Green real estate brokers

2017 Green Genius Awards Finalists

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We're looking forward to hosting the 6th Annual Green Genius Awards Ceremony at the 2017 Built Green Conference this year. The Green Genius Awards are the region’s first and only awards to honor real estate brokers who are helping to transform the residential housing market. By listing, marketing and selling homes that have an ecological and social impact in Seattle neighborhoods, these agents are educating a generation of homebuyers and disrupting the status quo of homebuilding. They are helping to change the paradigm of how real estate is valued in a growing city and working to build a more sustainable community. 

The judging committee will be awarding one listing agent, one selling agent, one listing office and one selling office this year based on how many certified Built Green homes they've sold and how much they've promoted green building and the green movement in the past year. Here are this year's Green Genius finalists:

SELLING AGENT FINALISTS
Angelo Ongpin | Keller Williams Downtown Seattle
Michael Carnovale | Keller Williams Downtown Seattle
Melissa Harris | Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest

LISTING AGENT FINALISTS
Van Wyck & Porter | Windermere Capitol Hill
Tom Skepetaris | Keller Williams Downtown Seattle
Ravi Dewan | Real Property Associates

SELLING OFFICE FINALISTS
Keller Williams Downtown Seattle
Coldwell Banker Bain
Windermere Wall Street

LISTING OFFICE FINALISTS
Berkshire Hathaway Northwest
Metropolist
RE/MAX Metro

To find out the winners, attend the awards ceremony with the top green agents and green building experts in Washington State, register here.

The Green Genius Realtor Awards and Education Program are made possible by:

The PNW is the hub of Greener Living: Thanks to These Geniuses

We are thrilled to highlight another year of excellence in green real estate. The 4th Annual Green Genius AwardS are right around the corner and we are excited to introduce some fabulous brokers this year. As the PNW transforms into a hive for sustainability - these brokers are capitalizing on new greenbiz trends in real estate. On September 13th We will be awarding the top Listing and Selling Agents as well as the top Listing and Selling offices at the Green Genius Award Ceremony during the Built Green Conference. These teams and individuals are key players in helping to transform the market, and their influence contributes to the growing trend of bringing more Built Green homes to the market every year. We’re excited to honor the great work they’ve done and the value they bring to their client’s lives. 
 
We hope to see you there! 

AN INTERVIEW WITH FIORE PIGNATARO
GREEN GENIUS LISTING AGENT OF THE YEAR FINALIST

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Now that the green building movement has become more mainstream in Seattle, what are the most relevant value propositions that make homebuyers choose green homes over a code-built conventional homes? 
 
It’s a combination of things. There are definitely individuals who are really interested in the metrics and being able to see the difference in a very concrete way and understand the processes involved. That exists particularly in Seattle, where we have quite a sophisticated group of buyers and sellers. But it also has to be valuable to a greater audience, to the bulk of buyers who are right there in the middle.
 
Articulating the value to that group of people and helping them understand how a Built Green home is going to be financially sustainable over the long term is really important. One builder that I work with is very hands on and accessible to buyers. His willingness to meet with them in person and articulate that value really helps the buyer feel confident that it’s not just smoke and mirrors, it’s real, data driven information.
 
In your professional opinion, how can the green building movement continue to push our society and communities toward more sustainable living? 
 
Systems that will be able to constantly renew your ability to harvest your own energy such as solar panels or geothermal position you to really be able to pull yourself away from the grid and be self sustaining. That’s super exciting to me.
 
How do you incorporate sustainability into your own life?
 
Right now I’m remodeling my own home. I’m trying to bring in as many sustainable systems as I can, like solar panels, an improved heating system and tightening up the insulation. I’m looking at how these improvements are going to help me save money over time, and I also think there’s a lot more care and quality in this kind of development. Builders that build sustainably have put a lot more into that house, period. You’re just getting a better product over all, the bar is set much higher.
 
Why do you think the Seattle area is national leader in the green & sustainable building movement? 
 
