LAKE TAHOE, Nev. – (May 13, 2008) –
Going green has evolved from a trend to a lifestyle as Americans have moved beyond simply recycling to pursing alternative energy sources and incorporating eco-savvy practices into a myriad of daily tasks. Now the real estate world is stepping up to accommodate this environmentally minded market and Chase International
agents are at the forefront of advancing earth-friendly practices.
The Tahoe-Reno area is home to only a handful of designated EcoBrokers, five of which work with the prestigious Chase International. JoAnn Corriera, Guy Johnson, Michelle Bater, Jennifer Casas and Valerie Forte have all recently completed courses with Eco-Broker International, becoming certified green real estate agents.The course is a designation program for licensed real estate professionals providing education about energy and environmental issues and strategies in order to accommodate and evolve with the growing green market. Certified EcoBrokers are trained to address such topics as green home certification, energy efficiency and sustainable design. Certified agents are also prepared to provide solutions for issues that may arise in real estate transactions such as mold, radon and poor indoor air quality.Required courses to achieve EcoBroker designation include EcoBroker Environmental Advantage (dealing with radon, asbestos, lead, water, mold, etc), EcoBroker Energy Advantage (covering the latest energy-efficient options and technologies) and EcoBroker Green Market Advantage (applying green knowledge to real estate transactions). All certified agents are required to take annual refresher courses.“I was pleasantly surprised regarding the depth and substance of the courses,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t mere recitation. I’m absolutely confident in assisting clients with eco-friendly concerns.”While all five agents found the entire curriculum insightful and applicable, they agree that one of the more useful lessons was the availability of green financing.“I was surprised to learn that if your home didn’t have energy-saving or eco-friendly features, financing is available to incorporate them,” Casas said.Forte’s primary focus in achieving the EcoBroker designation was to better serve her clients. “It’s not just about new construction. We have the local resources to give all homes green energy audits. My goal is to offer clients the information they need to make intelligent decisions.”Many agents have already experienced the necessity of having a working knowledge of ecological issues. Corriera took the steps to become an EcoBroker after selling a personal home for a builder that incorporated many green aspects. “After discussing the sustainability of the green market I was convinced to head in that direction. Everyone is becoming more conscious of our resources and how we use them.”While some agents chose to obtain the EcoBroker designation primarily to enhance their professional repertoire, Bater and Casas both have a personal history and devotion to living green. Bater, who was one of the first Chase agents to pursue the certification, currently lives in an environmentally friendly home in Incline Village, Nevada.“There’s definitely an increase in greener living and people are incorporating that lifestyle into their homes,” said Bater, who is also a member of the National Resource Defense Council. “I want to be able to educate and assist clients in making green choices.”Casas’ two-year-old son was the catalyst of her environmental endeavors. “It means the world to me that my son and generations after him have a world to live in. I think we’re all consciously aware of what’s going on but there’s a lack of education and the most convenient place to start is at home.”Casas is also a member of the Sierra Green Building Association (SIGBA) and is in the process of becoming an official EcoMom. EcoMom is a national alliance aimed to inspire and empower moms to help reduce the climate crisis and create a sustainable future through grass roots outreach.“I think it’s admirable that these agents have taken the initiative to become equipped to deal with this growing market,” Shari Chase, president and CEO of Chase International, said. “Our agents are constantly educating themselves in order to better serve the client, but when you can take steps to simultaneously help the environment, everyone wins.”“I’m definitely proud of this designation, as it’s where my knowledge can make a difference in the world, both professionally and personally,” Forte, who is also a member of SIGBA, said.Headquartered in Lake Tahoe, Nevada since 1986, Chase International has seven offices in the region (Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno) and one in London. Chase and its exclusive affiliations handle a large share of the nation’s property. Currently Chase International has one of the top five most expensive properties ever listed in the nation – Tranquility located at Lake Tahoe, for $100 million.With a staff of more than 140 professional realtors® boasting an array of industry certifications and the highest volume per sales agent in the area, Chase International successfully represents homes at all price levels. For more information about Chase International visit www.chaseinternational.com