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National Association of Realtors (NAR) Goes Green

A few years ago, I was critical of the EcoBroker designation in this post and this one. My issue with it was that it was just another way to add to the alphabet soup after a Realtor’s name and that it is pay-to-play with no endorsement from a national body (or at least one that I recognize). While the commercial feel of the site has been toned down I’m still not sure $395 class fee and $129 annual renewal is a good use of agent’s money. NAR has just unveiled their Green designation. The $125 course is available in a live format now and will be online at the beginning of the year. I haven’t taken either course nor delved deep into either website. I do notice that the EcoBroker class is 18 hours compared to only six for NAR’s. I don’t always agree with my Association but something makes me think that unless there is a unified body endorsing classes, the classes have a lack of credibility. But now that NAR has their own class, they are benefitting of the Green train too. I’m not sure why, as the EcoBroker site states “NAR does not recognize or endorse any third party designation programs regardless of their level of quality” other than the fact that they are making money of their own programs so cannot be unbiased either.

And that leaves me with a quandary. Earth Advantage has their STAR class which I have not taken either; our team member Susan Horvat has. I know and respect the organization and it is local. If I’m okay with the STAR class is it hypocritical not to be okay with the EcoBroker class? I’ll take at least one of these classes, maybe more as I work towards my continuing education hours for my license renewal in July. Maybe I’ll try to review all of them.

There are at least three “Green” certifications out there for local Realtors (Hasson has their own certification as well). I don’t see any LEED certification directed to Realtors specifically.

2 Comments on “National Association of Realtors (NAR) Goes Green

  1. Charles,

    Good comments. I believe that it is important to identify the position statement for each of the classes offered. Our 2-day S.T.A.R. class offers a locally relevant perspective on green building to allow a Realtor to differentiate themselves from the traditional market, videlicet, use the certification as a sales tool while Ecobroker instructs a participant on the best defense to environmental issues that may occur. Like the NAR designation, it is national in perspective. Many Realtors ask us which is the best class to invest their time. We always respond that if one can afford it, they are all good in their particular way and they occupy a pretty clear hierarchy. I will comment that I have observed S.T.A.R. graduates generating tangible sales of green homes due to the learning that transpired in our class, and I see that as a sign of relevancy.

    Kindly yours,

    Sean Penrith

  2. Charles,

    The NAR course is 18 hours as well. The $125 course is 6 hours but that is only part of the program’s requirements.

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