It’s part of our DNA as Seattleites! We have the mother ship for REI here, mountain climbers, people who move here so they can be skiing in 45 minutes and people who hop on Lake Union on a Tuesday afternoon for sailing races. While Seattle isn’t necessarily a rugged frontier anymore, I think that’s how it started and you have people who wanted to preserve that spirit and character from many, many decades back. Now that we’ve had this tech boom, they go hand in hand because it’s brought a demographic of people who are looking for above average homes.
 
What do you like to do to enjoy the PNW summers?
 
I love playing soccer, running, getting out on the Puget Sound and going crabbing and harvesting oysters with my family at our beach property. We actually have our own oyster bed there.
 
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
 
The Italian Riviera. While I’ve been there before, I really hope to go back soon. I was a teacher for 12 years before I got into real estate, and got to teach at an international school in Genoa, Italy. I’d love to be able to be able to go back and visit every little hamlet and unknown city on that stretch of coast. It’s like a second home to me.
 
If you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you want to compete in?
 
It would have to be something in track and field. The marathon would definitely be a candidate, or the 1500-meter or 200-meter sprint – which is always such a dramatic race. The Olympics is still the pinnacle of running going all the way back to the ancient Greeks.

A Rose by any Other Name... Would be a Genius!

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Rose Bunao works alongside Jay Miller at Alchemy - a Keller Williams brokerage in downtown Seattle. We are thrilled to see their group represented on both the listing and the sales side of the Green Genius Awards! Not only are these agents up for the awards - but their brokerage is too!

Congrats to Rose and Jay! 

Rose Bunao
Green Genius Selling Agent of the Year Finalist
Redfin Real Estate - Central Seattle


  • Sam: What gets you excited about the green building movement?

  • Rose: The excitement  I get is when I am seeing a lot more of this  home being  built in our community as I am driving around in Heart of  Seattle and few on the East Side.     I take pride of able to share and show this home to my potential, past and  future clientals”   what Built Green homes offer with a Safer,  Healthier, Environmental Friendly, and the Engergy efficiency.  Knowing that there home they have purchase is going to provide them a better  and newer living experiences and be able to utilized this features.   The New  Sleek Contemporary elevation look to it,  features  and the interior finishes product.   I am always anxious to hold open house on the weekends, looking forward to be  and be able to show this homes to Buyers. 


  • Sam: What was your favorite green project? 

  • Rose: My favorite green site project are those homes that was Built with the  Great View.   When your on the Roof Deck  over looking  a 360 view of Puget Sound,  and or  360  view of Lake Washington,  with the Combination a 360 Mount Rainier, Cascade Mountain the combination to be able to see the 4 Views on the Roof Deck.     What more can you asked living hear in in the Northwest having a view like that.    Recent  one that I sold that had a 360 View of Puget Sound, and Mt. Rainier, and the Downtown City Scape,  was Builder  ISOLA homes,  on  corner of 30thand Judkins in Leschi -  3003 Judkins Street Seattle.


  • Sam:  What advice would you give to buyers and sellers of green homes?

  • Rose: My advice to  Buyers is buying a green built home is good investment to get into they will never regret , because what the feature it offers.   For the Sellers and Builders,  to keep up the great work ! of building more of this homes, because   they are still a lot of buyers out there awaiting more inventory of this homes to select from. “Supply on Demand” there not enough out there and they sell very quick ! too much buyers not enough homes for sale. 


  • Sam: What do you like most about living in the PNW?  

  • Rose: I have been living here in Washington for almost 18 years now,  originally from Hawaii, Island of Kauai. I reside on the East Side, of  Issaquah/Preston area on an acreage land with I have a few" Chickens/Hens" as my Pets and they lays fresh eggs daily,  and able to have it on your property.“  I like the nature life of having to see both the Evergreen Mountain forestry environment,  wilderness smell and the cleanness environment and having Lakes, the  Puget Sounds just nearby and have both the combination both of “ City Life” and  “Suburb Nature Life”has been great !  I can never asked for more. Best of Both Worlds. Growing up as a child, up to my teenagers years, on the island of Kauai, in which  offers lots of Nature Life.  We have that here too.   I  Never get  home sick  here in the Pacific Northwest,  where I grew,  it does have the similarity of what  Pacific Northwest Offers as well able to live he  take a trip natural nature environment, to the forest  to go camping,  skiing , Ski Resort is just short distance drive from my home, fishing, crabbing or pleasure boating ride,   but yet still have a Big City  Life ,  nearby is a great combination. Good long Summer, and combination of Winter, Fall, and Spring be able to see color changes during the 4 Seasons. Though idoes rain here  a lot in Washington during the winter. Its almost like being on the Island of  Kauai where it does  rains a lot there too.  Kauai is as you known for one of the Wettest Spot on Earth with Plenty of  Record Rains. Which  I grown custom too :) don’t mind at all. 


