Real estate broker green certification

Anne Broadwater's picture
Anne Broadwater
Real Estate Agent
May 31, 2013

I am becoming a real estate agent.  What classes can I take or what certification I can earn to learn about and be qualified in green buildings and/or energy efficiency?

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Hi Anne, Thanks for your question about green building education and certification for real estate agents. Your question indicates broker, but I think you are asking about agents?

There are some ways to designate your knowledge of green building as a real estate agent, including LEED credentials, the Certified Green Broker designation, and the National Association of Realtors’ Green Designation.

LEED Credentials for Green Real Estate Agents

As you may know, one of the most popular green building rating systems is called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Green building professionals can earn LEED credentials, which denote an understanding of green building and LEED principles. Both LEED credentials, the Green Associate and the LEED AP, have eligibility requirements and require a computerized, multiple choice exam. As a Poplar member you can take advantage of 300 LEED Green Associate practice questions here: http://www.poplarnetwork.com/edu/free-leed-green-associate-practice-exam...

The Green Associate is considered the Tier I credential, and demonstrates a broad knowledge of general green building principles and the LEED rating systems.
The LEED Accredited Professional is considered the Tier II LEED credential. You may be interested in earning the LEED AP because it designates a more in-depth knowledge of LEED and green building. Additionally, it requires you to specialize in one of the LEED rating systems. These specialties include:

- LEED AP Building Design + Construction (BD+C)
- LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (O+M)
- LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (ID+C)
- LEED AP Homes
LEED AP Neighborhood Development (ND)

For example, if you want a better understanding of buildings that have undergone energy efficiency and green retrofits, you may want to pursue the LEED AP Operations and Maintenance specialty credential. If you primarily broker residential buildings, you could pursue the Homes specialty.

Green Brokers
The Commercial Brokers Association awards the Certified Green Broker designation to licensed real estate brokers. The designation is designed to educate brokers on the benefits and methods of buying, leasing, managing and building green.

While real estate brokers can gain an understanding of green building principles by earning LEED credentials, the Certified Green Broker designation is geared specifically toward professionals in the real estate industry.

Tricia Deering, the president of the Commercial Brokers Association, said in a 2010 Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce article (http://djcoregon.com/news/2010/05/24/green-designations-help-oregon-brokers…): “I could find people that went through the LEED Accredited Professional program, but every time I talked to them they expressed their concern that the program was intended for builders, not brokers,” she said. “I figured this was a growing issue, so I decided to call the U.S. Green Building Council and get one started.”

According to Travers, becoming a Certified Green Broker is a great way for brokers to prepare themselves for the green building market, which is more than just a trend.

She says:
“Certified Green Brokers come armed with green knowledge. Recommending green strategies to clients and staying current with the national and global green real estate market will prepare today’s broker for what is undeniably becoming mainstream.”

In order to earn this designation, candidates must successfully complete required online courses administered by the Commercial Brokers Association. Following this, the candidate must pass the Certified Green Broker exam with a score of at least 75%.

Each course is $350, and they are offered exclusively online. Courses cover topics such as indoor environmental quality, energy, site and water, and green building materials.

National Association of Realtors Green Designation

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) offers the Green Designation, which is specifically designed for real estate agents. It shows that the candidate has green building and sustainable business training, which allows the agent to find, understand and market green building properties.

http://www.greenresourcecouncil.org/

To earn this credential, you must complete three courses and pass each course’s test with an 80% or higher. The three courses are:

Green 100: Real Estate for a Sustainable Future – Awareness and Comprehension
Green 200: The Science of Green Building – Research and Insight
Green 300: Greening Your Real Estate Business – Application Skills

Your credential will not only prove that you have successfully completed this training, it will also list you as “GREEN” in the NAR’s database of professionals.

Once you have your credential, you can list it in your profile, like in this example: http://www.poplarnetwork.com/members/encinitas-ca/rich-williams

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