typically lower with lower and more predictable ongoing costs. 
  3. The magic of certifications: understand the history of a home with certifications – health and wellness, green or energy-efficient certifications all help new owners understand what is already in place and provide the assurance that the home was built or remodeled previously with green building principles in mind. 
  4. Bonus: Wellness Real Estate is here to stay. The market was worth around $279 Billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $863 Billion by 2028. 

Real Estate is the key to changing how we think about our housing stock and homes.” Marla, Green Home Coach

Understanding and Marketing the Value of Healthier, Green and Energy-efficient Homes

Purchasing a property or improving an existing property can be one of the largest investments a person may ever make. Realty Sage is a resource that is working to provide that missing gap of information so that consumers know more about how a property can improve their lifestyle for years to come and get more return on their investment when it comes time to sell. Realty Sage highlights the value of eco-friendly features that are lost on other sites. 

Anyone thinking of buying or selling a sustainable or smart home, working with an experienced and knowledgeable agent is an important first step. Eco-knowledgeable agents help buyers understand the environmental and cost-saving benefits as well as a home’s unique features, like renewable energy. Marketing a sustainable or smart home accurately with an experienced and knowledgeable agent can help sellers gain more return on their investment.

Total Home Ownership Cost

The total home ownership cost is rarely taken into account when a home is being built or purchased, especially a high-performing home. Kerry Langley with Project TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) has a tool to change that. 

TCO meaning Total Cost of Ownership and specifically in Kerry’s world, TCO stands for Total Cost of Home Ownership and looks at what a home buyer is going to experience as far as the entire expenses associated with buying and owning a home. These expenses include the “typical” mortgage associated expenses – interest, closing costs and fees, insurance and then they include the rest of the expenses of owning and operating a home – utilities (natural gas, electricity, water, sewer, trash, communications/cable), maintenance and repairs. 

Although our financial systems for buying and owning a home do not automatically look at all of the costs associated with a home, this total number is what is really important to a buyer or seller. It is this total cost of owning a home that truly allows buyers to compare the cost of house A vs. house B.

Most people don’t factor in the operating costs of the home – whether they are buying or renting. With Total Cost of Ownership different factors come into the equation depending on if the home is being purchased or rented. This flexibility to include all sorts of different costs associated with a home also enables customization of the tool to meet almost any situation

From this holistic financial approach, it’s easy to identify the benefits to the home buyer or resident, the builder and the real estate entity. Yet nothing happens until we put it in front of someone and they take action, so keep selling the dream!“Most of what makes a green house green is common sense and quality building practices.”

The Magic of Certification

Home buyers appreciate third-party certification because most people don’t fully understand the range of benefits of a green or energy-efficient house. So they want a third-party certification to prove that the house is truly green and/or energy-efficient.

The benefits of certified green and energy-efficient homes

  • They are well-built
  • They are well-maintained
  • They are resilient
  • They have many high-performing assets
  • They get a good return on investment when sold

Why Green Certify a Home? an excerpt from “An Introduction to Residential Green Building Certification” by Grace Morrison

Most homes are certified because the homeowner or builder chooses to certify and build a green home based on project goals. Some municipalities do now require a specific minimum certification, but for most projects the final decision on whether to certify will depend on project goals. 

The value and marketability of the home or project may be key drivers for certification. Many homeowners are citing the projected health and wellness benefits available from a green certified home. Improved efficiencies in resource and materials use, energy and water all mean a lighter impact and usually smaller utility bills as well. 

Our author also suggests that “certifications help owners understand the history of the home. If a building has previously been certified, new owners looking to renovate can understand what is already in place from previous construction and assure that the builders constructed the home with green building principles in mind. Moreover, while some builders have the credentials to be green builders, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they build green homes, so the third-party verification acts as evidence of a contractor’s green building experience.”

 To learn why someone might choose not to certify and what green home certifications there are, read the entire article, An Introduction to Residential Green Building Certifications: Part Iby Grace Morrison with Rate It Green. 

Wellness Real Estate

Forward-thinking developers and builders are building wellness-based communities and creating neighborhoods that support a healthy lifestyle. Rather than just building a suburban area with a community pool, they have been thinking more about the design. Wellness neighborhoods include green features and amenities centered around a community farm or some other aspect of wellness to benefit those living there and bring them together.

The very first wellness lifestyle community was built near Atlanta, Georgia. It has been a great success, and people love living there! Agri-hoods are another example, like Arden, near Palm Beach, Florida. 

Wellness real estate has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Last November 2020, it was said to be worth $275 billion! And it is expected to grow to over $800 billion by 2028. 

Green homes have been around for some time, but many think that they focus only on energy efficiency. (note from Marla – This is a common misconception, yet certified green homes are built or remodeled holistically with many health and wellness benefits in addition to efficiencies.) Wellness Real Estate showcases wellness that is more than just green. It is about people living well and thriving in their homes.

Driving Change

People – professionals, in particular, need to understand the “why”, the value, and the benefits of people living better in their homes. Many home professionals and real estate professionals want to help people with solutions and drive change. Real estate professionals are in a perfect position to be change agents because they are at the intersection between people and their homes.

Real estate agents need to educate people about the benefits of homes because most people don’t really care about the features of a home, but they do care about the benefits. It will help if agents adopt a mindset of guiding people rather than trying to sell to them.


Referral Links:

Book: Living Green Effortlessly

Facebook Group: Love Your Everyday Green Home

Realty Sage on Green Home Coach

Total Cost of Ownership 

Rate It Green on Green Home Coach

The Magic of Certification

Wellness Real Estate on Green Home Coach

Are you interested in making your next home a healthy, eco-friendly one? We’ve partnered with to help match you to expert agents who are matched based on your unique real estate needs. It’s free, no obligations and takes less than 5 minutes.

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. That means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I believe in and usually use myself.