Green Marketing for a Green Home

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Building a green home includes a careful focus on conservation. A “green” Realtor is making conservation a key focus of her green homemarketing plan. Laura Reedy Stukel, an EcoBroker Certified sales agent, is the listing agent for 250 N. Myrtle Avenue in Elmhurst, Illinois. A first-of-its-kind in Elmhurst, the home was built using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) checklist. Stukel developed a green marketing plan to compliment the green building plan.

“Why rely on paper to promote and sell a green home?” says the builder Linda Marick of LINDAM Property Group, Inc. Instead, the program uses digital tools including a custom website, a blog and the text messaging and photo functions on a cell phone. Other unique activities include digital staging and a series of educational open houses promoted via social media.

Stukel believes the unique package of online tools will attract the right buyer, and make it easier when it comes time to write a contract. Digital files encourage online sharing, can be referenced later, do not get lost, and eliminate at least one round of printing when making an offer.

The program will use 94% less paper than Stukel’s previous marketing plan. A double-sided postcard serves as the entire marketing brochure. The postcard provides room sizes and photos and directs buyers to the website for details. It replaces both a double-sided flyer in a flyer box outside the home and an eight-page brochure inside.

Themarketing program is designed to appeal to buyers regardless of what content delivery method they prefer: a website featuring the property’s address as the URL for basic details, a custom blog for full details and a mobile text-back service for instant information. Both the website and the text-back service are provided by ListingDomains.com at www.250NMyrtle.com. The blog is hosted by WordPress at www.250nmyrtle.wordpress.com. Disclosure forms and the home’s latest LEED checklist are hosted in the local multiple listing service byMidwest Real Estate Data.

“The blog is such a great alternative to the in-house brochure,” states Stukel. “I have much more freedom to include descriptions, photos and manufacturer links to really tell the story of this home.”

GREENMARKETING FOR A GREEN HOME
Buyers can browse by categories, keyword tags and the search function. Stukel explains that this flexibility improves the experience for each visitor. “One buyer might hit the kitchen description because that’s where they like to start and it was first up in the queue of posts,” she explains. “Another might search for ‘Viking appliances’ and a third might use the category ‘green features’.” Stukel is partnering on the site and the digital marketing of the home with a lender offering green financing. Erin Griffin of CorbyMortgage is providing online links to green loan rates and a mortgage application. She is offering the unique Green Solutions Lending program on the home. The program rewards buyers with lower interest rates and discounted fees for purchasing a green home.The digital marketing is a natural fit for Griffin. “There are no paper files in my office right now. Not one!” she says. CorbyMortgage uses a combination of secure servers to offer the online application. Then once an application is started, the Corby team scans documents or uses a digital fax system to store them. Griffin copies client files to her computer and backs them up on another secure server. Stukel is also incorporating a new real estate technology tool: digital staging. Digital staging allows a single room to be viewed in several interior design options. Stukel used services from Virtually Staging Properties to showcase the front room as both a living room and a dining room. The service adds furniture digitally to stage a photo of a vacant room. “This is a case where trying to use fewer resources creates a bonus,” explains Marick. “The floorplan was designed to be flexible and digital staging allows a buyer to envision the option that suits them best. Digital staging is the only way to show off both options at once and really highlight what is special about this home.”

Additional social media activities have successfully drawn over 300 people to tour the home through special events. The main events were a series of open houses called “Green Reality Checks” to allow local residents to take a self-guided tour through the home and learn about green features from the local contractors who installed them. Stukel is hoping that making the home available beyond those who are actively shopping for a green home will make others aware of the unique features and could eventually lead to the right buyer. All the events were promoted using social media tools such as Stukel’s own blog, Evite for online invitations, Facebook, a local email distribution list for green-minded residents and local online calendars such as the ones offered by the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce and local newspapers.

The home was built by LINDAM Property Group. It is listed for sale at $829,900. Contact Stukel at 773-251-1631 or visit www.250NMyrtle.com for full details.

About Linda Marick/Lindam Property Group
Contact: 630-841-9439

About US Green Building Council
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System
See website for details

About Laura Reedy Stukel
Laura Reedy Stukel is an experienced Realtor ® at L.W. Reedy, carrying on the legacy her grandfather started nearly 60 years ago. She is an EcoBroker Certified ® agent with advanced understanding of the energy and environmental issues important to home buyers and sellers. Stukel created the proprietary Ready, Set, Green Homessm program to address a gap in green homes locally. The program encourages green building practices while remodeling homes. It also includes assistance with local green lending to help buyers secure better financing for green projects. And, it enables sellers to assist buyers in the process to secure green funding. Stukel blogs about local green real estate topics in a friendly and money-conscious manner at www.greenreedyhomes.com. She can be reached at 773/251-1631.

About L.W. Reedy Real Estate
Founded in 1951, the firm has expanded from a one man office to one with more than 75 sales associates. Maintaining a quality reputation for over 50 years, the company focuses on personal service, integrity and technology to gain the trust of clients. The company’s history dates back to Larry Reedy, Sr., known as the “Old Pro,” who used his unique charisma to bond with a family and match them with their dream home. It is a tradition that continues today. Its homepage is www.lwreedy.com. L.W. Reedy is located at 101 N. York Road in Elmhurst, Illinois.

About Erin Griffin, Corby Mortgage
Erin has worked in the financial and real estate sectors for nine years and has been with Corby Mortgage Services for five years. Having lived and experienced the beauty of Alaska forever made an impression on Erin. The environment is of the utmost importance at this critical time, and any progressive action to help should be rewarded! Erin has taken her passion for nature and created the “Green Solutions” Lending Program.
http://www.greenmortgagenews.com/

About Virtually Staging Properties
http://virtuallystagingproperties.com/about-virtual-staging.html
Contact: 630-841-9439

AboutWordpress
http://wordpress.org/about/

About Listing Domains
http://www.listingdomains.com/main/about.asp

By Amanda CorneliusAmanda Cornelius on FacebookAmanda Cornelius on Google+Amanda Cornelius on Twitter Visit author's website

Amanda is the Co-Founder and CEO of Properties Online, Inc, a website technology company created to help agents and brokers grow their business. Along with her husband Greg, Amanda co-owns a real estate brokerage located in Northern California with 9 offices and over 250 agents. Amanda holds a BA in Film and Electronic Arts from California State University Long Beach, and has worked in the film, internet and print industries for over 25 years designing marketing materials for Dick Clark Productions, John Travolta Productions, Warner Bros., Disney, Bob Hope and more.

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