If there is one benefit that emerged from the country’s recent economic slump, it would be the advancement of the green, high-performance building movement in the U.S. housing market. Once thought of as a niche created for wealthy environmentalists, green homes are making their way into the mainstream housing market, driven largely by builders who are looking for an advantage over the competition. Many large production builders are investing in the belief that green is going to be the norm within five years. This is the direction they see consumers and the industry going.
Marketing and selling green brings a whole new set of challenges for both home builders ad Realtors, especially when it comes to educating consumers and cutting through the clutter of information and misinformation about sustainability, energy efficiency and green. It’s not just a problem for new home builders but also for the countless home owners that have upgraded their homes to be more energy efficient and now find themselves needing to sell their home.
The plain facts are that a green home can be sold to anyone. Home buyers however, are a diverse group of individuals, and there is no one single way to sell green. For this reason, your Realtor must identify what green home benefits are most compelling to their potential buyer.
As a green sales specialist, any time I can talk about putting money back into the pockets of consumers it makes for a strong sales proposition. Cost savings is the number one feature when selling green but it is not enough to just say there will be savings, you must be able to explain why as well.
Most home buyers are not our shopping for a green home. The problem is that green is too vague, overused and often meaningless to many potential buyers. Most buyers know what they want, they just don’t necessarily call it green. It isn’t that the blanket categorization of features being green are undesirable but rather that explaining the benefits of lower-energy costs, increased safety and comfort for their families and higher resale values makes sense when explained properly. In other words, sell the benefits of the green home, not the features.