  • Sam: What is your favorite pump up song? 

  • Rose:  Jimmy Cliff – “ I Can See Cleary Now “


  • Sam: What is your favorite comfort food?

  •  Rose: “Beef Stew over  Rice”

Ron Rubin: Rogue Genius

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Ron Rubin hangs his license at RE/MAX Metro Realty in Seattle, but he is also the self-proclaimed “anti-real estate agent.”  

Ron likes to keep things simple, staying focused on what’s most important and not worrying much about what other people think about him.  He’s not one to get excited about awards – not because he doesn’t appreciate it – but because he doesn’t enjoy basking in the spotlight.  Ron’s claim to fame in high school was having no claim to fame in school.  He’s been fired from every job he ever had and that’s why he became a real estate agent.  But with a stellar team, legendary systems and ~$16M in BuiltGreen certified new construction home sales last year – he is obviously no slouch.  Ron is well known in Seattle for taking care of his builder clients with bulldog loyalty and finding deals through thick and thin.   

One of the first times I met Ron he was wrestling his young toddler at a playground on Queen Anne and explaining that while it’s difficult to have babies without grandparents nearby, he expects nothing from them because it allows him to accept everything that comes from them with gratitude.  Perhaps the culture of thankfulness comes in part from his experience narrowly escaping the tsunami that ravaged Thailand in the winter of 2005.  He and his partner Rebecca stayed in Thailand to set up a guerilla relief fund called Waves of Mercy to provide “zero-red-tape” monetary aid to the people who needed help right away.  

Ron’s MO is connecting resources to his people who need it - no need for a spotlight or a claim to fame.  

Ron Rubin
Green Genius Listing Agent of the Year Finalist
Re/Max Metro Realty

  • Sam: What gets you excited about the green building movement?

  • Ron: The guys that are doing the green building are creating designs that are unique, different and creating a legacy.


  • Sam: What was your favorite green project?

  • Ron: Sloan's project was my favorite this year because A to Z - it had cool, cutting edge design, forward thinking, great material selection. It went beyond economics for the love of green design...instead of economic gain. It's truly leaving a legacy. It was visionary and forward thinking down t the details. I mean they even included underground power for cars on the parking strip.


  • Sam: What advice would you give to buyers and sellers of green homes?

  • Ron: Understand the cost/benefit ratio of each item you are selecting and choose carefully. Not all buyers will pay for certain things...don't overbuild the neighborhood


  • Sam: What do you like most about living in California?

  • Ron: The weather! it's 75 at thanksgiving


  • Sam: What was your superlative in high school – (ie most likely too…)?

  • Ron:  I was never voted for anything. My claim to fame was that I managed to get fired from very job I ever had... That's why I'm a real estate agent. 


  • Sam: What is your favorite pump up song? 

  • Ron: Theme song from Rocky


  • Sam: What is your favorite comfort food?

  • Ron: Truffle Macaroni & Cheese, or Toro Sashimi - it's the fattiest.

Red is the New Green

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This year Redfin is topping the charts in the green home sales department. It is staggering to see the number of Redfin clients who are choosing green homes over other competitive properties. Perhaps it could be because Redfin is a next-generation company that represents an evolution in the way homes are bought and sold. It caters to a clientele that wants to be more involved in their home search and wants information at their fingertips, on their terms. 

But the tech alone isn't enough to qualify a great real estate service. Redfin also employs dozens of experienced real estate agents like Allie Howard and Karlyn Goetz. Allie will be a third time finalist for the Green Genius awards this year and Karlyn is setting new personal records for green home sales. When you are working with advanced buyers who know what they want - your agents have to be just as knowledgeable and these agents certainly know what is important when it comes to energy efficiency, walkability and sustainable construction.

