Green, I am (now)
I’ve not put a lot of stock into being “Green” until this year. I felt it was a political issue that was being exploited just to have one more thing to disagree about. You know what? I still think it is, but being good stewards of the earth we’ve been given just makes sense. I think we can make ourselves crazy with trying to be over-zealous with it. That doesn’t excuse some good common-sense actions to help keep our “home” clean and healthy.
One thing I’ve decided that the real estate industry can do much better is stop using so much paper. It’s ridiculous the amount of paper that is sitting on my desk… Therefore, I’ve created a list of things I think that we can do better:
1. Stop printing out e-mails, just because you don’t know how to save them in sub-directory or make a reminder to use it later.
2. Stop putting 100 flyers in flyer boxes, when you can refer the potential buyer to a URL (on your sign) of a www.RealBird.com free website just for your listing.
3. Stop putting flyers in flyer-boxes for homes at the end of a remote dirt road where no one is going to drive by.
4. Associations can stop sending magazines, newsletters and postcards to cater to agents who still thinks it’s 1979. Those who are truly interested in the information will read the e-mail, blog or webpage.
5. Brokers can stop putting memos in the agent’s box or copying e-mails or on-line articles because they don’t know how to forward them. If the agent is too lazy to go where the information is, or read the Broker’s e-mail – kick ’em to the curb.
6. To all the junk mailers: You can stop sending junk to me that goes STRAIGHT to the recycle bin. (The junkmail I get alone, will save an entire forest, if they’d stop sending it)
7. RE instructors can stop printing out countless handouts and student manuals for classes. Put the hand-outs on your webpage and let agents know where the reference material is, if they want it. Only about 10% of adult students will refer back to materials after the training.
8. Stop printing out 20 homebooks for homes. Leave CD’s in the home. If your homebooks are really good, the buyer agent is likely to take the materials to mimic your ideas. Make an on-line homebook and leave a tent card with the URL to your Real Estate Show, survey’s etc…. If the buyer is really interested in the property, they’ll go to the webpage.
9. Minimize relocation books. I know that there is value in giving consumers information they can hold in their hands, but a 300 page relocation guide is overwhelming and useless. Create a minimal packet, with reference to the relo page on your website / blog.
10. Consider using Digital Signatures for your clients, instead of printing out countless documents just to fax them.
11. Don’t print out PDFs and other documents because it’s “easier to read” when you know that you’ll discard it immediately after reading.
12. Buy printers capable of double sided printing… and uuussseeee it.
13. E-mail contracts back and forth during ratification and only print out pages with changes to turn in.
14. Stop sending out calendars and other type products to clients who put your calendar on their fridge, but then hire their son-in-law to list their home because he’s new to the business and needs a start.
15. Stop littering my subdivision with non-compelling flyers that you made on a 1998 version of Publisher, with bad clip-art.
If you’re bent on using all the paper flyers and such, now what works! Don’t just throw stuff out there that is going to cost you time and money and not work.
If you’re going to ignore all these thoughts (you’re not alone) please have paper recycling boxes in your homes and offices, that you use and turn into recycling companies for your area.
Got more ideas? Please share ’em in your comments!