The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its Sustainability 2017 Report, a survey of members that focuses on consumer demand for green homes. And that report indicates that 56 percent  of respondents find clients are at least somewhat interested in sustainability as they search for new homes; yet, around 31 percent of realtors taking part in the study did not feel comfortable or prepared to answer questions on the subject.

In most cases, there are several degrees of separation between door and window manufacturers and end consumers who are showing increased desire to build or remodel their homes with green attributes. For the market to reach its full potential, each touch point along the supply chain needs to be educated on the benefits and potential return on investment – from builders and architects to contractors and realtors working directly with consumers to find or build their dream homes.

The NAR report indicates that realtors indeed are seeking education and are taking steps toward differentiating themselves and their listings in their marketplace with 43 percent using the MLS green data fields.

Why is this important for us? It’s simple. Upgraded doors and windows are among the most sought-after attributes for consumers. The age and quality of doors, windows and siding were the third most important home features to consumers in the NAR report, with 39 percent indicating they are very important and 47 percent indicating that they are somewhat important.

To help drive demand, consider placing some focus on:

  1. Realtor education. It might be worth looking into opportunities to speak at local events and provide materials to realtors to help them understand not only the aesthetic benefits of new, energy-efficient windows, but also the materials and components that add to the performance and long-term durability of window systems.
  1. Consumer education. It’s always worth educating consumers on the value of upgrading their homes with energy-efficient systems, especially if they are looking to sell in the near future. Not only will they reap the benefits of lowered energy bills, but they could also potentially sell faster given the increased demand for homes with sustainable attributes.

And finally, the View from Here is that even though the demand is increasing, we need to find better and universally accepted ways to appraise the value of energy-efficient investments. Already we are seeing progress with Home Energy Rating Scores (HERS) being incorporated into some home appraisals. After all, our industry benefits when consumers see value in upgrading windows and doors.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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