Ask the Expert – “Green”, Overcoming Objections

Hi Christine,

As a contractor, I always make “green” recommendations to my clients. The first comment I get from EVERYONE is that it’s a great idea, but I find customers aren’t willing to pay for the green up charges, and they say it takes so long to realize the savings that it’s not worth the effort or expense. Help! What can I do?

– Bill M. in Truckee, California

Hi Bill,

Good for you. We all have to start somewhere. I often think of those brave souls who started with solar energy in the seventies (when we thought they were crazy!). Who is laughing now? They are – all the way to the bank.

As with any sales pitch, Bill, you overcome objections by bringing up potential stumbling blocks BEFORE your clients do. In the case of your comment above, you say that many people think it’s a great idea to go green but question the expense; however, when I show Mr. and Mrs. Client that the overall monthly savings will allow them to make an extra mortgage payment a year and just doing that can cut TEN years off their mortgage, your clients will start to listen. If you supply this information coupled with the reminder about rising energy costs, I believe people will be more receptive.

Good luck, Bill. You sound like a great candidate for our online green certification; be sure to find out more from the person who gave you this magazine or visit

– Christine


Ask the Expert – Lawns


My question may be unanswerable. I live in a part of the country prone to drought, so grass doesn’t always look great, which spoils photos and curb appeal. Do you have any suggestions?

– Colin J., Kansas


According to the Lawn Institute, there are over 47 million acres of turfgrass just in the US! You are not alone with your challenge, but consider this; all that green (or lack of) is actually not all that “green”. The average household uses sixty gallons of water every day in an effort to maintain a lush, green lawn. Toxic pesticides and herbicides run off into lakes and streams and gas powered mowers spew pollution into the air. Then there is all the time invested in watering, weeding, seeding, sodding, thatching, and mulching! A practical alternative is to replace high-maintenance grass with ground covers that form walkable carpets or innovative grasses that require little or no water or even mowing! The benefits will make your listings more marketable as they will reduce the need for irrigation and chemicals and reduce your water costs. Since you spend less time working on the yard, you can spend more time enjoying it!


What Home Buyers Want and How You Can Make It Happen: #2 Energy Efficient Features

Go green. Reduce your carbon footprint. Manage your energy usage. Watch your wattage. Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Do these words ring a bell?  They should, you can’t open a magazine or watch TV without hearing about new initiatives, products and plans for “greening” your life.According to, 50% of Americans’ New Year ‘s Resolution was to go green and reduce their household energy usage.  Home buyers are asking, “How environmentally friendly is this home?” Realtors recognize the importance of this issue and have added a new search feature to that allows shoppers to customize their search for “energy efficient” homes.

[Read more…]


Go Green in 2009!

The Certified Staging Professionals have partnered with Live Green Live Smart Institute to bring a fabulous new green build science program to stagers, designers, professional organizers, home inspectors and real estate professionals across North America. 

Fabulous Green Factoids from the LGLS Certified Professional course:

• Forty percent of new homes have some green features.  The figure for actual “green”  new homes is optimistically around 10% and  USGBC more accurately around 0.2%  [Read more…]