As more professionals strive to become certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design pros by learning green building practices, an increasing number of residential real estate agents are seeking the EcoBroker designation.
Evergreen, Colo.-based EcoBroker International Inc. provides course work and accreditation for environmentally conscious real estate agents and brokers looking to market and sell homes with green features.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Professional Accreditation program, which started in 2001, is designed to educate architects, brokers, developers, general contractors, engineers and others of the council’s initiatives and programs. The council established the Green Building Certification Institute in November 2007 to administer and continue to develop the credential program. More than 43,000 people have earned the credential, according to the council’s Web site.
EcoBroker’s core curriculum includes innovative energy, environmental and green strategies topics for real estate professionals. Courses are created by real estate, energy, environmental, education, marketing and information technology specialists.
Classes started in December 2002 and can be taken online, by mail or in person. Ten local real estate agents have earned the EcoBroker title and a dozen more are taking classes, the company says. The $395 cost includes courses and marketing assistance.
Carlton Lund, broker with the Lund Team in Carlsbad, started EcoBroker classes last month.
“I am not doing it to sell more homes, I am doing it because it is the right thing to do,” said Lund.
“Once you gain knowledge, you can disseminate knowledge and you can be an example for other people.”
John Beldock, chief executive officer of EcoBroker International, says a large number of the 2,700 EcoBroker accredited professionals are California-based.
“It offers the consumer the opportunity to work with real estate professionals who have gone through the additional green training and sets them apart in the marketplace,” said Beldock.
In addition to having an EcoBroker on their team, Kris and Steve Berg have established their own environmentally friendly program in their Prudential California Realty-affiliated office in Scripps Ranch. The Bergs are actively reducing their dependence on paper and accepted their first green listing this year.
The residential market is a heavy user of paper, Kris Berg says. From listing brochures to all the volumes of documents signed during closing, real estate professionals buy paper by the ream.