How I Green My Listing Part 1


“We should be ready by the end of this year, May, start preparing for the Grand Opening”.  For the past two years I have put my heart and soul into the project, Magnolia Courts at La Verne. This is a newly constructed 101 residence community for active adults ages 55+, and is set to be the first award winning, ENERGY STAR qualified senior condos in the San Gabriel Valley.  Looking back, I remember the day of the listing appointment when my team and I were at the presentation table. There was a vision that both the developer and I had in common.   Ms. Chang and Dr. Fortanasce envisioned their new development to be a community for baby-boomers living independent lives while maintaining an active lifestyle and promote community living.  They also focused on building a home that would be energy efficient to help owners live comfortably and save money.  They showed me their ideas of installing radiant barriers, solar ready conduits, and other such green building technology.   Dr. Fortanasce was passionate talking about energy efficiency, and I was excited and we were bouncing ideas around the table.  Everyone else smiled and nodded, they had no idea we we were talking about, but it sounded like something “cool” to sell this project.  This was a memorable event for me in my professional career because it was the first time I had a client who shared the same passion and vision of building quality homes. 


Two  years have passed, and after countless phone calls, follow ups, hang ups, meetings, lunches, dinners, research, proposals, and analysis, that vision is becoming a reality.  Despite the downfall of the real estate market in which most people focus on discounting, I try to focus on creating value by helping my clients build something everyone needs; a home that helps homeowners save money and live well.  And yes it was difficult  thinking of exactly the opposite of what everyone else is thinking, but I felt it was better to embark where no one else is embarking.  I learned a lot throughout my journey of greening my listing and there’s still so much more to learn.  I learned that I’m not alone on this journey. I am very fortunate to have a community of green affiliates whose knowledge and experiences make me blessed.   Architects  share what they’re doing  with their projects with me, contractors are helping me with the latest building methods, LEED AP’s who have a vast knowledge of materials and resources, and of course, the GreenGirls giving me a channel to share my passion. 

I have also learned what building green really means.  For example, there was a chance we try to install solar panels on the entire project, but that would mean to increase the developer’s expense, thus increase purchase price above market value to future homeowners.  Instead, developers focus on insulation and advance windows to reduce energy usage and install solar ready conduits for future homeowners to have the option to install solar panels.  Magnolia Courts may not be sexy as some of the projects I have blogged about in the past, such as the W Residence in Hollywood, Cherokee Studio & Lofts, and Green on 19th in Santa Monica.  Magnolia Courts provide the need for affordable and sustainable senior housing in the city so that future homeowners can live in a home that is comfortable and well built. This project is profitable from the rebates and credits, thus achieve developers bottom line.   

There are so many things I wish to include in this blog. I’ll separate this into parts or else it will be a book, a manual of how to green a listing, but I wish to share with everyone the main point which is that shared passion and goals are achievable.  When my client and I shared the same vision of Magnolia Courts, the vision in our mind has already become a reality by believing it can be achieved.  Honestly, I am both scared and excited at the same time in bringing a 30 million dollar project to market next year.   Scared because it’s the biggest listing I’ve embarked on since I was licensed in 2005, and excited too because it’s the first listing I was able to work side by side with my client since construction to make this project greener.  But I have learned that challenging my capacity is how I can change and grow personally and professionally; if there’s something I think I cannot do, then that’s something I must do.    


*I'm preparing gift bags for the grand opening for my project Magnolia Courts at La Verne, total of 1000 bags.  Our team expects approx 800-1000 attendees, there will media/press, businesses, politicians, neighbors, brokers, and potential buyers,  I'm looking for vendors that would like to promote their products/ services to health conscious home owners ages 55+.  If you like to be included to be in our gift bags, please email me

Coming Soon in 2011


Be Green, Be Gorgeous!

May Hsu is a Real Estate Professional based in Pasadena, CA, specialize in selling and buying real estate in the San Gabriel Valley.  May is dedicated to promote green building and green real estate practice, health, and environmental issues.


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