On December 4th, 2012, Chris Chopik taught the first course for the newly Canadianized National Association Realtors Green Designation to a group of 20 realtors from the Greater Toronto Area. These realtors are the first to have this training in Canada, expand their value proposition and adjust to the changing marketplace.
Voluntary energy labelling of houses offers untapped potential for individual Realtors, brokerages and franchises to create value for home buyers and sellers. Think about the energy labels on appliances and cars and food. The market is used to seeing product and energy information and labels. So what does a voluntary building label look like in the real estate marketplace?
The Economist’s World’s Most Liveable Cities issue ranks cities according to 39 data sets including safety, education, hygiene, health care, culture, environment, recreation, political-economic stability and public transportation. Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary sit in the top five on the The Economist’s list. These key Canadian real estate markets share the top five positions with Vienna, Austria and Melbourne, Australia. New York is used as baseline. Interestingly, some of the world’s most buoyant real estate markets are also on the list of top 100 cities.
The implication to Canada’s real estate marketplace is not directly correlative. I have many conversations with colleagues and clients who speculate about where our marketplace is getting its tenacity. Generational wealth transfer is definitely one source of Canadian real estate stability and growth. I believe the attraction of global foreign investment in a time of social, economic and environmental instability has a major impact on our market, and I think liveability taps the psyche of wealthy people the world over.
Chris Chopik is a sustainability communication and policy consultant, Realtor and real estate instructor in Toronto.