Phoenix, AZ hosted the EEBA Conference September 24th through 26th. On September 23rd, a Summit preceeded the conference for local builders, appraisers, agents, and energy raters. I was invited to be a presenter at the Summit. This was my first time attending the EEBA Conference and it proved to be a good educational and networking experience. “Accuracy + Data = Value” was the topic assigned to me with an emphasis on the necesssity for accuracy in reporting sales data in the MLS. The presentation was part of a panel discussion with Jan Green, a Phoenix EcoBroker; Marlo Newman, a local mortgage broker; and Kirsten Shaw, an energy rater. Thomas Hines, Energy Efficient Program Manager at Arizona Power Service, moderated the panel discussion with enthusiam that encouraged the participants to keep the questions coming.
The lively audience engaged the panelist with numerous questions that applied to all U.S. real estate markets when it comes to high-performance houses. A few of the questions are as follows:
- Who can complete the AI Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum?
- How can a real estate agent get the AI Green Addendum to the appraiser?
- Can agents, builders, sellers, or energy raters talk to and provide appraisers with data?
- How can agents and builders assure lenders hire competent appraisers for high-performance houses?
- How can MLS improve the data input?
- What does it take to get an appraiser to acknowledge and include green/energy efficient value?
- Why don’t lenders pay appraisers appropriately for high-performance house appraisals?
- Why don’t lenders choose appraisers based on competency instead of the rotation list?
- Should all houses be required to have a HERS Rating?
These are questions on the minds of real estate participants all around the country. Brainstorming the responses resulted in a morning of good ideas and steps to move forward in the Phoenix market. The industry players not present were the lenders and their underwriters. Marlo Newman provided his perspective from the lending side but many of the problems the particpants experience will not be solved without more lenders and underwriters coming to the table to understand the high-performance market.
Gavin Hastings, Marketing for APS Home Performance for ENERY STAR, is a wealth of knowledge of the energy efficient programs. Gavin held a couple debriefing sessions with Laura Stukel, EcoBroker of Chicago, IL and Consultant with CNT Energy, Kristi Matthews of Advanced Energy, Jan Green, and me. Gavin has great marketing and educational ideas that can move the education of energy efficiency forward in all markets. It is refreshing to see how much energy Gaving puts into creative ideas for marketing and high-performance education.
Following the Summit was the three-day EEBA Conference that included a number of industry champions like Sam Rashkin of the Dept. of Energy, Matt Belcher of St. Louis NAHB, Kevin Morrow of Washington D.C. NAHB, C.R. Hero of Meritage Homes, and Gord Cooke an industry leader in building science to name a few presenters. The sessions included a variety of building science topics and energy efficient product update sessions that were informative for all sectors of the real estate market. As a first time participant at this event, I found this conference well worth the time to learn more about the high-performance building science.
The trade show offered a number of vendors that presented the latest products enhancing energy efficient technology. My take away from the conference was a realization that this is a place appraisers can learn much by networking with the building science industry. Appraisers are not home inspectors, structural engineers, or builders but we do need basic knowledge of the building industry. Builders also need an understanding of the valuation industry to market their product with a quick and uneventful closing. It would be great to see more builders attend the Appraisal Institute courses and National Conference.
A big thanks goes to Karen Thull, Executor Director of EEBA, and Kristi Matthews, Business Manager of Advanced Energy for putting this conference and programing together. It was an honor to be a presenter at the Summit and participant at the Conference. I hope next year more appraisers, lenders, and agents will attend the Conference in St. Louis. See you in St. Louis in September 2014.