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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In Today’s World, Real Estate Professionals Need to Be EcoBrokers

[Published Jan. 29, 2015, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section. An abbreviated version also appeared in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.]

It’s hard to deny that we are facing a serious global challenge in energy, water, pollution, health and climate.  We ignore these challenges at our peril.  The good news is that God has brought us solutions to the problems which confront us. These solutions can only be implemented by us as individuals in our own lives and in our own homes, and that’s where EcoBrokers can serve you.

Since founding Golden Real Estate in 2008, I have been the only EcoBroker at our firm, although I haven’t promoted that fact, preferring simply to write about related issues on occasion.

So when John Beldock, founder and CEO of EcoBroker, asked to have lunch with me and I suggested he use the occasion to speak about the EcoBroker designation to our agents, you can imagine my delight that all nine of our broker associates chose to sign up for the training and to become EcoBrokers themselves. 

This Monday I joined them as they took part 1 of the 3-day training.  Parts 2 and 3 will be next Monday and the following Monday.

I’m glad I joined them not only to refresh my own training on “green” topics but to be part of the lively conversation that only happens in a classroom.  (You can take the training online, as I did in 2008, but John Beldock offered to teach the course personally to our agents, plus a title rep and a real estate attorney with whom we work on occasion.) 

This week’s day-long class was on environmental issues. John taught us about radon, lead, water quality, mold, asbestos, indoor air quality, historical contamination, green building and health.  You’d think a 6-hour class might drag on, but it was so interesting and interactive that we took only one break, and before we knew it, the day was over!

One of the big takeaways from this week’s class is that no one can learn it all, because the fields of energy and sustainability are always evolving.  What we learn above all is to be sensitive to these issues, not pretend to know all the answers, and to build a network of specialists who can help our clients achieve “LOHAS” — a Lifestyle Of Health & Sustainability.

Although I was only auditing the class, I learned so much that I didn't know, reinforcing John’s point that we can never learn everything there is to know about these topics. 

That point was also reinforced last week by an email I got from a local solar photovoltaic contractor in response to my column with the headline “Second Thoughts About Rooftop Solar.” As a person who has both a solar-powered home and solar-powered office, I try to stay current on solar PV, but I was stunned by the changes in solar PV of which I was unaware. See the article posted earlier today.

Next week’s EcoBroker class is about solar, and I look forward to sharing what we learn with you.


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