Selling High Performance Homes: The Realtors Role

February 12, 2013

10-11 PT / 11-12 MT / 12-1 CT / 1-2 ET / 2-3 AT / 2:30-3:30 NT

Panel Moderated by Chris Chopik, Managing Director, Evolution Green

Are realtors helping or hindering the sale of high performance homes? Are they able to recognize and communicate the key features and benefits that distinguish them from other homes on the market? (Such as lower utility bills.) These are only a few of the questions that builders have been pondering as their high performance homes come onto the resale market. Additionally, some builders are challenged with keeping their own realty businesses informed, or in the case of smaller builders, they may utilize realtors as their primary sales staff and have no control over the realtors ongoing educational efforts.

Join us for an engaging and exploratory discussion on the challenges of marketing and selling high performance homes from a builders perspective, and learn what the real estate industry is doing to meet the marketplace consumer demand and product availability. Our panel includes builders as well as professionals from the realty industry. (See profiles below.) We will hear about their experiences with realtors as well as the broader real estate industry, and learn what initiatives they have undertaken to utilize realtors to sell high performance homes. We’ll also hear about specific initiatives that have been implemented to advance the evolving realty industry's capacity to value high performance homes. Participants will have the opportunity to dialogue with the panelists and discuss how we can work with realtors to become a communication channel and ally for high performance home builders.

Key Points Covered:

  • Challenges that builders face when marketing and selling high performance homes.
  • The builders experiences with realtors and the broader real estate industry.
  • Initiatives the builders have undertaken to address the challenges and explore opportunities to utilize realtors to sell their homes.
  • What the real estate industry is doing to meet the marketplace consumer demand and product availability for high performance homes.
  • The specific initiatives the realtor industry has been engaged in to advance the evolving relationship between these key stakeholders.

Webinar Learning Level:

A) Awareness
B) Understanding/Comprehension

C) Application/Implementation

D) Mastery


About the Moderator and Panelists:


Chris Chopik, Evolution Green

Chris Chopik is a recognized leader in the emerging High Performance Real Estate market. He is a trusted writer, speaker and Realtor(r). Chris is the instructor for the recently Canadian-ized NAR Green designation for Realtors(r). Chris has taught building science, climate science and residential renewable energy to the Ontario Real Estate industry since 2008. He has worked with the Ontario Government on building labeling legislation and served on the NRCan ERS Secretariat, delivery subcommittee, on the next generation EnerGuide. Chris is involved in myriad of initiatives relating to high performances houses and neighbourhood design, including currently serving as President of LEAF, he is co-chair of the Conservation task force at OSEA, and is an advocate for complete streets, green infrastructure, and quality of life. Chris' deep passion for the quality of life for present and future generations is always present in his work. Chris' reputation beyond his pioneering work in the green real estate marketplace demonstrates a deep understanding of the confluence of challenges relating to infrastructure, energy , water and ecology that underpin the global economy and the quality of life of people.

Cory Krygier, Jigsaw Homes

Cory is co-founder of Jigsaw Homes Inc., a Calgary based home-builder focused on building single family and small multi-family projects with specific attention to architectural design, exceptional finishing and sustainability. Jigsaw Homes has grown to become one of Calgary’s largest inner city builders over the past 8 years. Cory graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Calgary in 1999 and upon graduation worked at one of Calgary’s large Architectural firms where he was involved in projects varying in scale from single family homes to large commercial projects. Cory, along with his business partner, has undertaken an aggressive reposition of Jigsaw Homes over the past three years to establish Jigsaw as one of the foremost sustainable builders in Canada. Setting high benchmarks for quality and sustainability Jigsaw has been able to achieve excellent results to date and continues to push the limits of both performance and affordability. Cory also sits as a director of the Net-Zero Energy Homes Coalition and is an active member on the steering committee of a new social innovation initiative in Calgary.

Serge Desjardins, Minto Group Inc.

