Atlanta Building News - Spring 2018 - 29
EarthCraft Looks to
Real Estate Market
By David Bailey, Southface
Over the past year, EarthCraft underwent some relatively
large updates that overhauled its existing technical guidelines
and framework, and 2018 will continue to be a transformative
year for the high performance and green building certification
program. In January, the EarthCraft House certification began
its transition to EarthCraft House Version 2, a simplified and
more streamlined path to certification for project teams.
Similarly, the EarthCraft Light Commercial program launched
its second version in addition to a certification path for existing
commercial interior spaces known as "EarthCraft Light
Commercial Fit Out."
Now, the program is looking to take its updates to the
real estate market. "We're very excited to re-engage with
realtors and the housing market across metro Atlanta and the
Southeast," said Amelia Godfrey, EarthCraft program manager.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2016 there were
more than 7,200 real estate agents in the metro Atlanta area.
For programs like EarthCraft, these realtors are an untapped
demographic that can provide a direct path to the consumer.
"The Atlanta realtor market provides us with a great
opportunity to connect with homebuyers and communicate the
benefits of an EarthCraft home," Godfrey said. "Realtors are
well-informed of homebuyers' interests, and it's this expertise
that EarthCraft hopes to tap into. We are professionals in
making efficient, quality homes, and realtors are professionals
in selling them."
Several years ago, EarthCraft was involved in realtor
education, providing real estate professionals with a basic
understanding of the EarthCraft House program. But courses
were sparsely attended, largely because Atlanta (as well as
the rest of the United States) was in an economic recession.
As a result, the EarthCraft Realtor course was paused.
Today, EarthCraft is partnering with the Atlanta REALTORS©
Association in an effort to bring back EarthCraft Realtor
training and connect realtors with the EarthCraft network.
Both organizations hope that the revitalized housing market
and a growing interest in green home purchases will spur
realtors to learn more about EarthCraft and its benefits.
"This partnership came at the perfect time," Godfrey
said. "Right as our team was looking at options to connect
the program with homebuyers, the Atlanta REALTORS©
Association was looking to offer regional agents training in
selling green homes."
Christopher Matos-Rogers, an Atlanta-based realtor, has
been working to bring such a course to the area, sensing a
growing interest in "green" among other realtors.
"The Atlanta REALTORS© Association has its finger on the
pulse of the market, and consumer interest in sustainable
building is growing," he said. "As the green home market
has matured, new 'must-have' tech and financial savings
are greatly increasing public interest in high-performance
The Green Designation is a course provided by the
National Association of REALTORS© that offers training
for agents on how to understand and market homes and
properties that incorporate green features. While there is the
option to pursue the course online, the classroom experience
has not typically been offered in the Southeast. Realtors who
have an interest in pursuing the Green Designation have had
to travel outside of Georgia to take the in-person training.
"[Realtors] should be able to effectively market and
substantiate a higher market value for green properties,"
Matos-Rogers said. "I am excited for ARA's new
Sustainability Committee and multiple green education
classes in 2018. These new initiatives will help our
REALTOR© members represent EarthCraft properties by
educating and connecting them with a green network." As
a result, EarthCraft hopes this is an opportunity to more
closely connect with the end consumer.
The push to get in front of consumers is a new marketing
approach for EarthCraft. In the past, much of EarthCraft's
success was buoyed by the building science expertise that
the program is known for. In today's market, green building
programs are plentiful, and some builders are shifting
their business models to establish their own sustainable
construction standards. In order to remain competitive,
EarthCraft believes that leading with the inherent benefits of