Presentation on theme: "Marketing Yourself as a Green Building Professional October 2004 Green Materials Showcase Marc Richmond, What’s Working, Development."— Presentation transcript:
Marketing Yourself as a Green Building Professional October 2004 Green Materials Showcase Marc Richmond, What’s Working, Development of this presentation is funded by an energy efficiency grant from the CA Public Utilities Commissions sourced through energy efficiency public good charges to California ratepayers. This information is provided for general education and informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement, approval or recommendation of any kind. Marketing Yourself as a Green Building Professional October 2004 Green Materials Showcase Marc Richmond, What’s Working, Development of this presentation is funded by an energy efficiency grant from the CA Public Utilities Commissions sourced through energy efficiency public good charges to California ratepayers. This information is provided for general education and informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement, approval or recommendation of any kind.
Reduced Operating Costs (utilities & maintenance) Quality Indoor Air Reduced Exposure (IAQ, Mold) Comfort, Productivity, Quiet, Safety Quality, Value “Green” Seal of Approval Today’s Building Owners Want
Aesthetics Dollar savings Environmental protection Sense of Community Solutions to their problems, easing the pain of owning a building Things that are fashionable, sexy, new, high-tech What their neighbors or competitors are doing What Else Does Your Customer Value?
Overview of Market Trends Higher general awareness of “green building benefits” Government agencies/owners/developers are requesting “sustainable” buildings Increase in “sustainable” ads, claims, and brochures Buyers are generally ahead of the professionals in their awareness
Green Building Market Research Conducted by Professional Builder Magazine, Consumer preferences How important are the issues?
Green Market Research Benefits to the homeowner What are prospective homeowners looking for?
Green Market Research Upgrades – homeowner preferences
Green Market Research What energy conservation features should be standard in a new home?
Green Market Research What resource conserving features are important to them?
Green Market Research What indoor air quality features are important to them?
Green Market Research What are they willing to pay to have green features in their homes?
Approximately 50% of respondents would pay $25-$124 or more in added mortgage payments for a low energy home equating to $3,750-26,250 - in value at 7% interest rate. Local Market Research conducted by American Lives, 2002
Focus Group Comments What are the benefits that homeowners are looking for? –Increased equity/resale value –Quality materials, durability –Curb appeal –Energy efficiency Conclusion: Green building has to meet all the above criteria before environmental issues will be considered.
Focus Group Comments What does “green” mean to them? –Green means paying more for an inferior product –Durable means green, but green means not durable –What does “green” really mean? –I feel good, but what else do I get from using green products? –Green products can’t be strong or good enough to do the job!
Focus Group Comments What would convince them to build green? –Trust in the contractor/ architect that he/she is truly committed to helping the planet, not just bottom line –Green Certification –Green labels on products (“I always read labels”) –Proof that lumber was responsibly grown and produced –Demonstrated energy savings, money savings –Not just being Politically Correct
Focus Group Conclusions Green must provide all of the benefits of typical homes AND help people and the planet. People are willing to “do the right thing” if they have quality information to understand it will make a difference Other factors (aesthetics, durability) are more important than price If you can get past the skepticism and “greenwashing, they are willing to pay more if benefits are proven More education is needed to overcome mythology and concern about “greenwashing” Conclusion for Bay Area professionals is that an organized Green Building Program is needed to address these issues of lack of education in the marketplace.
How are you doing now? How are others in your area doing? How are others around the country doing? Evaluate your typical specifications & processes Where are You?
Align Yourself with Local Programs & Take Advantage of Their Resources Education Marketing Technical advice
Building Materials Database The Materials Database lists products, local suppliers and service providers that correspond with guidelines developed by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority.* Searching the Database There are three ways to search the Green Resource Database. Choose from one of the options shown below: Search by Category Choose a Category Select Category… Search By Product Enter the Name of a Product Enter text [Search] Search by Alameda County Green Measures Construction Type Select Type… To Learn more about Green Building Guidelines, click here. *Listing in this database should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority or the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, which is providing the information as a public service to promote the use of sustainable building materials and reduce the amount of materials landfilled. Resources
Get Training and Certification Also: Sonoma State University’s (classes, Green Building Professional certificate, and degree program) SF Institute of Architecture (classes, certificates and degree program) Get on Reference Lists
Use GB Guidelines Give to clients to educate them on GB Offer a checklist with scoring for previous projects Challenge them to compare this to other professionals they are interviewing An educated client is desirable
Sell the concept constantly (“You have reached ABC Builders, creators of high quality, green homes”). Advertise in local papers, magazines, large employer newsletters, newcomers magazines, radio, web sites Use a green logo on all of your marketing materials Get free/lost cost advertising in newsletters, flyers, web sites. Use co-op advertising to share costs Get Your Name and Concept Out!
A Green Building Marketplace
Capitalizing on the Healthy Image
Focus on Family, Children, Health
Model Home Marketing
Green Brochures Differentiate what you do from the competition Highlight the benefits of your green projects
Rotary, Lions, Optimist, HBA, NARI, AIA, BOMA, Realty organizations, General Contractors, Habitat, Chamber Local Green Building Organization Business Alliances –Good to place to meet potential clients Community Involvement –Temple, Church, Synagogue, Coven, Drumming Group –Neighborhood Association –Provide expert advice –Volunteer work Come Out of Your Cave!
Informal classes at the local College Seminars at Home Shows, Fairs, Professional Organization meetings Teach a Class! Open Up! Get on Home Tours Have an open house Write an article Get in Newsletters!
Get the most out of your message It’s more than a telephone l Think of your phone message as an ad. l Ask them for a name and address and be prepared to send them your brochure and card. l Offer them the opportunity to you or visit web site (more about that later). l Return calls promptly.
and Web Sites are essential –Include information, software, etc. –Customer and Associate testimonials –Get links to you and link to associates –Tell your green story Get Wired!
