The dramatic changes in the environment have a large impact on how and where people live, according to the National Association of Realtors. To face these new challenges, the NAR has sponsored the first environmental summit where realtor leaders will hear from the nation's foremost experts on environmental risk management.
"Dramatic changes in our environment will have an impact on how and where people want to live, which will inevitably transform local real estate markets. This summit is an opportunity for Realtors to assess and prioritize the wide variety of environmental risks that could affect the way people buy and sell property," said NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors in Dayton, Ohio.
The slate of distinguished speakers includes Dan Glickman, who served as the Secretary of Agriculture under President Clinton, and Tom Ridge, first Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, former Governor of Pennsylvania, president and CEO of Ridge Global and partner at Ridge-Schmidt Cyber.
Home buyers are already showing sensitivity to the larger environment. Consumer preferences for walkable communities and energy-efficient homes are on the rise, according to NAR research, which also shows a considerable and growing market for green buildings.
NAR created the Green REsource Council in 2008 to educate Realtors® about green industry standards and developing their own green business practices. The council's main function is administering NAR's GREEN Designation program. Since the program's inception, nearly 9,000 Realtors® have received the designation.
"As scientists speculate that extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, the decade-long drought in the Southwest, and natural disasters like the mega-wildfires in Arizona, are going to occur with greater frequency, it is even more important that we begin to think about what this means for existing homes and businesses as well as new construction. This summit is just the beginning of the conversations that Realtors will continue to have about the environment and its impact on our industry," said Brown.
Panel topics include the economic impact of environmental changes, politics of natural resource management, public perceptions of environmental risks and threats, smart growth, and environmental regulations and protections.
Homebuyers, real estate companies and agents can also use available technologies to determine if the properties they are buying or selling are affected by the environmental challenges.
In addition to online listings, home buyers, real estate companies and agents now relying on the power of video to assist them in determining the value of the property.
Drones have become increasingly popular over the past several months because of this, giving people a glimpse of what the neighborhood and the surrounding environment of the property looks like.
But more popular is RealBiz's virtual tour program that is developed through HTML5 and optimized for mobile devices. Agents enrolled in the program can have unlimited virtual tours created that allow clients to have an interactive tour of a property. It allows customers to see and explore and accurate representation of the house of building through interactive video.
RealBiz Media reported that since it rolled out its Nestbuilder Agent and MVA video platform, it has received 15,000 active users and published 24,000 videos.
Its consumer site Nestbuilder.com, which hosts 1.6 million videos, has also had 51 percent increase in return visitors and 196 percent increase in page views.
Because of the effectiveness of videos and the ease of use of the programs, RealBiz now has a client base of 350,000 real estate agents.