2 Ways to Show Clients You Care About Sustainability

Linda Wilson, broker-owner of Wilson Realty in St. Petersburg, Fla., had to tread lightly when working with a feuding family recently. The family was clearing out a deceased relative’s condo and arguing over which items to keep and throw away. “One of the siblings said, ‘I don’t know what to do,’” Wilson recalls. “I stepped in and offered a solution.”

Wilson recommended 1-800-GOT-JUNK?—a junk removal service that offers discounts to members of the National Association of REALTORS® and their clients through NAR REALTOR Benefits®. The service enables users to photograph their belongings and categorize what they want to keep and what they want 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to haul away. (Save $50 when you use promo code NAR50.)

The items Wilson’s clients were fighting over were sentimental to their loved one, making the task of sifting through everything daunting and difficult. “Hiring a professional, neutral party to manage the process eased the burden during this emotional time,” Wilson says. “1-800-GOT-JUNK? allowed the family to focus on what mattered most.”

That may sound like the whole reason to use the service, but there’s another benefit. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? prioritizes giving recovered items a second life and keeping them out of landfills. The company’s commitment to sustainability practices reflects well on Wilson, whose recommendation demonstrates to clients her understanding of the green lifestyle—a pillar of showing value to consumers.

Show Your Value Through Recommendations

Sustainability, a pillar of NAR’s core values, may seem elusive to real estate professionals who are concerned that they have to completely overhaul their business to become more eco-friendly. Instead, you can take simple, impactful actions every day to demonstrate your green expertise. And an easy way to do that is to be mindful of the products and services you recommend to clients. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and the GE Appliances Store, another NAR REALTOR® Benefits partner, are two such examples that can draw the connection between your business and green living.

“Seeing a lifetime of stuff get thrown away can add heartache,” Wilson says of her clients. She’s working with a retired English teacher who is terminally ill and recently moved out of her longtime home. “She has an extensive book collection. Her books are her treasures. If 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can help find a donation center, that would be wonderful. They can’t go to a landfill.”

Saving personal memorabilia from being taken to a junkyard is a gesture that strengthens Wilson’s bonds with her clients. “If I can say to them, ‘We’ll do everything possible to repurpose or donate usable items,’ that can be very meaningful to them.”

Enhance the Customer Experience

Some clients are more intentional about going green—and saving a buck or two in the process. Buyers and sellers may be prioritizing energy efficiency in the transaction, a trend confirmed by NAR’s 2023 REALTORS® & Sustainability Report – Residential. To cater to this market, agents can suggest simple upgrades that enhance a home’s appeal for both cost-conscious and environmentally conscious buyers.

Learn more about all the benefits you get as an NAR member at NAR REALTOR Benefits®.

For example, recommending Energy Star–certified appliances and LED lightbulbs can translate directly to savings on utility bills and reduced energy consumption. Through the NAR REALTOR Benefits® program, REALTORS® receive exclusive discounts on a wide range of Energy Star–certified GE appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers and icemakers, through a private online shopping portal. Popular brands like Profile™, Cafe™, GE®, Monogram®, Haier and Hotpoint® are all included, with current savings of up to 40% on select products via a private online shopping site. 

Vince Saragosa, ABR, CRS, broker-owner of World Showcase Realty in Shelby Township, Mich., recently won a GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker at an NAR event raffle and placed it in his home kitchen. “It’s whisper-quiet while it’s making ice,” he says, “and the ice nuggets have been a lifesaver in the summertime.” Saragosa highlights to his customers GE’s reputation for being on the forefront of technology and energy efficiency, and he values their reliability as a brand.

For sellers interested in further enhancing efficiency, an energy expert can help design a customized package of smart appliances from GE Appliances.  This might include the innovative GE Appliances EcoBalance System, newly launched in partnership with Savant, which integrates with GE Profile™, GE® and Monogram® appliances. Savant’s smart lighting and power products offer homeowners a complete energy-saving solution at various price points, even including clean energy generation and storage options.

Finally, for sellers replacing appliances with eco-friendly models, remember that many old appliances can be recycled if they’re still functional. GE offers its own recycling program and was the first appliance manufacturer to implement the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program, demonstrating their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste.

By partnering with environmentally conscious companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and GE Appliances, real estate pros can contribute to a sustainable future for their clients. These partnerships offer solutions that benefit both your business and the properties you represent.

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