For several months now, this question has been gnawing at me.
Why isn’t real estate, as an industry, greener?
I have been selling real estate myself for about 10 years. I have watched my husband develop and build real estate for about 5 years. I manage a team of agents in Austin, Texas.
I’d say most people in Austin care about the environment, bringing bags to the store, recycling, buying organic food, driving electric cars. And yet, I had a nagging sense that there were simple opportunities that we were missing every day in our industry to be more resource efficient and sustainable. As it turns out, real estate accounts for about 40% of the world’s energy consumption and construction and demolition contribute a staggering amount of waste to landfills.
Yes of course all buildings being made of recycled materials and having gray water systems and solar panels and a LEED certification would be great. But that’s not happening tomorrow, and it’s cost-prohibitive. I had a feeling there were some affordable, efficient and actionable changes that could be implemented on a broad scale that even people who don’t consider themselves die-hard environmentalists could be sold on.
I was sure I couldn’t be the only one thinking about this. And I was correct. Luckily, I stumbled upon a podcast, The Regenerative Real Estate Podcast, which led me to a class offered by National Association of Realtors called GREEN, designed to educate agents about energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate.
Suffice it to say I’m very jazzed about this topic. I will not claim to be the most resource efficient person around. I know I have lots of areas where I could improve. I know there are very committed people out there living zero-waste, plastic-free and carbon-neutral lifestyles, and I commend them. I’m not one of them, and I don’t plan to be. But I still care, and I suspect I’m not alone in this. So I’ve also found myself very intrigued by the idea “what if I could do just 5% better, and share information that inspires other people to do the same, particularly in regards to their real estate?”
So my question for you is, does that topic interest you? If so, I’ll start sharing more of what I learn in these newsletters. Let me know!
WIRE Sales Team Theme for October-Facing Your Fears
Each week, the WIRE sales team gets together on Zoom to do one hour of training and mentoring on sales-related topics. In October, we decided to play off of Halloween and focus on facing our fears. I think everyone can think of a time when fear has held them back from something they wanted to achieve. And my experience is that particularly for real estate agents, fear can be a career killer. It drives agents out of the business in droves every year.
It sounds like “What if I upset someone? What if I call them but they don’t want to hear from me? What if I’m not worth my fee? What if I mess up? What if I’m not cut out to run my own business? What if people think I sound like a salesperson?”
So in October, we spent some time on our calls reflecting on the question “What’s something that scared you last week? What pushed you out of your comfort zone? How did you respond?”
Now I’m not someone who pretends that fear is bad. It exists for a reason, and it serves us well sometimes. But when it comes to fears of rejections, fears about money, fears about asking for the business, fears about not being worthy enough… those fears usually don’t protect us. Rather, they hold us back from reaching our full potential.
I’ve found for me that the only way to know the difference between a fear that serves us and one that doesn’t is to look it in the face. Get to know your fears. Face them. Ask them questions. Sit with them. Acknowledge them to yourself and people who support you. That’s what we did as a team this month, and I watched women on my team have breakthroughs, trying things they’d avoided for years, in some cases, and saying afterwards “that was easy. Why did I wait so long?” And that’s the kind of thing that keeps me showing up for work every day.
Austin Market Update
Some of the biggest real estate news in October was about Zillow pausing its iBuying program and laying off a large number of employees. Within days of the announcements, the news was everywhere. Bottom line: using algorithms to price real estate is dicey.
There was plenty of talk earlier in the year about how Zillow’s iBuying program would be the death of real estate agents. I’ve been hearing the doom and gloom about the death of real estate agents for a decade now, and mentors of mine say it’s been a favorite theme for decades before that.
We are grateful to each and every one of you for continuing to support us all these years, and we know that we continue to thrive, alongside disruptors like Zillow, because of our relationships with wonderful people like you.
Our takeaway message is this: There are things computers are good at, and there are things human beings are good at. We need both. We’ll continue to be here for you in making big real estate decisions. We’re not going anywhere any time soon.
Contracts and Closings
507 Battle Bend BlvdAustin, TX 78745
Karen worked with Alex and Julia to purchase a property in South Austin. Alex and Julia were first time home buyers and Karen walked them through the process and supported them throughout the transaction. Thank you for trusting the WIRE Austin Team with such an important investment Alex and Julia! Contgrats!
1205 Merlene Dr. Austin, TX 78732
This was a very special transaction as it was a first home purchase by our very own Gabrielle! Gabrielle was ready to make the decision to buy a home in Austin for long term investment. Her precious pup, Aurora may have influenced the decision as well 🙂 Congrats, Gabrielle!
8412 Spring Valley Dr. Austin, TX 78736 and 6016 Taylorcrest Dr. Austin, TX 78749
Cindy worked with Roxana and Ben to sell and buy a new home simultaneously! It can be overwhelming to do a transaction this way but Cindy was able to strategize and plan with Roxana and Ben to make sure their real estate goals were met. We are thrilled for their successful transactions- congrats Ben and Roxana!
5603 Kayview Dr. Austin, TX 78749
The WIRE Austin Team had the pleasure of working with Joe a second time to help him sell his gorgeous home in South Austin. Congrats, Joe!
3504 Gonzales St #1Austin, TX 78702
Cindy and Morgan worked with repeat clients Amanda and Tim to purchase a gorgeous home on the east side. This transaction involved some tricky logistics and Amanda and Tim took everything in stride. Congratulations Tim and Amanda!
Cheers to a joyful holiday season.
-The WIRE Austin Team