Going green is not a trend. It is a movement with significant momentum that permeates every aspect of American life. Although most Americans are far from being environmentalists, everyone wants to save money. Consumers are asking for information on homes’ energy performance, and real estate professionals are following through with the data.
Changing Consumer Preferences
In April of 2019, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report on member experiences with listing sustainability stats and whether members saw any changes in the market with regard to consumer preferences for green features. The report concluded that consumers are more concerned than ever about environmental issues and their impact on utility costs and property values. According to the report’s residential highlights, 69% of respondents said that promoting energy efficiency was either somewhat or very valuable, and 59% of the respondents thought that residential buyers were at least somewhat interested in sustainability. On the commercial side, agents and brokers reported that the items that were important to clients were utility and operations costs (81%), energy-efficient lighting (67%), and indoor air quality (64%). Overall, the results show that consumer preferences are shifting to include green features that not only help the environment but also save on energy expenditures.
Greening the Process
With online listing services and virtual reality home tours enabling shoppers to view properties from wherever they have an internet connection, the process of shopping for a home is already changing in ways that benefit the environment. However, there is still an incredible amount of paper wasted on red tape.
Propy tackles the sustainability problem by providing buyers and sellers with an all-in-one transaction platform where they can upload, sign, and securely store all of their pertinent documents. Because Propy is a blockchain-based system, users can also commit their agreement to a smart contract that automatically executes without the intervention of lawyers or an escrow agent. The process accelerates transaction times, saves money, and reduces paper waste.
Although the green revolution has been brewing for a while, it has only recently arrived in real estate. That said, the NAR has shown that agents are already including green features in listings, and the industry itself is leveraging technology to simplify and green the purchase process.