How Estate Agents Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

08.11.21 02:49 PM Comment(s)
As property professionals, our role in the real estate industry is to invest in the welfare of our clients and their properties. Making changes to how we run our business operations can positively impact the levels of carbon dioxide that we generate. 

In this blog, we will share with you the changes that many of our agents are taking through the use of innovative PropTech to reduce their carbon footprint and positively affect climate change.
What more can estate agents do?

As the buyer generation enters a new Millennial bracket we also share why businesses need to be acknowledged as a ‘greener’ company, invested in climate change, net-zero and cutting carbon emission to win more instructions and improve brand identity.

What is a carbon footprint?

Carbon footprint is measured as the total amount of gases, known as greenhouse gases which include CO2 and methane, produced by an individual, organisation, community or object and emitted into the atmosphere. 

The effects of CO2 emission released into the atmosphere, especially by businesses has had a significant environmental impact on our planet and its ability to sustain a carbon-neutral environment. Results of global warming have exacerbated climate-related disasters with numbers tripling over the last 30 years according to a study by Oxfam

Through media coverage, we have witnessed first-hand the damaging impact that extreme weather brought on by an increase in air and water temperature leading to rising sea levels has each year on real estate. Statistics show that more than 20 million people every year are forced from their properties as a direct result of natural disasters such as flooding due to climate change. 

In 2019 the UK Government reviewed and amended the Climate Change Act with the aim to become the world’s first major economy to commit to achieving net-zero by 2050. This means that the total measure of greenhouse gases produced must balance the total amount removed from our atmosphere. 

Why is it bad for businesses to have a high CO2 emission?

Simply put, a high carbon footprint negatively affects a business’ bottom line, usually through poor energy performance and increased waste. Whereas a low-carbon level of emission can significantly improve costs and make you more energy efficient and impact sustained business growth. 

With energy costs sky rocketing it makes sense to review how your business processes are affecting costs, with the business view to minimise energy wastage and become more energy efficient. With an outline of business goals from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, agents can also improve their greenhouse gas emission effect by leaning on their CRM software provider to utilise smart software that can replace traditional processes that are becoming a detriment to the UK's net-zero goal. 
CO2 emissions in real estate
Going 'greener’ doesn't need to be costly either. With access to industry-leading software and partner integrations, Rezi estate agent software is dramatically saving companies money, time and resource, whilst lowering carbon emission for agencies and speeding up workflows. 

With new PropTech introductions on the market, it has never been easier for estate agents to help stabilise the greenhouse effect whilst working towards net-zero, saving significantly on their energy costs and becoming more eco-efficient.   

How to improve your business’ bottom line through reduced emission of greenhouse gases

With more real estate agencies working remotely and embracing the digital revolution that the industry is experiencing, company owners and investors are waking up to the fact that being more sustainable can improve business cash flow, deliver better customer experiences and improve their brand identity resulting in more efficient workflows and a greater return of investment.

In a study carried out by Property Industry Eye 58% of estate agents acknowledged that being eco-friendly could improve profitability, while a further 66% of agents agreed that poor ‘go green’ visibility could actually be detrimental to business success.

With a supercharged number of internet users, many studies have been carried out on areas such as abandoned shopping carts and brands. As the buyer market changes and enters a new Millennial era of home buyers it is vital that an agencies vision of care extends beyond the sale. With 47% of internet users abandoning companies that don’t fall in line with their personal ethical values (report by Just Move In), favouring a greener presence within the industry could actually boost brand awareness, retention of customers, increase sales and positively impact brand exposure and thought leadership.

How to make your estate agency more energy efficient

The trick to achieving sustained change in any organisation is to introduce changes gradually and through team engagement and investment. If your team understand why you’re adapting a process and its outcome then they are far more likely to embrace and advocate the changes being made.

With world leaders pledging to reduce fossil fuel consumption, minimize the number of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere by offering solutions to the decarbonization of our planet's atmosphere, it is in your business' best interest to future-proof your business strategy.
Estate agent energy efficiency & growth
Here are a few easy ways to embrace a greener approach by reducing carbon production within business processes and adhere to climate action changes for a brighter more eco-friendly and stable environment.

