Green agents have a valuable marketing opportunity and should take advantage of it. By effectively marketing your efforts to fight climate change you can boost your profits while you make the world a better place. Story by Dave Platter.
The current real estate market is one of reduced sales activity and increased competition among agents. Smart agents are looking for advantages.
This article is written for agents and principals who already have an interest in reducing their impact on climate change. It covers three things:
- Why climate change is a powerful marketing tool,
- Why you can be sincere and still promote your green credentials and
- Why a green agent is a good agent.
Problem number one Australians rank climate change as their number one concern, ahead of poverty and terrorism, according to a survey by news.com.au. It gets personal, too. Most Australians (83%) believe that they will have to change their lifestyle to battle climate change, according to a BBC World survey.
Your customers’ concern for climate change also intersects with their attitudes about real estate. Our homes are the places in our lives where we make the largest environmental impacts.
A survey by realestate.com.au found that:
- 73% of Australians believe environmentally friendly features make a home more saleable.
- 53% believe such features add 5% to 10% to the sale price.
- 50% said they would prefer to buy from green companies.
There is a rich seam of gold here just waiting to be mined by some smart agents.
I’m not so foolish as to suggest that vendors will list their home with you simply because you are a green agent. That day may come. Today, when a vendor is choosing between agents, your climate change-related marketing can probably only tip the decision in your favour. That, however, is an advantage no smart agent would throw away.
Does green marketing make you a cynic? Handled with deftness and due sincerity, using your actions against climate change as a marketing tool can set you apart from other agents.
Again, I’m writing for agents and principals who already have an interest in attacking climate change. Is it crass to try to profit from this interest?
I firmly believe it is not. In fact, your success will make you a leader other agents follow. To have the same success you have had, they will take the same steps you have taken. This means they will also reduce their impact on the environment–multiplying by many times the final impact of your actions on the environment.
Agents who successfully and sincerely use green marketing to build their businesses are not crass. They are not cynics. By contrast, they have more money than they would otherwise have. Plus, they have a bigger impact on climate change than they otherwise would.
Handled with deftness and due sincerity, using your actions against climate change as a marketing tool can set you apart from other agents.
A green agent is a good agent Let’s delve into the psychology of your customers to understand why a green agent is a good agent.
It’s unfortunate but true that most consumers have a negative stereotype of real estate agents. They believe agents on the whole are untrustworthy. They believe agents will always put their own interests above those of the people they are avowedly serving. This is the frame through which your potential customers judge you. The only exceptions are those who already happen to know you well enough to have formed another opinion. (To better understand how frames work, read George Lakoff’s excellent Don’t Think of an Elephant.)
Communicating your sincere interest in battling climate change literally causes consumers to change the frame of reference which they apply to you. Instead of an “untrustworthy agent” you become a “selfless promoter of the common good”.
The new frame is a positive one of a professional who puts others’ interests first. You are so selfless – the consumer presumes – that you actually put the interests of the earth itself (to which you have no contractual or legal commitments) ahead of your own increased profitability.
By being the “green agent” you automatically become the “trustworthy agent”. This is a tremendous advantage in soliciting business and obtaining referrals. And it may well tip the vendor in your favour when it comes time to select an agent to partner with.