"64% of Millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring."
Contributed by Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy
A lot of research has been dedicated to learning more about Millennial attitudes as companies struggle to adjust corporate cultures to align with their thinking. This cohort has received a bad rap in most of the research, but at Green Canopy we have found that building a culture that unleashes the “Millennial Mindset” in all of our employees increases our productivity and our ability to execute our mission to inspire resource efficiency. For this reason, I believe that organizations should work to realign their corporate cultures to foster this mindset in their employees. A few fun facts below help illustrate the point that the future of successful businesses will be predicated on creating corporate cultures that are designed to attract and retain millennial minded employees of any age.
The below excerpt was taken from an interview with Ron Alsop who did the research and wrote the definitive book on Millennials.
“Kuhn: How can employers best capitalize on the millennial generation?
Alsop: I believe employers can best capitalize on millennials by making them feel that their work is important, giving them lots of feedback and positive reinforcement, and telling them that the company will help them develop their skills and career potential. This generation isn't loyal to any one company and is likely to work for many employers. But millennials will be more apt to stay with an employer if they can see why their sometimes seemingly mundane job is important to the company's success. They also want to build their portfolio of skills and experiences through mentoring, training and development programs, and the opportunity to switch jobs within their company…”
Evolve Into the Millennial Mindset
Frankly the work of today and tomorrow is important work. As the world’s population continues to grow and strain our finite planetary resources, all businesses of the future will have to consider and adapt to working more with less resources. Many more businesses will intentionally start and organize themselves to tackle some of the world’s pressing resource scarcity and climate challenges, while also doing well for their shareholders and by their employees.
As I synthesize all of this, the Millennial picture becomes clear. This mindset is a key to our world’s future success because Millennials are a large percentage of working Americans now and will be in the future. They are diplomatic peacemakers for whom success doesn’t necessary equal wealth. They want to work at doing good in the world. They would rather have a job of purpose and challenge than one that is boring and pays more. They are optimistic, believe in merit over tenure, and prefer coaching over being told how to perform. Rather than complain about the Millennial Mindset, we should celebrate it, seek it out and foster it in our work.
The successful businesses of tomorrow will employ people with the Millennial Mindset that some love to hate. Their cultures will be designed to unlock the inner Millennial in all their employees and earn the right of retention for those they are so fortunate to serve. The stodgy business practices that made corporations great in the past, thrived in what is no longer our world: a very top down, heavily bureaucratic, do-as-you-are-told, perceived limitless resource reality. Thankfully, society has largely evolved beyond those outdated business practices. It is time for employers to do the same.
Last year I was at a real estate brokerage office meeting when they began the customary round of talking about new and up-coming listings. At one point the Managing Broker interrupted the Agent and firmly reminded him that he could not share the address of the property he was sharing to the group. “What is she talking about?” I thought. So I interrupted the meeting and asked that they clarify why the heck he couldn’t share the property address. I run a homebuilding company and I certainly want Brokers sharing our upcoming listings with their office mates. The Managing Broker then explained the new MLS Rule 2c to me. I was shocked and complained to her in the meeting, which generated a group discussion around everyone’s frustration with the new rule. We moved along to other business only after they pleaded with me to see if I could do anything, and gave me the name and number of the NWMLS corporate attorney. I know that the NWMLS is owned by its membership but there are times when our governing bodies aren’t in tune with those they govern. The MLS Rule 2c was one of those examples.
Previously, Rule 2c wouldn’t allow their brokers to promote the sale of a property in any fashion whatsoever prior to listing it on the MLS. That means even verbally in the Brokerage meetings, on the Internet, or on competing listing services such as the PLS (Postlets Listing Service).
So I asked our attorney to contact the NWMLS and begin the process of discussion around why we felt that the NWMLS Rule 2c was anti-competitive and hurting our business. What I learned was first and foremost, the NWMLS has great council and they were extremely accommodating and sincerely interested in the discussion. They exhibited sincere flexibility and thoughtfulness. The result of those conversations was a revision of Rule 2c that can be read below.
The end result is that the revised Rule 2c does not prohibit a member from promoting or advertising property information obtained from a non-NWMLS source as long as the member didn’t generate the information, has clear authorization from the source, and lists the source of the information. Examples of information members may promote and advertise are defined as:
As a result of this revision, I am now authorizing all members of the NWMLS to promote and advertise, on any website, listing service, or in any conversation you think appropriate, the sale of Green Canopy’s homes that are not currently listed for sale on the NWMLS.