Transport and travel 

With more people than ever able to work from home many companies during the Covid19 pandemic quickly realised that business sustainability meant moving their business offerings online in order to meet buyer demand. The real estate agency like many saw a growth in hybrid agencies with more team members utilising cloud-based estate agency software suppliers to win instructions and better manage tenants, landlords and vendors.

As more people work from home this has had a significant impact on air traffic pollution. Companies have also been able to save money on fuel expenses and congestion charges as a direct result of offering a more flexible work from home initiative. Many of our agents agree that by working more efficiently from home they have had a positive impact on lowering their personal carbon emission through reduced travel.

Video conferencing

Another great way to reduce your business’ carbon footprint is to embrace the modern communication offering available to us via virtual meeting platforms. Again as another direct result of Covid19 and enforced lockdowns technology such as Zoom, Google Meet and Rezi Meet allowed agents to be able to interact with their prospective buyers from the comfort of their own homes. 

This method of virtual communication has stayed strong as we return to more familiar working protocols. As agents have returned to the office many agree that virtual viewings and virtual client calls have made it much easier to communicate and update all parties involved in the home buying, selling and rental process, whilst also reducing the number of visits needing to be made by agents to a property and their clients to the office.

With Rezi estate agent software, it is now possible to video call from directly within your CRM. With built in features Rezi Meet is able to pull client data for instant SMS and calling and with no need to access a third party app or software to do so. 

Electronic signatures & online document signing

During April 2021, Dezrez saw its highest uptake of agents adding electronic signatures to their agency offerings. With electronic document and signatures able to be uploaded to an agencies database, this is significantly reducing the amount of paper needing to be printed and distributed.

Embracing digital technology like so, has a great positive impact on a company's bottom line, saving money and resource on the purchase of paper, printer ink, postal charges and more. This also benefits the client who is able to securely submit documentation at a time that is best for them and without the need to deliver documents personally to the office. 

Document signing

Digital brochures and advertising

Real estate, a traditional industry has been best known for attracting physical footfall over digital traffic, however with a boom in internet users and people turning to tech to complete business agreements more and more agents are including digital brochure offerings as part of their business strategy.

Moving with the trends is a vital part of keeping business visibility. E-brochures are a powerful way of reducing printing costs, paper and postage. They are also a great way of communicating with a client instantaneously rather than waiting for the client to arrive at the agency to view a list of properties or a specific property’s details. Updates can also be made instantaneously too, meaning that there is no need to reprint brochures when things like changes to pricing are made. 

Modernize your agency with a 24/7 online client portal

Estate agent software that offers a 24/7 enhanced customer service means that days of having offices open post the standard operating times can be a thing of the past. Saving on electricity and heating are just two of the many benefits that online portals serve to real estate agents. As well as having a positive impact on a business’ carbon footprint by reducing these key factors, online client portals also offer a clearer overview of the sale progression and key milestones for all parties involved. This can result in fewer phone calls, document posting and travel into the agency. 

Rezi Anytime our 24/7 online client portal also offers a hybrid solution for traditional brick and mortar agencies. A hybrid solution enhances the customer experience from the comfort of their home. Discover the benefits of Rezi Anytime that speed up the generally slow pre and post-sale process and how it can benefit your agency by reducing its carbon footprint and improving its bottom line figures. 

Real estate carbon footprint management 

During COP26 (Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow recently, the Government has spoken openly thereafter of their path to build and encourage greener business processes to help with the carbon neutralisation of the UK economy. In order to become more environmentally friendly it is our personal and professional responsibility to ensure that we’re making positive changes to support the reduction of CO2 entering our atmosphere. 

As a supplier of CRM software to sales, lettings and property management professionals we understand that it is in our agents best interest to improve processes that lead to a future-proof business that embraces action against the climate crisis. Automation through Rezi estate agency software with integrations such as Zapier is helping real estate agents to speed up client communication and reduce the amount of time needed on computer administration, thus saving the company on electricity and heating costs as agents are freer to spend time away from the office selling and listing properties.

Moving to a greener more eco-friendly business doesn't need to require huge changes. Implementing changes to workflows can easily be completed through Rezi's estate agency software packages tailored to benefit the performance of your agency and removing unnecessary tasks that are offsetting the UK target for a carbon-neutral balance.

If you’re interested in understanding how Rezi estate agents software can improve processes and reduce your carbon footprint through automation, client portals, electronic accessibility and managed travel please book a demo with our friendly Sales Team today.