What Redfin has proven is that when you enhance the experience of the hunt, give your clients the right tools, and include a team of full-service real estate agents who are advocates for their customers rather than the typical salespeople - you empower your customers. When customers are empowered - they buy homes that align with their values, rather than something an agent sold them on. They buy green homes.

Redfin is a Green Genius Selling Office of the Year finalist and Allie and Karlyn are both Selling Agent finalists. They have certainly helped to transform the local market.

Solo Lofts - courtesy of Redfin

Solo Lofts - courtesy of Redfin

Allie Howard
Green Genius Selling Agent of the Year Finalist
Redfin Real Estate -  North Capitol Hill, Madrona and Madison Park

  • Sam: What gets you excited about the green building movement?

  • Allie: Having grown up with a strong connection to nature and an inherent instinct to protect our natural resources, there are many things that excite me about green building. Currently, Greywater recycling and water conservation efforts are in the forefront of my thoughts.


  • Sam: What was your favorite green project?

  • Allie: Solo Lofts in Ballard; not only is it a fantastic Built Green 4-star project, but they also hired Green-centric Brokers to represent them.


  • Sam: What advice would you give to buyers and sellers of green homes?

  • Allie: Green homes have a broad appeal for many types of buyers. In addition to the practicality of using sustainably harvested building material and recycled products, indoor air quality and energy savings are also improved . There are typically better design elements throughout green homes as well, improving the quality of life for the homeowner and helps preserve the resale value of their investment.


  • Sam: What do you like most about living in the PNW?

  • Allie: I love the current of creative energy that flows throughout the Pacific Northwest. The abundance of natural beauty and outgoing attitude of the people who call the PNW home make it a really inspiring place to live and thrive.


  • Sam: What is your favorite pump up song? 

  • Allie: Revolution by The Beatles 


  • Sam: What is your favorite comfort food?

  • Allie: I love Creole and Cajun food, especially when I am down in NOLA with live music in the air.

Karlyn Goetz
Green Genius Selling Agent of the Year Finalist
Redfin Real Estate - Central Seattle


  • Sam: What gets you excited about the green building movement?

  • Karlyn: Honestly, it’s how quickly green homes are catching on. Aside from the eco-friendly features, so many of my buyers love green homes for the clean, modern look and family friendly spaces. Green homes tend to be very ‘livable,’ making the decision to buy green easy!


  • Sam: What was your favorite green project?

  • Karlyn: My favorite project I’ve seen recently is Dwell’s new Emerald Star Home in Ballard.  I love the unique character it has from the use of reclaimed materials. Finding cool original wood floors in 100-year old homes makes me so happy, so why not put them in a new home too?


  • Sam: What advice would you give to buyers and sellers of green homes?

  • Karlyn: Get to know the features of the home that make it unique. Often, buyers know that it’s a green build, but don’t realize the many details that set it apart.


  • Sam: What do you like most about living in the PNW?

  • Karlyn: The water and mountain views!! I’m a city girl at heart, but I LOVE that Seattle is so connected with nature. I’m on Lake Union every morning and in the mountains every chance I get!


  • Sam: What is your favorite pump up song? 

  • Karlyn: Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis


  • Sam: What is your favorite comfort food?

  • Karlyn: If I could live off of homemade mac and cheese alone, I would! :)

Susan Stasik: 3rd Time Finalist, Full Time Genius

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Last week we posted about local Brokers who are making an impact in the Seattle real estate market. That list could never be complete without a hat's-off to Susan Stasik. Susan has won the Green Genius Awards for Listing Agent of the Year for the last two years - and we are so honored to know her, her work and the work that she does with one of Seattle's most notable builders - Dwell Development,

Dwell's mission is to create livable, walkable, sustainable communities. They are responsible for completeing over 40 Built Green properties in the mixed-income community of Rainier Vista near the light rail - as well as completing the first Emerald Star Built Green Spec Home in Seattle.

That's what the Green Genius Awards are all about - educating a community and transforming the market to consider sustainability when homes are bought and sold. That's Susan's job. 

Susan Stasik
Green Genius Listing Agent of the Year Finalist
Windermere Real Estate  -  Madison Park

  • Sam: What gets you excited about the green building movement?

