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#221559 - 04/22/08 05:56 AM EARTH DAY...where were the builders?
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
This has to be the most publicized Earth Day ever. Everyone is on the band wagon. In fact, Earth Day may be right up there with Presidents Day when it comes to sales bulletins, a very strong sign that Earth Day has come of age. I eagerly awaited the announcements from the builder corporate offices to see how they would celebrate. I must admit I was a little disappointed that all I could find was a statement from their trade association that today's homes are more energy efficient than ever (yes, that is true) and that people should look for ways to conserve energy. That is not new news. We already know that. Frankly, I had hoped for some major announcement of some sort...maybe that major home builders are all switching to some new building material...that kind of thing. Oh, well--enjoy Earth Day, everyone.

Added after original post: In all fairness to the builders, I can't say I uncovered every stone in my search and will make an effort to find out exactly what the big builders did for the event. I guess my complaint is that they did not make enough noise about Earth Day. I will follow up to this post in the coming days as I visit each builder's site to discover their "green" efforts...and I will hopefully be pleasantly surprised. In fact, I should invite them on here to post what their company is doing. We all need that information.

Darlene


Edited by Darlene B (04/22/08 04:35 PM)
Edit Reason: Added something

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#221869 - 04/23/08 01:37 AM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Adier Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 191
Loc: n/a
Google changed their logo yesterday an earthy one as a participation with Earth Day.

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#222425 - 04/24/08 08:43 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Adier]
Perky_REALTOR Offline
Mod Squad
Major Contributor

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 7688
Loc: PA
^^and what is Google doing outside of cyberspace...

I noticed that TV stations and other companies are jumping on the "green" bandwagon, and I have to wonder what they're actually DOING besides MARKETING.

When I think of the house that Al Gore lives in (Compared to Pres. Bush's ranch) it makes me ill that so many people have looked up to him as an example, a trailblazer, etc. He's nothing but a hypocrite talking the talk that's popular or politically correct.

I'm all for conservation, all for caring for the environment, all for being responsible. But please. let's not exploit it to make ourselves look like something we're not....

***just a rant, sorry***

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#223406 - 04/29/08 01:24 AM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Perky_REALTOR]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Perk, I finally adjusted to the new Vista computer I bought last month and now LOVE, but I can't say the same for the 2007 Office Suite. It is just too, too different...so it will take me a while. PowerPoint, however, is fantastic. So, that's my excuse for taking so long to answer your post.

I am going to stay neutral as far as the political scene is concerned...hard to do but I'll try just to moderate. In all fairness to Gore, I do think these politicians and activists have huge staff and home office needs. As for the President, I had no idea he had made such a contribution. I don't know if you read the same article I did, but the way they dealt with working to solve some of the problems was very impressive. I'll stop patting myself on the back for buying plastic bottled water now. Seriously, it must have cost an unbelievable amount of money to accomplish what they did. I guess the area around Crawford appreciated his pumping the money into the community, also...the part that he was able to get done there, anyway. I would like to see more of the Hollywood crowd take those type steps when they build their mansions...instead of just gold plating everything. It's the difference between doing something to help the environment and talking about doing something to help the environment. I hope everyone can read up on the construction of Bush's ranch and especially the way they handle the water. And thanks for bringing it up. I really had no idea. I just thought he had a very nice ranch. Who knew? He obviously doesn't boast about it.

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#223420 - 04/29/08 07:06 AM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Perky_REALTOR Offline
Mod Squad
Major Contributor

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 7688
Loc: PA
 Quote:
As for the President, I had no idea he had made such a contribution.


That's what upsets me - is that the media doesn't let people know about it. Al Gore is the Poster Boy of the Green Movement, I suppose, and yet, his lifestyle is the antithesis of what he preaches.

I'm not speaking about this as a Republican vs. Democrat (I have no party, I dont' like any of them, I think they're all exactly like Al Gore - liars and hypocrites and the media just feeds into the lies over and over an d over). I'm not a political person, really.

I just think it's pretty unfair that the world sees G.W. Bush as a loose cannon cowboy ready to rape the earth and yet...who's got the more earth friendly home? Who is living responsibly? And yet...who does the media love?

The unfairness, the bias - the BULL$#&% - that's what gets me upset.

 Quote:
He obviously doesn't boast about it.


No, he doesn't. He doesn't seem like a puffed up boastful man, does he? Do I agree with everything he's done? No. I don't. Do I think he's the greatest President ever? No, I don't (IMHO the greatest president was Grover Cleveland but I think I'm in the minority there, ha ha). But I also don't think he's the monster that the media has made him out to be.

Interestingly enough, I sent the same Snopes story to people in my life who love, love, love Al Gore and are so worried about Global Warming, and how awful "W" is...and you know what? NOBODY responded. All I sent was the link and a blurb about how "interesting" it was. Not a single comment.

Inconvenient Truth - indeed.

\:\(

Makes me sick. I don't think Al Gore cares about anything but HIS OWN POLITICAL environment. If he did really care about the global warming crisis, I think he'd take serious steps to tone down his extravegant lifestyle. He's in the prime position to set an awesome example.

