Real Estate Agents

Gearing up: The Built Green Conference and Awards are Right Around the Corner!

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With the annual Built Green conference is only five days away, we’re getting increasingly excited to gather as a community of green building professionals to exchange ideas, connect and honor those among us who have done an outstanding job this year of bringing people into Built Green homes. Before heading into the weekend, we took a minute to get to know one of our Selling Agent of the Year finalists – Daniel Burton of Redfin.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL BURTON
GREEN GENIUS SELLING AGENT OF THE YEAR FINALIST

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?
 
People don’t always realize that sustainability is more cost effective in the long run. The process of real estate development is already so complicated; to raise the bar on the quality of construction and integrating all of those green features says a lot about the product that you’re buying into. While it does take more advance planning, time and thoughtfulness, it’s so worthwhile in the end. The final product is not only built better, but it was done using non-toxic and renewable-sourced materials. You know that it’s not just thrown together, which can happen with a lot of new construction projects.
 
When people make the connection and actually see the numbers add up, not only in the short term but in the long term life cycle of the building, they see that you can save thousands and thousands of dollars if you just make a few smart choices upfront like focusing on high energy-efficiency appliances, improved ventilation, LED lighting, and capturing natural daylight whenever possible.
 
How can we push the green building movement forward? 
 
I think the best way is to brag about it – to promote it more. People don’t always know what they want until they know it’s an option. Once they understand they’re options and are educated, they’re like ‘Yes, this is definitely what I want’. The more we do that, the more the industry will feel pressure to accommodate those demands. In a sense, consumers vote with their dollar. Employing visuals that can incorporate the data, like infographics, so that more people can actually see the differences in Built Green homes, which could help make green standards the new normal. It’s one thing to read about it, but a visual that puts it all together for you really helps the ideas click.

What does sustainability mean to you?
 
Sustainability to me means a comprehensive, holistic, and thoughtful approach to how human initiatives impact our world now, and more importantly later. It also involves an identity shift to thinking about ourselves as global citizens who think globally and act locally. A collective effort to pursue a Triple Bottom Line mindset where people, planet and profit are taken into equal consideration is essential as well. From a real estate perspective, we have to think about how our buildings effect the people and animals that live in or around them, health-wise, cost-wise as well as how our built environment impacts its surrounding natural world. 

Why do you think the Seattle area is national leader in the green & sustainable building movement?
 
We were one of the first cities to make it illegal to not recycle and implement standardized compost. That kind of ‘granola’ culture has been part of Seattle's natural fiber for a long time; since that was already here, it was a really good place for this kind of movement to take off. A lot of people are already mindful of these types of things. The Native American history that is woven into our region may have also played a part, especially concepts like the Seven Generations principle – the idea that anything you’re doing today needs to be thought of in terms of how it will impact, not just people today, but seven generations from now. I think that captures the spirit of the green building movement, because it’s not just about saving money now, but also being really serious about how our actions will impact the planet seven generations later.
 
The landscape and regional locality of Seattle is also really important to consider. We’re so incredible lucky to have nature all around us. We’re positioned between two major mountain ranges, in a beautiful valley of vegetation with water surrounding us. All of that is definitely something that is propelling the sustainability movement. We can’t not think about it, because it’s all around us.

What do you like to do to enjoy the PNW summers?
 
Some of my favorite summer activities are hiking and camping in the Cascades and the Olympics, as well as taking an annual trip to Lake Chelan.

What is your favorite place on Earth? 
 
It might sound cheesy, but it’s Seattle. I’ve done a lot of traveling, especially all over the U.S., and after visiting so many different states I feel really lucky to be in Seattle. This is where it’s at.

If you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you want to compete in?
 
It would have to be snowboarding. My fate was sealed by having the same last name (Burton) as such a popular snowboarding brand!

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