EcoBroker program comes to Lowcountry

Image by flickr user clownfishImage by 20080707solar.jpg Having an environmentally friendly home requires more than just installing solar panels these days.

As the push to save energy and be environmentally friendly becomes one of the hottest issues in real estate, a local group has started offering a green certification for real estate agents. The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors began the EcoBroker program online about a year ago, and eight agents have earned the designation so far.

So what does it mean to be an EcoBroker? Well, according to the program's Web site, "EcoBroker helps you stay current with the growing green real estate market and the opportunities it presents. EcoBroker's core curriculum offers innovative energy, environmental, and green strategies and tools for real estate professionals."

From the Charleston Regional Business Journal:

“Our members who earn the EcoBroker designation differentiate themselves as real estate professionals who have received specific training to become knowledgeable of energy and environmental issues related to the growing green real estate market,” said Lora Able, director of education for the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Marshall Walker, a Charleston-based broker associate and accredited buyer’s agent with Keller Williams Realty, recently received his EcoBroker designation. For him, it’s a matter of staying ahead of the curve.

“I went through this program because I truly believe that people doing green construction and green homes today are setting the standard for tomorrow,” he said. “Today’s green homes are tomorrow’s standard homes.

And if you're curious about what exactly the courses cover, here's what the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors Web site has to say on the three courses it currently offers:

EcoBroker Environmental Advantage: Learn how to constructively address environmental issues such as radon, asbestos, lead, water, mold, indoor air quality, and other issues that may arise during real estate transactions. Reduce liabilities and save deals by learning to work through environmental issues.

EcoBroker Energy Advantage: Learn about energy efficiency technologies, sustainable energy options, and mortgage options that can provide thousands of dollars worth of energy efficiency improvements for a home at the closing table. Catch up with green home certification programs, such as Built Green® Colorado and Energy Star Quality Homes, so the next time you encounter one, you can speak to its features and attributes.

EcoBroker Green Market Advantage: Learn how your energy and environmental training can add value to all your transactions, with consumers who consider themselves green-minded and those who don't! Identify new markets where your EcoBroker Designation will have appeal and impact. Generate more business from these new relationships and markets.

So, if you're looking for an environmentally friendly home, one of these agents would probably be the place to start.