LEED Advantage – Should Real Estate Agents Pursue a LEED AP Certification?

So, I wanted to learn and understand more about green buildings and all that it means. One solution I was researching led me to join the non-profit US Green Building Council (usgbc.org). This is the organization that wrote and owns the ‘LEED’ green building certifications.

LEED is a USGBC building certification system that is recognized internationally. It provide third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies that improve performance. LEED also provides building owners and those who operate buildings a way to identify and implement solutions in the building design and construction process.

So, I went to a local chapter meeting in Phoenix Arizona and found out it was free for individuals to join locally, and companies join at the national level for a fee. Everyone was very helpful, and all were volunteers with regular jobs. So, feeling quite comfortable as an real estate agent, I joined and chose to volunteer with the Education Committee. Soon I had learned enough to help at tradeshows with the USGBC booth, and it turned out to be fun and very enjoyable.

But back to the LEED AP designation (Accredited Professional). I purchased a thick textbook for about $200 that had chapters and chapters of information to help me pass the big certification exam. Available courses were available, but I want to study on my own. It was college all over again for me with memorization. Some of the terms and concepts were not very familiar and required more online research (i.e. ASHRAE, VOC, etc.). You see, my college degree was in Accounting and my MBA in Finance. I was actually doing well for awhile in the memorization department. I was starting to make sense. Speakers at monthly meetings were kind to ‘dumb down’ their presentations to those in the audience like me. Thank goodness!

There were only a handful of LEED AP professionals in the local Chapter. I decided it would be a differentiating item if I were LEED AP certified. I kept on the slow study program, and am still on it to this day. Since the concept of a ‘green building’ is becoming more popular, it is also more complex. But, the idea to understand and be part of a growing megatrend is still of great interest. I am continuing my studies on the side. The USGBC has introduced a lower level ‘Green Associate’ for those more interested in the basic concepts. That is where I am now going.

Come join in the fun. Let’s do it together!