Above, Waypoint Brokers Collective’s Nova Tower
Raised in a household with an eye on minimizing waste and maximizing sustainability, Nova Tower’s upbringing and lifelong commitment to environmental responsibility is what ultimately set her on the path to help lead Portland, Maine-based Waypoint Brokers Collective—the first and only agency in Maine to earn the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) Green Designation.
“It’s different for everyone in my office, but I come from parents who were careful about waste,” says Tower. “My father was a Depression baby, so I was raised to develop a mentality that focused on recycling and reuse. As I got older, it colored everything I do in my real estate space.”
Tower began investing in multifamily properties before pursuing a real estate license to act as her own broker. She then fell in love with advising others on their real estate transactions and the community-building aspect of being a REALTOR®.
Over the years, that passion grew and attracted her to Waypoint.
Earlier this year, Tower—along with six other partners and four other affiliates (all of whom are inspired to be environmentally responsible)—upped the ante even further by doubling down on their commitment to learning about energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate.
After buckling down with a NAR Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) trainer that Waypoint brought in from Boston, Tower and her colleagues earned their Green Designations and committed to maintaining that designation going forward.
“Sustainability is something we strive for in our own homes and lives, so why not pass that on to our clients while at the same time being champions for high-performing homes and sustainability in real estate? With or without a Green Designation, in the next five years, as a broker community, we’re all going to have to be more knowledgeable in that respect than we are today,” says Tower.
“For us as a group, pledging ourselves to environmentally sustainable real estate resonates with clients. The green wave is here, and by doing this together, we amplify the message and make a public statement. And what we hear from NAR is that nobody has ever done anything like this before we started doing it at Waypoint,” says Tower, who goes on to explain that Waypoint is developing a structure to integrate the Green Designation into the business.
She and her partners also evaluate every aspect of the business, swapping reams of paper waste with QR codes and electronic data, minimizing plastics in the office and buying things such as cleaning supplies in bulk.
Waypoint also incorporates green features such as high-efficiency windows, solar panels, light sensors and heat pumps into the building’s infrastructure.
Drilling down further, Waypoint is in the early stages of integrating these behaviors into the services they provide clients, beginning with a sustainability guide that will be distributed to the firm’s entire contact database.
“It has all sorts of information about home performance improvements,” says Tower. “And if you want to DIY some of those, it has resources to help clients do that. But most importantly, it will provide a resale value on those improvements.”
Tower and the Waypoint team are already using this information to enhance the services they provide both buyers and sellers by pointing out efficiencies within the properties they’re showing, advising on how much additional investment could be made to boost a home’s green footprint, and how a potential buyer could make those improvements themselves.
“It’s all toward making informed decisions,” concludes Tower, “and helping buyers approach homeownership in a way that’s important going forward if we’re going to meet Maine’s 30% carbon neutrality goal by 2030.”
For more information, please visit https://green.realtor.