  • Susan: I am buying some acreage in Ce Elum’s high country where I hope to some day soon build a home as close to off-grid that I can achieve, so my most-immediate answer would be solar. Building a home that doesn't have to be hooked up to utilities is an amazing feeling. And now so many buyers and builders are using solar and that is an exciting thing to take advantage of. 


  • Sam: What was your favorite green project?

  • Susan:  Probably our most recent Emerald Star project. From finding the lot at the very beginning to getting the site orientation correct, and all of the details like the 450% efficiency Sanden heat pump, the barn wood, and the energy efficiency. The Emerald Star home was pre-sold, but there was so much geeking-out about the home. It was fun.


  • Sam: What advice would you give to buyers and sellers of green homes?

  • Understand the green features... there's a difference between green enough vs sustainability/health and energy efficiency.


  • Sam: What do you like most about living in the PNW?

  • Susan: I love Seattle. It is a vibrant, big city with big city issues - but the progressiveness of the city is amazing. You can't get that everywhere. We are lucky.


  • Sam: What was your superlative in high school – (ie most likely too…)?

  • Susan: Most likely to Lead. I had a wide assortment of friends.


  • Sam: What is your favorite pump up song? 

  • Susan: Most recently it would have to be the mashup of Rachel Platten & Kelly Clarkston's Heartbeat Fight Song.


  • Sam: What is your favorite comfort food?

  • Susan: Definitely cheese & bread.

Who's Making an Impact in Seattle Real Estate? Green Genius Awards on September 9

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No one is questioning the success of the Seattle real estate market right now - but to folks like Susan Stasik, third time finalist for the Green Genius awards, its not about the quantity of home sales that really make her job worthwhile - its about the quality of the homes being sold; its about the people and the attitude toward better living; its about making an impact that affects more than just your pocketbook. Susan along with the rest of the Green Genius Finalists have more than one thing in common. First and foremost they are all stellar agents who know how to treat their clients, negotiate, and navigate the complex landscape of the Seattle housing market. They are all fierce agents with a passion for their jobs. But they do more than just navigate... they shape our market. 

These Green Genius Agents have managed to really push the needle in real estate while simultaneously helping the Emerald City build a reputation for progressive, sustainable living. They are at the forefront of a national trend, and we couldn't be more excited to award their positive influence.

On September 9th - we will announce the winners of the Green Genius Awards at the Annual Built Green Conference in Seattle. Each winner will receive a cash prize. We are thrilled to award these brokers for all they have done this past year. 

We asked each finalist a number of questions to get to know them before the Award Ceremony. Here is the first of seven posts. Let's see what Jay Miller has to say about green building!

Jay Miller 
JAY MILLER - Green Genius Listing Agent of the Year Finalist
Keller Williams Realty  -  Alchemy Real Estate Group

Sam: What gets you excited about the green building movement?

  • Jay: If we can translate the green movement in the same way the EPA has done with MPG stickers for cars, the energy efficiency and lower cost of owning a home (and communicating this to buyers) seems to me to be the most important. What does green in their wallet mean? We are a little numb to Energy Star and efficient hot water heaters, and it’s hard to know what overall impact it has on the home as a whole.


  • Sam: What was your favorite green project?

  • Jay: I loved all of the green projects I worked on this year of course! My favorite Isola project, the Woodlawn avenue "Licton Springs" because they felt truly stand-alone and AFFORDABLE GREEN.


  • Sam: What advice would you give to buyers and sellers of green homes?

  • Jay: It's easy to share with a buyer that an investment in a green home today, may seem like it's pushing the norm, but it's GOING to be the norm in 4.5 years when they sell. Setting up yourself to be a competitive green seller in a market that will soon have that as the norm.

  • For green builders, while mathmatically, they might sell for more...we haven't seen a recession yet...and there's better insulation against market swings.


  • Sam: What do you like most about living in the PNW?

  • Jay: That's it's turned into San Diego... but with better weather. The climate, activity & people make the PNW worthwhile. Two years ago I thought my family would have moved because of the weather - but now we are actually staying because of it.


