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					       Marketing Yourself as a Green
          Building Professional
                             October 2004
                   Green Materials Showcase
      Marc Richmond, What’s Working, marc@whatsworking.com




Development of this presentation is funded by an energy efficiency grant from the CA Public
Utilities Commissions sourced through energy efficiency public good charges to California
ratepayers. This information is provided for general education and informational purposes only
and does not constitute an endorsement, approval or recommendation of any kind.
   Today’s Building
    Owners Want
• Reduced Operating Costs
  (utilities & maintenance)
• Quality Indoor Air
• Reduced Exposure (IAQ, Mold)
• Comfort, Productivity, Quiet,
  Safety
• Quality, Value
• “Green” Seal of Approval
    What Else Does Your Customer
               Value?
 Aesthetics
 Dollar savings
 Environmental protection
 Sense of Community
 Solutions to their problems, easing the pain of
  owning a building
 Things that are fashionable, sexy, new, high-tech
 What their neighbors or competitors are doing
  Overview of Market Trends
• Higher general awareness of “green building
  benefits”
• Government agencies/owners/developers
  are requesting “sustainable” buildings
• Increase in “sustainable” ads, claims, and
  brochures
• Buyers are generally ahead of the
  professionals in their awareness
Green Building Market Research
Conducted by Professional Builder Magazine, 2000-1

  • Consumer
    preferences

  • How important
    are the issues?
       Green Market Research
• Benefits to the
  homeowner

• What are
  prospective
  homeowners
  looking for?
   Green Market Research
• Upgrades – homeowner preferences
   Green Market Research
• What energy conservation features
  should be standard in a new home?
    Green Market Research
• What resource conserving features are
  important to them?
     Green Market Research
• What indoor air quality features are
  important to them?
    Green Market Research
• What are they willing to pay to have
  green features in their homes?
            Local Market Research
               conducted by American Lives, 2002




  100
                   Price Willing to Pay
   90
   80
   70
   60
   50
   40
   30
   20
   10
   0
        0   less than $25 - $49 $50 - $74 $75 - $99   $100-   $125-   $150-   $175 or
               $25                                    $124    $149    $174     more


• Approximately 50% of respondents would pay $25-$124 or
  more in added mortgage payments for a low energy home
  equating to $3,750-26,250 - in value at 7% interest rate.
      Focus Group Comments
What are the benefits that homeowners are
 looking for?
  –   Increased equity/resale value
  –   Quality materials, durability
  –   Curb appeal
  –   Energy efficiency


  Conclusion: Green building has to meet all the
   above criteria before environmental issues
   will be considered.
    Focus Group Comments
What does “green” mean to them?
– Green means paying more for an inferior product
– Durable means green, but green means not durable
– What does “green” really mean?
– I feel good, but what else do I get from using green
  products?
– Green products can’t be strong or good enough to do
  the job!
    Focus Group Comments
What would convince them to build green?
  – Trust in the contractor/ architect that he/she is truly
    committed to helping the planet, not just bottom line
  – Green Certification
  – Green labels on products (“I always read labels”)
  – Proof that lumber was responsibly grown and
    produced
  – Demonstrated energy savings, money savings
  – Not just being Politically Correct
    Focus Group Conclusions
• Green must provide all of the benefits of typical homes
  AND help people and the planet.
• People are willing to “do the right thing” if they have
  quality information to understand it will make a difference
• Other factors (aesthetics, durability) are more important
  than price
• If you can get past the skepticism and “greenwashing,
  they are willing to pay more if benefits are proven
• More education is needed to overcome mythology and
  concern about “greenwashing”
• Conclusion for Bay Area professionals is that an
  organized Green Building Program is needed to
  address these issues of lack of education in the
  marketplace.
       Where are You?
•   How are you doing now?
•   How are others in your area doing?
•   How are others around the country doing?
•   Evaluate your typical specifications &
    processes
Align Yourself with Local Programs &
 Take Advantage of Their Resources
          • Education
          • Marketing
          • Technical advice
Resources


            Building Materials Database
            The Materials Database lists products, local suppliers and service providers that
            correspond with guidelines developed by the Alameda County Waste Management
            Authority.*

            Searching the Database
            There are three ways to search the Green Resource Database. Choose from one of
            the options shown below:



            Search by Category
            Choose a Category
            Select Category…



            Search By Product
            Enter the Name of a Product
            Enter text                               [Search]



            Search by Alameda County Green Measures
            Construction Type
            Select Type…




