Zephyr Real Estate Agent Intent on Greening San Francisco One Home at a Time
Posted by Karen Monroe — August 5, 2007
Michelle Stephens Committed to Sustainable Building Practices & Products SAN FRANCISCO – (Aug. 6, 2007) – Michelle Stephens is on a mission. The Zephyr Real Estate agent is both personally and professionally committed to “greening San Francisco one home at a time.” She is approaching this effort through education and example, and is preparing to deliver presentations at two high-profile green expos: West Coast Green on September 20-22 at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® Tech Expo and Diversity Day, where the focus for this year’s local event on October 29 is green.“There are so many ways we can incorporate green and sustainability into our lives and properties,” said Stephens, 40, who works from Zephyr’s Potrero Hill office, Ford Real Estate. “People don’t always know what they can do. It’s about education and inspiring people to make better choices for the environment. If everyone took just one step in this direction, the impact would be amazing.”A REALTOR® since 1994, Stephens took on the green focus about three years ago when she realized she could marry her personal beliefs with her professional practices to offer greater value to her life and clients. She earned certification as a Green Building Professional from Build It Green, a local non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy and resource-efficient buildings in California. This distinction gave her a broad education and foundation for all the ways possible to go green in building and remodeling a home. She will soon earn her Eco Broker specialization, the other professional designation available for real-estate practitioners to become experts in the area of sustainability and green.Over the years, Stephens has noticed a shift in clients’ environmental consciousness. From installing energy-efficient lighting and solar panels, to requesting FSC-certified lumber, low-VOC paints and bamboo flooring, the demand for sustainable products is increasing. This is a good thing, she explained. “By increasing the demand, we are helping lower the price,” which makes environmentally sound building products and practices available to everyone.From a global perspective, the long-term benefits of going green contribute to a healthier planet, cleaner air quality, and preservation of our valuable resources, she said. Stephens is a proponent of consuming less, reusing more, and leaving the cars in the garage whenever possible. She is in favor of walking and biking for transportation, and is a member of the San Francisco Bike Coalition.The largest independent real-estate firm in the city, Zephyr has also taken a leading role as a company committed to green. The Potrero Hill Zephyr office is close to becoming a Green Business in accordance with the San Francisco Office of the Environment.Stephens participates in a green networking group, which supports the continued discussion and promotion of green across real estate related industries such as staging, interior design, construction and lending.“It is important to try to make a difference,” Stephens said. “My intent is to influence all the industries I work with in making green choices and introducing them to the Green Business program the city offers.”Zephyr Real EstateFounded in 1978, Zephyr Real Estate is San Francisco’s largest independent real-estate firm with nearly $1.5 billion in annual gross sales in 2006 and a current roster of more than 250 full-time agents. Zephyr has seven offices strategically located in San Francisco and serves a large customer base throughout the city. For information, visit www.zephyrsf.com.