We've Gone GREENER!

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I’m calling out all the other real estate companies in the state to make a concerted effort to GET GREENER. My firm is now the first real estate brokerage in the state to banish ‘fact sheets’ attached to real estate signs in order to achieve a more greener business practice. Fact sheets or info sheets on listing signs take up an enormous amount of paper as well as staff time to keep them full. Phasing out and fully replacing these boxes with a more permanent option only makes sense to be greener.

In our recent practices a ‘yard arm’ with a brokerage ‘for sale’ sign would go up on a home for sale. Attached to the sign would be a plastic box or tube for 8.5 X 11” flyers about the property. I figure we used 5000 reams of paper on fact sheets for our for sale signs just last year. That’s 300 trees we killed.

Now all our flyers are all being replaced with a ‘semi-permanent’ sign attached to the ‘for sale’ sign. This has the basic information found on any flyer PLUS a QR code.  QR codes are scrambled bar codes that can be read by any smart phone bar code (free) reader.  This way a buyer can walk up to the sign, read the flyer and then download the QR code on the bottom of the sign. Their smart phone will download ALL the photos of the property. The fact sheet itself will (on the sign and in the download) provide contact information, massive photos, pricing, interior and exterior information. This can then be saved in the phone or emailed immediately to anyone.  The new fact sheet sign can then be re-cycled with a new flyer for another listing when the home is sold.

I’ve owned my own brokerage for 10 years now and in that time period I figure over 3000 trees were killed to produce the paper used for real estate flyers just by my firm. That floored me. I went on the web and found in Built Green and Sustainable Living that to built a 2000 sq. foot all-wood home, the construction would required the killing of 100 trees. We don’t build many all-wood homes here in Utah, but we definitely put up wooden frames to support the stucco. If I estimate that framing a home would take say 30 trees, then I could have helped build over 100 homes over those 10 years. I’ve been in business almost 30 years and I’m betting in addition to that 100 home projection I personally contributed to 10 times the loss of trees coming down in order to provide information on houses to get them sold.

I can only imagine how many trees have been killed by the big corporate real estate brokerages in the state in addition to the ones I’ve helped cut. I’m just a single number among the thousands of licensed agents in the state of Utah. I hope other real estate brokerages and agents in the state wide follow my lead and commit to eliminating the practice of paper-eating, environment-killing outside fact sheets on all for ‘sale signs’.” QR codes can be generated for free on any product, property or company from any of a hundred websites and apps. The cost then is zero to generate the code, and the semi-permanent sign can be recycled from house to house with a new flyer/sticker going over the old one.