You can find information about our properties on our website or by calling our office and you can identify the source of that information as me, Aaron Fairchild, or the Green Canopy website: www.greencanopy.com.
“... some homes are worth saving. Some aren't.”
-Bradly Gunn, The Seattle Demo Project
Contributed by Caitlin Hoeberlein, Project Engineer for Spec Construction
At Green Canopy, we are committed to resource efficiency. For us, this goes beyond installing solar panels and thicker insulation. When the structure of an existing home is unsalvageable, we are in a rare position to be able to decide how to dismantle the home, and how those resources are re-used and re-purposed. This means that we have the ability to save the embodied energy of the existing structure--talk about resource efficiency!
We aren’t the only ones who are inspired by deconstruction. Bradly Gunn is a local Seattle painter and architect who started the Seattle Demo Project, an art and architectural program documenting and memorialising soon-to-be demolished homes in Seattle. According to Gunn, “the Seattle Demo Project is focused on bringing light to a relatively misunderstood or ignored facet of Seattle’s urban condition. We want to activate soon-to-be-demolished structures and provide an opportunity to learn, explore, and engage the community one last time before they are gone.”
As a builder, we hear a lot of criticism against development. Gunn claims he was in the “anti-development camp” just a few years ago. He wanted to keep his neighborhood the way it was, but soon realized that “some homes are worth saving. Some aren’t.” When he found out that more than one home per day was being torn down in Seattle, he realized that his art could shed light on this staggering statistic by converting these homes, a formerly untapped resource, into an artistic and educational opportunity. “Houses are an art medium of a very different scale, that only a handful of artists have gotten to play with,” he says. As a medium, there’s a lot of potential and many stories to uncover.
Unlike our team here at Green Canopy, Gunn didn’t come to deconstruction from a sustainability standpoint. He was not interested in the repurpose value of the materials, but rather the value that documenting these projects could have for communities, architects and students. He envisioned transforming these run-down homes into a touchpoint for neighbors to learn about architecture and development in an open and engaging way, by abstracting it. “When it’s not the house or the walls, it becomes another story,” says Gunn. He sees his work as an avenue for architects to reexamine failed systems, and for students to gain firsthand experience in the field. He likens student involvement in his project to doctors studying cadavers--documenting the deterioration of a house provides invaluable lessons for those designing new homes.
When the structure of the existing home is unsalvageable, Green Canopy is committing to deconstructing instead demolishing whenever possible, saving as much embodied energy as we can. We are happy to support Gunn in his artistic and educational quest. Gunn is currently documenting two of our deconstruction projects in Ballard and West Seattle: Gertrude and Aura. We are deconstructing these homes by hand, and will reuse and recycle 100% of what we dismantle. Together, we can build a new, sustainable future by learning from and respecting the past.
You can learn more about the Seattle Demo Project here, and about Green Canopy RePurpose by contacting Justin Hooks. Green Canopy is soon to offer our Green Canopy RePurpose services to other builders. Stay tuned!
To hear more about our reuse and the deconstruction process, join us for this year’s Green Genius Awards and the Built Green Conference on September 18th. Justin Hooks will be a session speaker and Green Canopy is the Reception Sponsor. Click here for more info about the conference.
“He heard me on Seattle’s local NPR affiliate. He saw our ad, and he was determined to work for Green Canopy, learn our business, prove himself and show what he is capable of. He got the job."
Contributed by Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy, Inc.
Ryan Nieto came into the office looking like a modern “Urban Jesus”. The moniker stuck. Thick long brown hair, beard, tats… full on Portlandia meets Seattle. He was working as a mechanical HVAC installer, installing air-conditioning systems at QFC grocery stores. He wanted to work for us as a laborer.
He said he saw the ad on our website. It wasn’t adding up for me. He was making good money as a mechanical installer and wanted to take a cut in pay and responsibility to work for Green Canopy. “Who was this guy?” I was thinking.
As it turns out Ryan is a veteran of the Marine Corps in Iraq. He is an avid bouldered/climber and outdoor enthusiast. He has the millennial mindset that the Green Canopy culture warmly embraces. And most importantly he leads with his heart and his mind. Which is another way of saying he follows his heart as his mind works the calculations. Love that. He came in bold into the office, eyes on fire and twitching, a vestige of hard times spent in a war zone. He heard me on Seattle’s local NPR affiliate. He saw our ad, and he was determined to work for Green Canopy, learn our business, prove himself and show what he is capable of. He got the job.
