The Green REsource Council recently unveiled its 2022 EverGreen Award winners, honoring those real estate professionals who go above and beyond to get the word out about the importance of homes with green features, promote and live the green lifestyle, and make their communities more sustainable.
Promoting sustainable living
One of this year’s winners, Jan Green, a REALTOR® with HomeSmart in Scottsdale, Arizona, has always been interested in sustainability.
Growing up in a house where her mom made an example of making old things new again, Green is no stranger to the importance of sustainable living.
Shifting her niche to specialize in energy efficiency back in 2008, Green has made it her mission to educate real estate professionals and homeowners alike about the benefits of living an environmentally friendly life.
“I knew energy efficiency was going to be very important to homeowners because saving energy and creating better indoor environments is key for people that have autoimmune diseases, asthma or are recovering from cancer,” says Green.
“My clients love what I do,” adds Green. “They can see just how important they are to me because all of this benefits them in every way, from making their homes more sustainable to lowering energy bills and saving them money.”
With a passion for teaching, Green also hosts and creates events to keep the conversation going.
“When I teach, I use my own home as a case study,” says Green, who enjoys providing real estate professionals with that “aha” moment when they understand why this is so important. “I can share the good, the bad and the ugly—but mostly the good—as far as how I’ve transformed the 1979 block house into a net-zero property that powers my electric vehicle.”
Having spent the last 14 years volunteering and advocating for a variety of green initiatives, being honored as a 2022 EverGreen Award winner is nothing short of rewarding for Green.
Education through demonstration
Another honoree of the EverGreen Award is Jan Jedlinsky, a real estate professional with Metro II Realty in Columbus, Ohio, who credits 2014 President of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Steve Brown with igniting her passion in the green movement.
“I believe every real estate professional needs to get out of themselves and what they do as far as selling houses and engage the whole big picture of what we do,” says Jedlinsky.
“It’s not just about the sale, but rather, creating value for our clients and creating better communities because stronger communities are good for REALTORS®,” she adds.
For Jedlinsky, spreading the message to others as far as what she’s doing to make the real estate housing stock better, greener and healthier is mission critical.
“After earning my Green Designation in 2018, I began attending NAR’s sustainability advisory board meetings where a plan was presented to bring the conversation to local and state associations while engaging REALTORS®,” she says.
“With tons of information out there, the idea is that we’re trying to educate through demonstration.”
To that end, Jedlinsky has been a driving force on a number of initiatives, including a bus tour of new homes showcasing builders who are incorporating energy-efficient features into their projects.
She has also organized a recent tour of Malabar Farm, a sustainable farm created in the 1940s, and is leading the charge on a tiny home project in cooperation with an affordable housing group.
“It’s exciting to see my work being recognized,” says Jedlinsky.
Going to bat for better projects
Betsy Littrell—eco-architect and REALTOR® at Village Realty in Nashville, Tennessee—is another honoree of the 2022 EverGreen Award.
As a practicing architect (she and her husband co-own MayPop Building Workshop), Littrell was keenly aware of the fact that sustainable projects weren’t making it to the market.
Wanting to go to bat for better projects that made better decisions, Littrell earned her real estate license in 2017 before obtaining her Green Designation in 2019.
“While the designation itself is important, the process involved in achieving it helped make the more abstract concepts about sustainability, resilience and stewardship more tangible as far as how they apply to the real estate transaction,” says Littrell.
Focused on low-carbon, high-performance builds that could ultimately reverse climate change, Littrell is passionate about helping people vote with their dollar for a world that is more resilient and environmentally friendly.
“We spend an enormous amount of money on—and time in—the built environment, and as consumers, we have a tremendous power to vote with a dollar that shapes the world we want to live in,” says Littrell, who is starting to get her sea legs and establish herself as a sustainable real estate expert in the industry.
“I’m thrilled to be a 2022 EverGreen Award winner. My hard work is paying off, and I’m in a better position to leverage my intellectual capital to share more freely with those that need it.”
A better place for future generations
For 2022 EverGreen Award winner Bruce Richardson, Sr., preserving what he can for the next generation is at the heart of everything he does.
“I have always tried to demonstrate to my son that once I leave this Earth, I want him to have a nice planet for both himself and his young ones,” says Richardson, Sr., a REALTOR® with Virginia Capital Realty in Richmond, Virginia.
Embracing the green mantra, Richardson, Sr. notes that the Green Designation was at the top of his list after earning his real estate license in 2008.
“The work I do is all about educating my clientele and the community at large about the environmentally friendly features available in residential construction. While most people purchase homes based on price, I would say the greater reason to look at or purchase a home is how environmentally friendly it is.”
Utilizing social media to provide content that underscores the importance of going green and being environmentally friendly, Richardson, Sr. has created a niche for himself in his local market.
On a larger scale, the green movement continues to gain traction throughout the state as well.
In fact, the law in Virginia recently changed so that builders are now required to adapt to 2019 building codes, which has brought more green features to the market while making homes tighter.
“Being recognized as a 2022 EverGreen Award winner is everything to me,” says Richardson, Sr., who is turning his attention to recent concerns raised by the African American community in regard to appraisal valuations.
“Environmentally friendly or green homes typically sell faster and for more, so when appraisal issues occur, it’s important that homeowners provide documentation as far as what has been done to make the home more energy efficient.”