  • Sam: What was your superlative in high school – (ie most likely too…)?

  • Jay: (Laughs) I’m not sure I was voted for anything, but if I was, it would’ve been in 5th grade.  I may’ve been voted most likely to succeed in business, in Mr Ito's class. I owned 1/2 the class businesses at the end of the year in a class market simulator project.  I don’t think that’s what Mr. Ito had in mind when he set up the project!  


  • Sam: What is your favorite pump up song? 

  • Jay:  Huh? 

  • Sam:  You know…like you’re about to step into a heated negotiation…or you’re very, very late coming home from work…or both.  What do you play in the car at ear wrecking volume to get yourself pumped up?

  • Jay: Black Eyed Peas - don't stop the party


  • Sam: What is your favorite comfort food?

  • Jay:  I think a snobby burger is the right fit... Cowboy cheeseburger at Eureka

Agents of Change and Transformation

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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:

  • Total Number of Sales or Listings

  • Project Impact: how important was that project to the neighborhood context, what level of certification did it complete, how innovative was the project, etc.

  • Marketing & Awareness: How much exposure did this project get beyond the MLS? Did it include its certification level in the marketing remarks? Did the marketing include promotion of features beyond the certification and appliances to show value in the building innovation?

  • Project Exposure: Are the projects and their brands highly visible? Did the builder also promote their own project and was it promoted on the BuiltGreen website?

  • DOM: Days on Market. This is typically a good indicator of increased awareness and anticipation of a project. For a Selling Agent, however, we did consider the extra effort that needed to go into selling a green product that may have sat on the market either due to neighborhood sales velocity or poor pricing.

Green Canopy is especially proud of all of the agents that have made the Top 10 this year and the agents who continue to work toward a greener and more sustainable community. This year the #1 Listing Agent and the #1 Selling Agent will win several exciting prizes.

TreeHouse Point B&B, Issaquah WA
The award prizes will include:

  • A 2 night stay at TreeHouse Point in Issaquah; a unique Bed and Breakfast with Treehouse cabins

  • Dinner with the CEO of Green Canopy at a local Pacific Northwest Restaurant

  • A $200 donation to Arbor Day Foundation in the Agent’s name; for every dollar donated, a tree is planted… that’s an entire forest!! Each tree represents 911lbs of carbon sequestration every year!*

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S TOP 10!

Top 5 Selling Agents:

  • Winston McClanahan Redfin Corp.

  • Joe Hunt Redfin Corp.

  • Matt Snell Re/Max on the Lake

  • Jeffrey Parker Windermere R.E./ Capitol Hill

  • Jane Maxson Coldwell Banker Bain

Top 5 Listing Agents:

  • Jay Miller Keller Williams Downtown Seattle

  • Susan L. Stasik Windermere R.E. Madison

  • James Dainard Heaton Dainard LLC

  • Kari Collins Keller Williams Greater Seattle

  • Darcy A. Walker Conner Real Estate Group, LLC

*Carbon sequestration information available here

Green Canopy Agents of the Month: Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski

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We are proud to highlight a dialogue with two of our wonderful Energy Agents this month, Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski. They will be listing our first ever NetZero homes, Sol and Solange!

1) Both of you have taken very different paths to becoming real estate agents. How has your background prepared you for this?

Kris – My degree and early work experience was in the hospitality field, so customer service has always been the central focus of my career. Following that I worked for a software development company in a client services capacity.  The technology and customer service skill sets have provided a very solid foundation for real estate.  The industry has become extremely “techy” in the past several years; however the need for customer service skills will never go away.

Daniela – My educational background is in art and architectural history as well as languages. However, like Kris I ended up in the software industry (12 years at Microsoft) working with vendors around the world on the internationalization of Microsoft Office products as a localization program manager. Therefore, Kris and I approach real estate very much from a very systematic project management method with the goal to let nothing in the complex web of tasks fall through the cracks. “Death by Flow Chart” if you get my drift …

2) What gets you excited about Seattle Real Estate?

Seattle is in the throes of change!  Between light rail, rezoning, new architecturally interesting dwellings and the whole “green” movement, there is never a dull day.  We pride ourselves in being Seattleites, embrace the urban village lifestyle, and are excited to be part of all the on-going and coming changes as the city continues to evolve. Growing up in Germany which is a model for green and energy efficient building methods, Daniela is excited to see these changes (finally) coming across the ocean.