Business Cards (Bulletin Boards, Drawings) Postcard Mailers, Brochures Door hangers, pens, key chains, magnets Phone Book Word of Mouth (talk to everyone, because your potential customers are everywhere) Referrals from clients and associates But don’t forget low tech
Make sure your sign is visible and readable in front of your projects Don’t forget your Green Building sign! Car door magnets Signs
Green Building Professionals are in the Yellow Pages
Follow the pain in your marketing! Are you paying too much for utility bills? Are you still uncomfortable in your building? Do you get allergies from being inside? Are you spending too much time and money fixing up your building? Don’t you hate that window condensation that drips onto the drywall sill & makes it swell up and grow mold? Doesn’t that new paint smell terrible? Doesn’t it get hot in that western side in the afternoon? Are you ready to pay for a major indoor air quality lawsuit settlement? Green Sales Tactics Get Your Customer’s Attention!
Tell them the environmental realities Air & water pollution Use of non-renewable resources Loss of community To tell them the value of Green Building Energy, water, and resource efficiency, durability, health, community Improved product quality Improved worker productivity / occupant health Communicate the Problem!
Frame the issue so it is understood, internalized, visualized “If you added up all of the cracks in your home, it would equal a 4x4 foot hole being cut in your living room wall.” “Having a lot of insulation and also having a single pane window is like wearing a down jacket in the winter without closing up the zipper.” “Why don’t you wear a black T-shirt in the summer? So, why do you have a black roof?” “Air and water move in exactly the same fashion. HVAC duct systems leak on average 25%. Would you let your plumber get away with 25% leakage? Why do you let your HVAC contractor get away with it?” “A full size tree can create a cooling effect equal to four tons of air conditioning” Communicate the Problem!
Show them applicable examples & a demonstration house. Give them statistics, case studies, fact sheets, home tours, and samples. Let them smell it and touch it and see it in action. People need to see that it is working for others just like them. “Mr. and Mrs. Austin used to pay $400 per month in their old home and they were still uncomfortable. Their new home costs them only $150 and they are soooo comfortable now. They even have extra money to buy that big hot tub you wished you had.” Communicate the Problem!
Sell them a solution to their pain! Sell them on what they need, not what you think they should be worrying about or what’s nifty for you. They are in pain from discomfort and high utility bills. Show them how to save money and how to achieve comfort. They have an air conditioner in the first place, because it’s hot and humid and they are in pain, not because its a nifty new technology. Don’t sell them on lowering their humidity in their home. Sell a way to avoid that aggravating window condensation and a reduction in mold growth opportunities. Communicate the Problem!
Sell them a solution to their pain! Don’t sell them on lowering their bills. Sell them on the concept of not giving money to the utility company. Don’t sell them on saving the environment. This is way down the list of priorities for most people and the exact reason we are in an environmental mess. They obviously don’t care that much or they don’t know how to actualize it, but, either way, they don’t want to be shamed into it. Market studies show they think it’s important, but buying and action patterns do not match that. This is a secondary, “feel good” type of attribute that you can throw in at the end, but it is not a mobilizing concept unless that is your type of customer. Communicate the Problem!
Green Marketing Sell the benefits: Not the features Lower First Cost Lower Monthly Costs Improved Resale More Comfortable Quieter Greater Safety
Green Marketing Sell the benefits: Not the features Improved Indoor Air Quality Healthier Higher Quality More Durable Less Maintenance Environmental Improvement
Use green building resources: GBP staff, sourcebooks, brochures, checklists, fact sheets, web site, library, videos, seminars, case studies, samples, checklists Frame the problem and the solution. Give your customer easy answers, when appropriate, and be prepared to give long, knowledgeable and clear answers, when appropriate. Give them an easy yardstick for analyzing energy costs. When selling buildings, tell buyers what the estimated utility dollars per square foot will be for their building. Utility dollars per square foot is like miles per gallon for cars. Spend Time Educating Your Client!
Make a commitment: To getting more educated about green building. This means coming to seminars, reading about it, and incorporating this in your business. Send your staff to classes, and attend national conferences. Make many of the green building concepts part of your business. Don’t ask your clients if you can use no-VOC paint, just specify it and tell them if you want to why you use it. People need to be educated. Just Do It!
Make it trendy or fashionable or cool. People will pay a lot of money for this, but how much will they pay to save $20 per month on their utility bill. Utility bills are boring! Fashion and sexiness make it cool. Exposure in all the standard home magazines makes it popular. Create a sense of urgency! Americans hate to be last. “Everybody’s doing it, so don’t get left behind.” “Everybody’s saving money. Why aren’t you?” “Everybody’s got a comfortable home. Why don’t you?” “Everybody’s got a 12 SEER. Why don’t you?” Get customers to take action!
Be a leader and not a follower. Work only with fellow leaders, because the middle is slow and the followers will always stay there. Sell better building, not green building. Keep it simple. Look for the 80% solution and for cost-effective, long-term solutions. Conduct a continuous improvement program Overall Strategies for Success
Americans like to have more! We are far from a frugal society. We like to use a lot of stuff and we like to feel a sense of abundance. Sell the concept that you will get more with green building; more comfort and more money in your pocket. More free time with reduced maintenance. Better health in your life. Educate yourself. Always look for a new angle or tactic. Look at others and learn from their mistakes. Go to conferences, learn, network, read, and then incorporate your learning into your business. Overall Strategies for Success
Use professional sales tactics: Listen and let the customer tell you what is important to them. Sell what the customer wants not what you want. When you’re done selling, stop and move on to the next customer or item to sell. Talk about green building all day long. Always push, persevere, and use whatever you can. Overall Strategies for Success