Electric homes are in demand!
July 14, 2023
They listen to our hopes and dreams, gently tell us we can’t afford a Barbie Dreamhouse, and hold the codes to a staggering amount of key boxes. Yes, we’re talking about your friendly neighborhood Realtor. Their job is to find the best home for their clients. For more and more buyers, that best home is all-electric. Real estate agents are seeing increased demand for electric homes among buyers who believe these homes are not only more efficient and comfortable, but better long-term investments, commanding higher resale values. We recently chatted with a few of these electrifying Realtors.
Craig Foley, LAER Realty Partners, Melrose, Massachusetts
I sell homes, I don’t sell climate change solutions. But the real estate industry has a fantastic opportunity to be part of a solution by building more energy-efficient homes, and to get ahead of an inevitable market transition. When a friend of mine electrified his home and added solar panels and began producing enough energy to power his house and car, I frankly saw a business opportunity – which I now also see as an obligation to my children, community, and the environment.
My wife and I did a big remodel of our 1895 Victorian home and switched from natural gas to cold climate air-source heat pumps, a heat pump hot water heater, and an induction cooktop. We made those choices for several reasons, but one of them is that I want my home to compete in the marketplace when we decide to sell. Right now there isn’t enough electrified housing stock for the demand, so my team also works with clients after the sale to access all the ways they can green up using the incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. We sell solar, too. It all adds value to my business in a way that sending yet another Red Sox calendar to clients can’t do.
Are you interested in helping electrify your community by sharing what you know?
Rewiring America and Abode Energy Management are holding a webinar on what it takes to be an energy advocate. You’ll learn about our new electric education program and how to help your friends and neighbors electrify. Join us on Monday, July 24 from 2 PM - 3 PM EST.
Wayne Beals, the Beals Group, Chicago, IL
The under-40 generation want sustainable homes and the market is not providing them. If you want a business advantage as a Realtor or home builder, you deliver the house they want, or you’re missing the boat.
Getting the fossil fuels out of our buildings isn’t a mystery; it’s something we know how to do. When people wake up in an old home and say this is never going to be efficient, that’s just not true. There’s a science to it that can save you money and make your life better. Once you insulate your house and move to electrification with heat pumps and induction stoves, you have really good air quality, new equipment that is super-efficient and eliminates combustion, and the house is a better house. Climate consciousness aside, the house is quieter, more comfortable, and has better indoor air quality. On top of that, we have the IRA, which helps pay for all this stuff.
The energy transition is challenging for many Realtors. You wake up in the morning and want to sell green homes, but there’s nothing in the MLS to sell. You’ll have 20 people who want to buy a house that doesn’t exist. So you have to be equipped to explain to clients how to change the building in ways that are now practical. We’re no longer just evaluating neighborhoods and schools, we have to evaluate climate adaptability for our clients. Realtors have enormous influence at the time the home is transacting to make improvements before a sale and to help someone buy a home that not only fits the needs of their life but also their preference to be more sustainable and comfortable.
Christopher Matos-Rogers, MID MOD ATL, Atlanta
When my husband and I looked for a fully electric house nine years ago, we got laughed at by agents. I got into real estate to serve this market, and it’s growing fast.
Electrification is not about sacrifice or doing with less or having a subpar experience. It’s about having a better experience in myriad ways. I help my clients understand different electric technologies, showing them that their water heater is old and when they replace it they have electric options and rebates.
I get a lot of new parents who are suddenly interested in indoor air quality when they bring that baby home. I have a growing group of people who are concerned with lowering their carbon footprint, but it’s really more about performance.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about electrification, including that it’s only for the rich. I made $38K a year as a marine biologist. I switched to an EV, saved money, the tax credits helped us buy a house, and then I built this real estate business helping other people do the same.
From the wire
⚡ Feeling inspired to tackle some home improvement? Read this nugget from WSJ, How to Increase the Value of Your Home With 5 Popular Home Improvements.
⚡ Ilyse Hogue Joins Rewiring America as Senior Advisor. Hogue is the former president of NARAL, the legacy women's health rights organization. She is a proven movement builder and we are thrilled to have her join our team! Read our full press release for more.
⚡ Care for some policy shop talk? Dr. Leah Stokes has you covered. Her team at UCSB just released this memo on electrification in California. This is a follow-up from a March event with multiple industry leaders, including RA’s CEO, Ari Matusiak. Video recording is also available!
⚡ Did you know we have a LinkedIn newsletter? Now you do! Subscribe to The Current for the latest in electric thinking. Latest edition penned by our Director of Research, Cora Wyent. Set it and beget it: The Pace of Progress helps us meet our electric goals.