My Real Estate Association Goes Green!

Being part of the tech committee for the Arcadia Association of Realtors has been an interesting experience.  Every year the committee is responsible to hold an annual expo for local Real Estate Professionals for the San Gabriel Valley. 

For the 13th year, it's the first time we have our theme to be going green.  "Win, Place, or Show me the Green" as we call the theme this year, the expo is held at the world famous Santa Anita Race Track.  When Ryan Asao the Vice President of the associaiton insist me to be part of the team, "May I need you this year in our committee because we want to go green, and you're the only green realtor I know!"  I was pretty surprised to see some of my fellow Realtors are now very interested in the subject because it seems like last year no one really cares.  I felt a bit different while every Realtors seem to be focusing on Short sale properties and Bank Owned Properties, I began to focus on green properties.  Perhaps it is the market that we're in and with all the attention media has push toward being green, green building has definitely started to get recognize in my area.  Or maybe it is because we want to think outside the box and bring new ideas and new vendors that can help our real estate business better…greener that is.

At the board meetings, all members brainstorm ideas of how the expo should become greener.  From ideas like we should print all our flyers with recycled paper to getting green experts speak in our event, I think this year's expo will be a great success.  

So far these were some ideas how we green our expo:

1) The expo will have an e-waste collection program which will be held in front of the entrance, anyone that have electronic waste such as cell phones, pcs, printers, etc., can drop off and the proceed will be donated to green non-profit organizations.  Agents and brokers are encouraged to dump their e-waste, afterall, you've already have the latest Blackberry and digital cameras.

2)  There will be a green panel held in the afternoon called "Steps to a Greener Transaction" which we have 4 experts to talk about how to really green your transactions.  I mean how to really help my sellers and buyers save money with tax credits, rebates, and incentives if you make your home greener and how to green your business.  Experts like Bob Hart will educate Realtors about the new sustabianble properties designation, Jeff Brichmont from Modern Earth Finance will talk about Energy Efficient Financing, John Shipman will share his knowledge and experience as an Energy Rater, and Paul Yeh will share will us all the rebates and incentives from Sol Cal Edison. 

3) Our sponsors like Longo Toyota will be showcasing their 2010 new models.  I hope they will bring their new 2010 Toyota Prius with the solar powered sun roof!  Makes me want to trade my Prius for the new one…

4) Non profit organizations like the USGBC- LA chapter, CHEERS, and EcoHomes will be there to answer any questions Realtors will have about green buildings, energy rating, and green remodeling, thus in turn Realtors can take the knowledge and share with their clients.

5) Oh and yes we did print all of our flyers on recycled paper, our staff shirts are made from hemp and organic tees (graciously made by my good friend Frank Anguli from Natural High Lifestyle), use bio composables lunch boxes for the lunch event, and our main giveaway prize is "the green realtor on the go" package which consist of a laptop, digital camera with vitural tour lense, and portable printer.  And if you didn't win that prize, maybe you'll still have the chance to win the Nintendo Wii. 

Greening our expo has been a challenging and rewarding experience, Honestly I didn't really have to do much, much of it was calling a few of my friends in the green community in whom I've met and kept in touch.  I think the most interesting part is when I share my contacts about LEED, Energy Rating, Green Home tours, the committee are excited to have green companies to be a part of the expo, and in turn when I speak to my fellow green friends, they are excited to be there as well.  I felt an accomplishment that I've helped our association make the connection with companies that are out of the ordinary title, escrow, home inspection, and termite companies to green companies which I hope we can add to our affiliates list in the future.  Perhaps it is meant to be part of my purpose as a green real estate professional is to share to my fellow peers so that they will in turn recognize the value of greening their business, their personal life, and eventually their client's lives. 

If you're a Real Estate Professional this event is FREE!  goto www.theaar.com/expo for more details. (Expo is closed to the public, we expect 700-800 realtors to attend)

If you have a green product or service, we need your help to green our association, it's not too late to registar as an exhibitor as we have a few more spots left, simply registar online at www.theaar.com/expo, we hope to see you there!

Be Green, Be Gorgoeus!

 Green, Be Gorgoeus!

Lear more about

May Hsu at http://www.gorgeousandgreen.net/                                

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