Serge is Director, Green Initiatives and Condominium Performance with the Minto Group Inc. The company was founded in 1955 and has since established itself as a leader in sustainable developments with projects and holdings in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Florida. Minto's commitment to creating high-performance green homes and buildings began more than 25 years ago - taking energy efficiency and environmental responsibility to the next level with the creation of its EnergyWise program and building to R - 2000 standards. Today Minto offers ENERGY STAR qualified homes, LEED for Homes Communities, LEED Certified Apartment Living, LEED Certified Office Space, a Green Rated Hotel and Florida BuildSmart Homes. Serge has and continues to oversee net-zero projects working with such partners as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Natural Resource Canada. He is a founding member of the Construction Recycling Initiatives Council and is an active member of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association's Building Innovation Committee.

Shilpa Sankaran, Alpha

Shilpa is a social entrepreneur who has provided communications, strategy, and technology advisory services for global brands, start-ups, and Fortune Global 1000 companies. She is an established industry expert in driving adoption of off-site construction and net zero energy building technologies. Prior to founding Alpha, Shilpa co-founded ZETA Communities, a manufacturer of net zero energy and sustainable modular buildings. She serves leadership positions with key organizations to drive adoption of energy efficiency in the building industry. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) appointed Shilpa to the Zero Net Energy Action Plan Champions initiative, leading the "Path to Zero" campaign to drive the awareness and education of the State of California's plan to meet its 2020 and 2030 net zero energy mandates. She is also a Modular Building Institute (MBI) committee member, promoting the modular industry nationally through strategic communications initiatives. Prior to ZETA, Shilpa advised leadership as a management consultant to General Motors, Wells Fargo Bank, AAA, Nike, Verizon Wireless, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, among others.

Ben Kaufman, GreenWorks Realty

Ben is the founder and owner of GreenWorks Realty, the first green brokerage in the United States. With over $100 million in completed transactions, Ben's passion guides GreenWorks Realty's mission to strengthen the livability and sustainability of our communities. GreenWorks Realty recently merged with the second largest and fastest growing realty brokerage in the country, Keller Williams.  The primary impetus of this merger is for GreenWorks to affect a cultural shift within the company, positioning agents to better address the market realities apparent today through training and coaching. Ben's background includes residential and commercial real estate sales founded in a deep knowledge of green homes and land, small business ownership, and low impact land development. With an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning, a Commercial Real Estate Professional Certificate from the University of Washington, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from Crystal Waters, Australia, Ben has succeeded with making the addition of environmental certification check boxes to the Multiple Listing Service and subsequently produced the first national study on green home sale values. Ben also develops and teaches green training and coaching courses for real estate agents.

John Beldock, EcoBroker International

Dr. Beldock is the founder and CEO of EcoBroker International.  He is also the current Executive Director of the Association of Energy and Environmental Real Estate Professionals.  Dr. Beldock and his team have developed the EcoBroker brand and business development operations since EcoBroker’s inception in 2001.  Dr. Beldock is a licensed real estate professional, a green building scientist, an author, and an educator.  Dr. Beldock is the former Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Environmental Analysis Program in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  He was the co-founder of the U.S. Department of Energy’s NICE3 Program.  He was the 1991 recipient of the U.S. EPA's Outstanding Performance Award for Research in Pollution Prevention.  Dr. Beldock earned his Master of Science and Doctorate from the University of California and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1985 and 1987, respectively.  Dr. Beldock and EcoBroker’s VP of Business Development recently published the Green MLS White Paper: Unlocking the True Value of Green Homes, under the auspices of the National Home Performance Council. Dr. Beldock and his family live in Evergreen, CO.

Lisa Roberts, Calgary Real Estate Board

Lisa Roberts is the Manager of Member Programs with CREB®.  One of her responsibilities is leading a group of local REALTORS® who champion the CREB® HomeSmarts program.  CREB®s commitment to bring the “green” conversation to resale real estate transactions began in 2009 with a challenge for REALTORS® to include a home’s EnerGuide rating in their listings.  In 2011, with the assistance of REALTORS®, the program transformed to HomeSmarts.  HomeSmarts continues to enable inclusion of the EnerGuide rating and has expanded the conversation to include multiple smart options such as water (low flow plumbing), energy (lights, furnace, thermostat) and appliances (energy star).  REALTORS® have actively embraced using these additional listing feature options.  Looking forward, CREB® plans to drive greater adoption by increasing the profile of both the HomeSmarts program and green education designations. CREB® is also committed to ongoing research and assessment of potential additions to the program.