Green Canopy is the only for-profit homebuilder (that we are aware of) in all of America that was intentionally and deliberately started to combat and lessen the negative impacts of climate change and resource scarcity via in-city homebuilding.
We are run by a group of commited contractors, bankers, designers and most importantly, business people who are breaking the typical homebuilder mold and working hard to build an inspirational brand that helps to leave the world better off. We are funded by a similar minded base of over 40 shareholders and counting… We are lucky to have shareholders that are dedicated to investing their money where their values are for the sake of future generations. We are propelled by the Real Estate Agent community that understands their roll in residential real estate can be used to create transformational change for the better by promoting Green Canopy’s mission and vision of the future.
“We are banking on the success of Portland to fuel expansion outside the Pacific Northwest region and into other markets across the country."With Green Canopy all started up and on solid footing in Seattle, it is time to take the most important step in our company’s short existence: expand and prove that our model can organically grow like a bamboo shoot into new markets. We are so excited to take this critical next step and expand to Portland! Portland is more important to the future success of Green Canopy than anything we are currently working on. We are banking on the success of Portland to fuel expansion outside the Pacific Northwest region and into other markets across the country.
And we are lucky.
As a city, Portland shares what is at the heart of Green Canopy. Green Canopy, like Portland, is brimming with purpose-seeking, millennial minds. As the show Portlandia famously put it, “Portland is the place where young people go to retire.” …Retire from the top down, do-as-your-told, speak-when-spoken-to, non-purposeful J. O. B. economy, to engage in the purpose driven economy where merit prevails over tenure, mentoring over micro-managing, and critical consumption over wanton consumption. Thank God that a city so dedicated to getting the new economy right, with local brands long dedicated to local, conscious, and sustainable living such as Powels Books, Ecotrust, Clean Energy Works, and so many more, represents the future success for Green Canopy.
Over the course of the last three years, Ryan has taken 10 old, run-down, drafty homes and miraculously transformed these into resource efficient, certified green, and the highest in quality rebuilt homes to inspire generations of future residents. Working out of the Ecotrust building in the Pearl, Ryan will be responsible for applying his hard earned homebuilding magic to manage the inspirational transformation of old homes to new, and building brand new homes designed to inspire and create awareness of the benefits of resource efficiency.
Ryan is Green Canopy is Ryan. We share the same mission, vision and values and are hopeful that these will resonate in Portland. So nearly three years on, Urban Jesus, is heading to the City of Bridges. Don’t expect him to walk across the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to get there, or go into business transforming water to wine… his assignment is much more terrestrial and perhaps mundane in nature. We don’t have a divine goal of saving humanity, but we are humbly trying to make the world a little better place through our work. Here we come…
The Green Geniuses of Seattle's Residential Housing Market
Contributed by Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy, Inc.
We work with hundreds of Real Estate Brokers in the Seattle market to efficiently rebuild our city from the inside out. Internally at Green Canopy we consider the Real Estate Broker community to be Agents of change and transformation. We offer monthly education for Real Estate Brokers to not only help them understand the benefit of resource efficient homes, but to also help them understand the importance of the global and national challenges we are combating through our collective work together. Together, we sincerely and ideally believe that we can change the face of our city and the nation for generations of residents in the years to come.
To increase the awareness of this highly important work, we created the Green Genius Awards. These awards recognize the top ten Real Estate Brokers in our community that have transacted in the most certified green home sales over the course of a year. The Green Genius Award itself is given to the number ONE Listing Broker and the number ONE Selling Broker that represents buyers of certified green homes. We do what we can to promote these award winners throughout the community and create awareness for their Green Genius prowess.
This year’s panel of judges include Maryanne Coffman from 1st Security Bank, Sarah Ealey from Built Green, Kevin Peterson from Puget Sound Energy, Ann Sammon from Green Canopy Homes, Dustin Van Wyck from Windermere, and Ben Kauffman from KW GreenWorks.
Each agent was assessed based on 5 things:
TreeHouse Point B&B, Issaquah WA
The award prizes will include:
Top 5 Selling Agents:
The Green Canopy blog is written by our CEO and Culture Curator, Aaron Fairchild, as well as our staff and a few very special guests.