            To Learn more about Green Building Guidelines, click here.
            *Listing in this database should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by the
            Alameda County Waste Management Authority or the Alameda County Source Reduction and
            Recycling Board, which is providing the information as a public service to promote the use of
   Get Training and Certification


                    Get on Reference Lists




Also:
• Sonoma State University’s (classes, Green
  Building Professional certificate, and degree
  program)
• SF Institute of Architecture (classes, certificates
  and degree program)
   Use GB Guidelines

• Give to clients to educate
  them on GB
• Offer a checklist with
  scoring for previous
  projects
• Challenge them to
  compare this to other
  professionals they are
  interviewing
• An educated client is
  desirable
Get Your Name and Concept Out!

   Sell the concept constantly (“You have reached ABC
    Builders, creators of high quality, green homes”).

   Advertise in local papers, magazines, large employer
    newsletters, newcomers magazines, radio, web sites

   Use a green logo on all of your marketing materials

   Get free/lost cost advertising in newsletters, flyers, web
    sites. Use co-op advertising to share costs
A Green Building
  Marketplace
Builder’s Ads
Capitalizing on the Healthy Image
   Focus on
    Family,
Children, Health
Handouts
Model Home Marketing
               Green Brochures
• Differentiate what you do from the competition
• Highlight the benefits of your green projects
Brochures
        Come Out of Your Cave!
•   Rotary, Lions, Optimist,
•   HBA, NARI, AIA, BOMA, Realty organizations,
    General Contractors, Habitat, Chamber
•   Local Green Building Organization
•   Business Alliances
    – Good to place to meet potential clients
•   Community Involvement
    – Temple, Church, Synagogue, Coven, Drumming Group
    – Neighborhood Association
       – Provide expert advice
       – Volunteer work
Open Up!
•   Get on Home Tours
•   Have an open house
•   Write an article

           Get in Newsletters!
Teach a Class!
    •   Informal classes at the local College
    •   Seminars at Home Shows, Fairs, Professional
        Organization meetings
It’s more than a telephone
       •   Get the most out of your message


    Think of your phone message as an ad.
    Ask them for a name and address and

     be prepared to send them your brochure
     and card.
    Offer them the opportunity to e-mail you

     or visit web site (more about that later).
    Return calls promptly.
            Get Wired!
•   E-mail and Web Sites are essential
    – Include information, software, etc.
    – Customer and Associate testimonials
    – Get links to you and link to associates
    – Tell your green story
Web
Sites
    But don’t forget low tech
•   Business Cards (Bulletin Boards, Drawings)
•   Postcard Mailers, Brochures
•   Door hangers, pens, key chains, magnets
•   Phone Book
•   Word of Mouth (talk to everyone, because your
    potential customers are everywhere)
•   Referrals from clients and associates
            Signs
•   Make sure your sign
    is visible and
    readable in front
    of your projects
•   Don’t forget your
    Green Building sign!
•   Car door magnets
Builders’ Signs
Green Building Professionals
  are in the Yellow Pages
         Green Sales Tactics
    Get Your Customer’s Attention!
Follow the pain in your marketing!
 Are you paying too much for utility bills? Are you still
     uncomfortable in your building?
 Do you get allergies from being inside?
 Are you spending too much time and money fixing up your
     building?
 Don’t you hate that window condensation that drips onto the
     drywall sill & makes it swell up and grow mold?
 Doesn’t that new paint smell terrible?
 Doesn’t it get hot in that western side in the afternoon?
 Are you ready to pay for a major indoor air quality lawsuit
     settlement?
Communicate the Problem!
Tell them the environmental realities
 Air & water pollution
 Use of non-renewable resources
 Loss of community

To tell them the value of Green Building
 Energy, water, and resource efficiency, durability,
     health, community
 Improved product quality
 Improved worker productivity / occupant health
    Communicate the Problem!
Frame the issue so it is understood, internalized, visualized
 “If you added up all of the cracks in your home, it would
    equal a 4x4 foot hole being cut in your living room wall.”
 “Having a lot of insulation and also having a single pane
    window is like wearing a down jacket in the winter without
    closing up the zipper.”
 “Why don’t you wear a black T-shirt in the summer? So,
    why do you have a black roof?”
 “Air and water move in exactly the same fashion. HVAC
    duct systems leak on average 25%. Would you let your
    plumber get away with 25% leakage? Why do you let your
    HVAC contractor get away with it?”
 “A full size tree can create a cooling effect equal to four tons
    of air conditioning”
    Communicate the Problem!
Show them applicable examples & a demonstration house.

