REALTORS® in western Washington have been lining up to attend the Sustainability Training for Accredited Real Estate Professionals (S.T.A.R.) offered in Kitsap County by Earth Advantage in through RePower Kitsap. The free, accredited S.T.A.R. course—sponsored in partnership with the RePower program, U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Initiative, Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program, and Conservation Services Group—prepares real estate professionals to market and sell new and remodeled "green" homes. After taking the two-day course, which includes visits to two energy-efficient homes, real estate professionals are able to identify which features and building products provide greater energy and water efficiency and create a healthier living environment for their clients. The success of S.T.A.R. didn't happen overnight; it is the result of determined effort, effective marketing, and word-of-mouth excitement.
Early attempts to deliver this training in Kitsap County were unsuccessful due to low attendance, but the S.T.A.R. course was nudged into the spotlight this year by the Kitsap County Association of REALTORS® (KCAR). RePower cultivated a partnership with KCAR, which began promoting the S.T.A.R. course to its membership. KCAR let its members know that REALTORS® could earn 13 hours of professional development approved by the Washington State Real Estate Commission while they learned about sustainable features in homes. Word of mouth began to build as those who completed the course shared its value with others in the real estate community.
Based on the high level of interest expressed by REALTORS® in Kitsap County, an additional class was scheduled, only to fill up in just a few hours. After taking the course, Judy Scott of Reid Real Estate said, "I believe this course is a must for all real estate professionals. It gives you a better understanding of truly energy-efficient building practices."
The success of S.T.A.R. is a win for everyone. RePower Kitsap and the WSU Energy Program received assistance in promoting the course and realized a dramatic increase in registrations; KCAR was able to offer a valuable training opportunity to its members; and real estate professionals gained access to the class free of charge and came away with timely insights that promise to change the marketplace in Kitsap County. Learn more about S.T.A.R.
"Earth Advantage gave an excellent course to help you not only become more informed about the advancing world of 'greener' building/ remodeling/upgrades, but also how to market these wonderful methods, materials, and certifications for homes!"