Mark Tavenner,  in 01450

I am marketing a new development of " GREEN HOMES " does the general public care more about the environment or

Asked by Mark Tavenner, 01450 Thu Feb 7, 2008

the savings of the $$$ on heat bills love to hear your thoughts.

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Evan McElroy, Agent, Groton, MA
Sat Oct 20, 2012
Hey Mark,

I suppose a survey of the "general public" would come in handy. However, think of it this way, to those who live in northern states especially, who wouldn't want to save on heat bills?

Prospective buyers in the north are always asking what their heat bill might be. If I had a listing that boasted a lighter heat bill, I'd be happy about it.

Hope that helps.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
I agree with Heather. There's a niche market that does. Others care about other features, overall price, etc.

Back a long time ago I worked for an association that represented janitorial and custodial companies. There was a push, primarily by some large customers, to have the janitorial firms use environmentally-friendly chemicals and techniques to clean. Some of the janitorial firms tried the chemicals and techniques. They actually worked quite well, but were a bit more expensive. Commercial cleaning services are very price sensitive and, even though something like 70% of the total cost of commercial cleaning is labor (either direct labor or supervisory), the slight additional cost of the chemicals was enough to price some of those companies out of consideration.

Eventually, the prices came down so that bids using environmentally-friendly supplies were fully cost-competitive with the other supplies/providers. And that helped a bit. Still, the main consideration by the building owners and managers was: Are you going to be able to clean my building as well, or better than, you did before at the same or lesser price? All other things being equal, the owners and managers didn't mind environmentally friendly products. Some preferred them. But few could justify the extra expense.

So, it shouldn't hurt to market "green homes" and probably should work for that niche. Just do some research to make sure that the public's general perception of green homes doesn't work against you. That is, make sure they don't think that "green homes" automatically means they cost more...or that what's used in them will require more repairs and maintenance.

One last story: You may have to disguise some elements of the "green homes" advantage. Back to the janitorial/custodial example. Some of the cleaning supplies originally were manufactured with no added perfumes or odors. That was part of the "green" approach. Problem was, the cleaning supplies didn't leave a "fresh" odor that people expected. Instead, it was a rather weak, not unpleasant but not overly attractive odor. It cleaned great, it killed germs, it did everything it was supposed to. But customers didn't "believe it" because they had different expectations. The manufacturer, as I recall, had to add some (organic, safe) odor to the cleaning supplies, so that customers would believe that their floors, walls, etc., were actually clean.

Good luck.
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Irena, , Newton, MA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
The Gen. x is definitely your market. Most of buyers I worked with and am working with care a great deal about the air quality that comes from the ducts, heating costs, paint released fumes, fumes that get released from carpets, lead, radon, mold, water quality and the lists go on. Most of them had tested every thing testable before buying the home. Also the fact that the home is using ecco friendly materials and newer home are a plus. Go to Trader Joe's if you have one close by, most of them shop there. The only drawback could be the location and commute.
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Heather, , Shrewsbury, MA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
Mark - I think the answer is, maybe not the "general public" but there certainly is a niche of people who would be very interested in this type of home. You just have to figure out who they are and find an advertising venue that will reach them. These are the same people that buy the Lexus Hybrid, how do you profile them? I'd say any home buyer in the more affluent demographic is a safe bet. Good Luck!!!
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Zelda Kohn, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Fri Feb 8, 2008
I think it will take another election and a democrat in presidential seat for the general public to start paying attention to' the "green" concept. If you watch the election you notice 'economy' is what the general public cares about most, so yes they do care about saving $$$ when the economy is down. Once we're on the recovery, you'll be able to get more attention grom general public. I'd focus on the educated customer , those in medical field, etc. Eventually the concept will catch up, so hang in there :) Good luck!
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