3) How do you differentiate yourself and your brand?

Nothing gimmicky.  We have worked extremely hard to build the track record we have today, and pride ourselves in extremely high standards which are reflected in everything we do.  When potential clients see our on-line or printed materials, or walk through our listings, they immediately see the difference in both detail and quality.  We understand that leaving out small details can cost our clients many $$$ and we take that responsibility seriously.

Real estate to us is as much art as it is a science. Anybody can look up sales data, hire a stager and a photographer and put a listing on the MLS but to us every client and every home is unique and from the choice of the stager to the meticulous choreography of the photos - of the home as well as the surrounding area attractions such as parks, schools, coffee shops, grocery stores and coffee shops -we attempt to capture the essence of each home and the lifestyle that goes along with it.

At the end of the day, we pour our hearts and souls into what we do (sometimes to a fault ;-) and have a lot of fun working together – despite the sometimes heavy workload there is a lot of laughter around every day. This love & passion for what we do inspires & transpires to our work. So really our brand is who we are as people and human beings.

4) How does green and energy efficiency make an impact in your work as a Seattle Real Estate Agent?

We are always striving to expand our knowledge in these areas.  Once you learn about the impact green features have on an individual and a community there is no turning back.  We find that the green knowledge finds its way into all real estate conversations even if just advising a client on how to make their old drafty (yet charming) home more energy efficient and making them aware of the many resources, programs & incentives that are available.  We find we are a much more valuable resource to our clients and spheres having this knowledge and we feel very fortunate to live in a city that promotes and supports these principles politically and like to see Green Canopy pushing these issues forward.

5) What does success look like to you in this market?

That’s very simple: Extremely satisfied and happy clients that come to us with any real estate need, concern or questions they may have and that feel compelled to refer their friends, family and neighbors to us because of the great experience they have had in working with us. That’s why the majority of our business comes from personal referrals and we plan to keep it that way J.

6) You both think outside of the box. What are the most creative projects you have taken on and how have they panned out?

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to market a home of significant architectural history.  The home was built in the 50s by a visionary single woman who was the head of the Interior Design Department at UW for almost half a century (from the 20s to the 60s). She is credited with founding the Northwest Contemporary style by bringing “Modern” to the Northwest and merging it with local materials and Eastern themes.  She camped on the land for many seasons before breaking ground to find the perfect orientation of the home, and the finished product was very “Frank Lloyd Wright” in style. You felt as if the structure simply grew out from the ground; that’s how well it was integrated in the surrounding landscape.

This was a very unusual home for this particular neighborhood, so it was important that we ventured outside the usual channels to find our audience; and find them we did.  We had 60 brokers show up for our opening broker’s lunch/open house.  We took a chance, knowing this property was very special, and found ours comparable in different neighborhoods.  Our list price was approximately $300,000 over the neighborhood expert’s pricing recommendation and it sold almost at that price. But more important than the final sales price, it was a true honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to delve into such an important part of local architectural history. That is also why we love working with Green Canopy on their projects and see dilapidated properties restored and reinvented for the 21st century.

7) What do you see in the future of the Seattle Market and the real estate profession?

Smaller footprints, sustainable materials, low maintenance, simple clean lines, increased energy efficiency. “Green” will eventually go mainstream and become the new building standard. Clients are already asking for these features; they don’t want to spend their whole wad on their dwelling but also do other things such as travel or have another little cabin in the mountains or on the water, be part of an active community where they know their neighbors rather than being locked behind gates. At the same time, they want high quality materials that will stand the test of time and be responsible with the earth’s resources for a better future of the planet.

8 ) Please highlight a project you’ve done with us; whichever one you get the most excited talking about!

We are super excited about the upcoming Twins project in Tangletown.  Having a new construction, single family, net zero project in the neighborhood where we live and work, really gives us something exciting to talk about.  It involves more learning for us and in turn provides an opportunity to do educational community outreach about a deep green project powered by solar energy.  Sol and Solange we can’t wait to show you to the world!