   Give them statistics, case studies, fact sheets, home tours, and
    samples.

   Let them smell it and touch it and see it in action. People
    need to see that it is working for others just like them.

    “Mr. and Mrs. Austin used to pay $400 per month in their old
    home and they were still uncomfortable. Their new home
    costs them only $150 and they are soooo comfortable now.
    They even have extra money to buy that big hot tub you
    wished you had.”
    Communicate the Problem!
Sell them a solution to their pain! Sell them on what they need,
     not what you think they should be worrying about or what’s
     nifty for you.
 They are in pain from discomfort and high utility bills. Show
     them how to save money and how to achieve comfort. They
     have an air conditioner in the first place, because it’s hot and
     humid and they are in pain, not because its a nifty new
     technology.
 Don’t sell them on lowering their humidity in their home.
     Sell a way to avoid that aggravating window condensation
     and a reduction in mold growth opportunities.
    Communicate the Problem!
Sell them a solution to their pain!
 Don’t sell them on lowering their bills. Sell them on the
     concept of not giving money to the utility company.
 Don’t sell them on saving the environment. This is way
     down the list of priorities for most people and the exact
     reason we are in an environmental mess. They obviously
     don’t care that much or they don’t know how to actualize it,
     but, either way, they don’t want to be shamed into it. Market
     studies show they think it’s important, but buying and action
     patterns do not match that. This is a secondary, “feel good”
     type of attribute that you can throw in at the end, but it is not
     a mobilizing concept unless that is your type of customer.
       Green Marketing
Sell the    Lower First Cost

benefits:   Lower Monthly Costs
            Improved Resale
Not the
            More Comfortable
features    Quieter
            Greater Safety
      Green Marketing

Sell the    Improved Indoor Air
                Quality
benefits:   Healthier
Not the     Higher Quality
            More Durable
features
            Less Maintenance
            Environmental
                Improvement
Spend Time Educating Your Client!
   Use green building resources: GBP staff, sourcebooks,
    brochures, checklists, fact sheets, web site, library, videos,
    seminars, case studies, samples, checklists

   Frame the problem and the solution. Give your customer
    easy answers, when appropriate, and be prepared to give
    long, knowledgeable and clear answers, when appropriate.

   Give them an easy yardstick for analyzing energy costs.
    When selling buildings, tell buyers what the estimated utility
    dollars per square foot will be for their building. Utility
    dollars per square foot is like miles per gallon for cars.
                       Just Do It!
Make a commitment:
 To getting more educated about green building. This means
   coming to seminars, reading about it, and incorporating this
   in your business. Send your staff to classes, and attend
   national conferences.

   Make many of the green building concepts part of your
    business. Don’t ask your clients if you can use no-VOC
    paint, just specify it and tell them if you want to why you use
    it. People need to be educated.
    Get customers to take action!
Make it trendy or fashionable or cool.
 People will pay a lot of money for this, but how much will
    they pay to save $20 per month on their utility bill. Utility
    bills are boring! Fashion and sexiness make it cool.
    Exposure in all the standard home magazines makes it
    popular.
Create a sense of urgency! Americans hate to be last.
 “Everybody’s doing it, so don’t get left behind.”
 “Everybody’s saving money. Why aren’t you?”
 “Everybody’s got a comfortable home. Why don’t you?”
 “Everybody’s got a 12 SEER. Why don’t you?”
  Overall Strategies for Success
 Be a leader and not a follower. Work only
  with fellow leaders, because the middle is
  slow and the followers will always stay there.

 Sell better building, not green building. Keep
  it simple. Look for the 80% solution and for
  cost-effective, long-term solutions.

 Conduct a continuous improvement program
    Overall Strategies for Success
   Americans like to have more! We are far from a frugal
    society. We like to use a lot of stuff and we like to feel a
    sense of abundance. Sell the concept that you will get more
    with green building; more comfort and more money in your
    pocket. More free time with reduced maintenance. Better
    health in your life.

   Educate yourself. Always look for a new angle or tactic.
    Look at others and learn from their mistakes. Go to
    conferences, learn, network, read, and then incorporate your
    learning into your business.
    Overall Strategies for Success
   Use professional sales tactics: Listen and let the customer tell
    you what is important to them. Sell what the customer wants
    not what you want. When you’re done selling, stop and
    move on to the next customer or item to sell.

   Talk about green building all day long. Always push,
    persevere, and use whatever you can.
Q&A

				
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