Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Q&A Corner: REALTORS® and Sustainability Report

On April 20, NAR published the 2021 REALTORS® and Sustainability report. The report, in support of the REALTOR® Sustainability Program, is a survey of members pertaining to sustainability issues facing the industry. NAR is a leader in the dialogue on real estate sustainability among real estate agents, brokers, trade associations, and consumers. Identifying the growth of sustainability in real estate, the REALTOR® Sustainability Program conducts outreach to members, trade associations, and agencies to raise awareness and engagement in NAR sustainability efforts. The program coordinates association benefits and resources for its members. It also introduces corporate social responsibility and triple bottom-line concepts into NAR's decision-making practices, allowing NAR to educate and support sustainability in real estate through environmental, social, and economic contexts.

Sidnee Holmes, Research Assistant, was the lead author of the report. In this conversational Q&A, she provided perspectives on the report highlights, insights into the data and the results she found to be most interesting. 

What questions is this report trying to answer, or what gaps in data is this report trying to fill?

Sidnee Holmes: The 2021 REALTOR® and Sustainability report aims to show members where they are placing their efforts as sustainability grows within real estate. The report breaks down where members have a strong support and understanding of sustainability in real estate, while providing insight on where sustainability knowledge and provisions can be utilized.

Why is sustainability an important issue for members?

Sidnee Holmes: Sustainability is an important issue for members because it provides essential elements in real estate to maintain viability, resiliency, and resource efficiency.

What did you find most interesting in this report?

Sidnee Holmes: One thing I found very interesting was the shift in REALTORS®' confidence around home performance and green features. A large number of REALTORS® understand the importance of sustainability but are showing a lack of confidence in discussing home performance or green features.

How can our members use this data?

Sidnee Holmes: The data generated from the 2021 REALTORS® and Sustainability report can be used to generate actionable items in areas lacking understanding and support around specific topics in sustainable real estate.

Editor: Further, the report can be used to see how important green features are to clients, which green features clients are most interested in, as well as which can add the most value to a home. In a competitive market, putting a home on the market that features potential cost-saving and sustainability elements might make the difference in how quickly the home is sold and the asking price received as buyers value the features.