If we want to work toward a better future, we need to conserve our resources, and remodelers play a role in that. We have to stay educated on the latest green products and building principles, and then it’s our job to educate the client. Ultimately, it’s always the client’s choice, but it’s all about giving them options.
I am a Certified Green Professional through the National Association of Home Builders. When the designation was first introduced, it was really about energy efficiency, but it’s grown leaps and bounds since then. Now, a lot of it is about reducing your carbon footprint and improving water efficiency, indoor air quality, and cost reduction strategies. It has helped remodelers have educated conversations with clients, especially as conservation becomes more necessary.
Here are four ways to get client buy-in:
1] Take manufacturer field trips to learn about products
I love getting educated on the latest and greatest, so I often go on tours that I’m invited to by manufacturers. It’s much easier for me to sell that product to the client because I get excited about it and know what I’m talking about. I toured one window factory that built a system to collect the sawdust from its door and window production, which they then sell to another company that makes pet beds out of it. I was really impressed.
2] Repurpose to save clients’ money
This is one of my biggest strategies: keep trash out of landfills. We repurpose and recycle as much as we can when we do a remodel. When we first walk through, we take inventory of what can be donated, what can be reused, and what can be moved to a different room in the house. When I do smaller projects, I often go to my granite fabricator’s yard and thumb through remnants. These are leftover pieces from larger jobs that we can reuse somewhere else, and it’s a cost savings to the client.
3] Share your own experiences
When I’m explaining the benefits of an efficiency upgrade, I use updates I’ve made on my own house to demonstrate the value. When I replaced my windows, the first thing I noticed was the noise reduction. I don’t hear the dog barking anymore. I don’t hear the lawn mower next door. That’s in addition to saving money on my electric bill.
4] Use the pandemic as a chance to evolve your strategy
COVID-19 is changing how we look at our homes. Even more than green upgrades, people want wellness elements incorporated into their living space. They’ve realized that the kitchen really doesn’t work or that they need a secluded area for a home office. These are chances to have a conversation with clients about greener and healthier options like steam ovens, updated ventilation systems, or maintenance-free materials like porcelain.