Real Estate's Responsibility in the Fight Against Climate Change

I've been moved to write this note by watching this extended hot spell that has impacted almost all of our country. I'm also aware that Compass represents some of the most vulnerable regions in America.  The impacts of high heat are especially acute in Texas and Arizona but storm related challenges and rising sea levels impact almost every one of our markets.  I think that it's too common for us to look at this problem as intractable and too large for any one person to do anything about.  I'm here to tell you that such a defeatist attitude will only exacerbate these issues.  You CAN help make a difference on global climate change.

There are three main areas where any agent can make an impact.  First, make caring about our planet part of your brand: It's a near universal winner. For example, our team makes choices that emphasize our concern about the environment, choosing bikes over cars, and electric cars over heavy polluting transportation.  By committing to this we have a brand that has brought in business in unexpected ways.

Secondly, become knowledgeable of the many ways homes contribute to global climate change and help your clients learn how they can save money and improve the health of their home and neighborhood at the same time.  Learn about the solar, heat-pump and geothermal programs in your state and add those benefits to the generous federal tax credits that were renewed and increased in the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest bill tackling climate change in US history. Learn about the benefits of induction cooking (take it from me, it's amazing!). There are a host of direct financial benefits outlined in the IRA that you should be aware of. Your clients will appreciate your guidance in your role as an expert in all things related to real estate. To see all of the benefits go to Rewiring America and use their savings calculator. We used this information to hold an Electrify Happy Hour that was really successful.

Lastly, become an advocate within your local association and jurisdiction.  Do the forms you work with make clear the benefits of solar panels and other energy saving opportunities?  Do you have disclosures and do they reflect energy conservation and recent improvements?  Do your continuing education requirements help teach other agents this important information?  Assuming many of the answers to these questions are “no” then you can advocate and annoy, pester the appropriate decision makers to make steady improvements. In DC we're working with our City Council to make alterations to our CE.  We are meeting with our Department of Energy and Environment to look at forms and meeting with our local association form committee to make important changes that benefit consumers and the environment. To those who think nothing can be done, the cost savings and air quality improvements will be enough to motivate them to do something.

Homes account for nearly 20% of global warming emissions in the US.  We can make an enormous difference if we work together, collectively.  Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or need inspiration and I'll be at the Retreat in San Diego.....and happy to talk more then.

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