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#223519 - 04/29/08 11:55 AM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Perky_REALTOR]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
We can certainly use our positions as Realtors to help carry the message to builders that there are buyers who would prefer smaller, more environmentally friendly homes. Right now, in my area, there are few to choose from. I know these builders did not decide out of the blue to build the larger homes...they did a lot of research first. And until this recent downturn, these homes were selling down here. So maybe we have to wait for the homebuyers to make the decision to turn back to the smaller homes. That just may happen as the report cards on these latest subdivisions come due in a few years.

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#223719 - 04/30/08 07:30 AM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Perky_REALTOR]
Adier Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 191
Loc: n/a
 Originally Posted By: Perky_REALTOR
^^and what is Google doing outside of cyberspace...

I noticed that TV stations and other companies are jumping on the "green" bandwagon, and I have to wonder what they're actually DOING besides MARKETING.

When I think of the house that Al Gore lives in (Compared to Pres. Bush's ranch) it makes me ill that so many people have looked up to him as an example, a trailblazer, etc. He's nothing but a hypocrite talking the talk that's popular or politically correct.

I'm all for conservation, all for caring for the environment, all for being responsible. But please. let's not exploit it to make ourselves look like something we're not....

***just a rant, sorry***
You've got a point their but isn't that a good move by Google through that they can inform millions of people using their services what that day meant.

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#225335 - 05/08/08 01:35 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Adier]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Earth Day has been a biggie in the schools for a long time now, so maybe the kids are growing up "greener" then their parents. It's coming, that's for sure. In fact, since Earth Day, I see the word "green" on everything but oranges.

Adler, you have a great web site. It's so easy to move around in. I love that the default locator map is the satellite map. I checked out a few listings to see if they had trees...yep, all nice treed lots. This is winter for you folks, right?

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#269988 - 01/18/09 12:42 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
RC21 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambr...
I realise this post is older-- but I just came across it and loved the discussion and wanted to give my opinion on the matter.

I get incredibly frustrated when I see much of the "green" advertising and propaganda out there. There are soo many companies/politicians/people who are more interested in selling their image than actually caring about the future of the planet or humanity.

I wish we would move beyond the "green" revolution to look at sustainability. It is far more important for a product or service to be sustainable than "green". Sustainable means looking to where the products came from, who/what they affected and how they will continue to affect in the future. It's far more comprehensive than slapping a simple "green" label on things.

One example I can think of is the switch to "eco-friendly" lightbulbs. These new energy efficient lightbulbs may use less energy than previous ones, but they are also full of harmful chemcicals that are incredibly hazardous to the environment that previous lightbulbs did not have.

I also see products being advertised as "green" and jumping on the bandwagon claiming that they are becoming less wasteful in their products-- yet they use three sets of plastic wrappings or cardboard to package them. They change one small aspect of their product so they can slap a green label on it and make more profit for themselves.
Caveat Emptor (buyer beware!).

Also, you have to think about where the metals/minerals/resources come from that make all these products... If they are mined by children/slaves (as several of the resources we use are) or fuel war in another part of the world-- then being "green" is just one small aspect of the problem. Everyone jumped on the conflict diamond train after the movie Blood Diamond, but didn't bother to stop and think where the cobalt/coltan in their cellphones/laptops/electronic equipment came from; or the other minerals/metals came from that they use everyday (such as copper, tin, gold, etc.).
It frustrates me when people jump on one band wagon, but ignore other important aspects of the system.

sorry... I do like to rant as well!

(if you want to know more about resource wars or how our products are affecting the rest of the world-- I write a blog dealing with these issues at http://apeaceofconflict.wordpress.com)

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#269991 - 01/18/09 01:51 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: RC21]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks for bringing up this important issue and for your feedback.

Readers can search "green VS sustainability" and read about the complex issues of sustainability, which involves environmental, economic and social issues. Green & Eco have become catch-all words that the general public (including myself) uses, but the US Green Building Council can explain in more depth some of the issues involved in sustainability.

Folks, RC21 is looking at the big picture. If we don't look at that, we may not be accomplishing near as much as we think we are for future generations...and those future generations are sitting at your dinner table right now wanting more mac and cheese.

Regarding the bulb example, I wonder if people are buying the bulbs so they don't have to replace them as often in difficult situations...where they may need a ladder. My mother is 94 and she buys them. She also takes her old phone books and newspapers and magazines to the nearby recycle bin...just a few city dumpsters where you pull up and toss the stuff in.

An elementary understanding of marketing in this country should prepare everyone to be on the lookout for these companies grasping at straws to enter the green movement. Problem is, nobody can slow down long enough to think about those things. They have to work overtime and raise their kids and pay their bills and more. So a lot of time they have to depend on what the manufacturers tell them. Also, some issues of manufacturing building products may require some extensive research to determine who is offending. This is an area the US Green Building Council may be able to help us with.

Around Earth Day this year, it will all happen again. Hopefully we will finally wake up and look at the very enormous picture and realize that there is no simple answer.

RC21, a strong opinion backed by good information is definitely not a rant. It's an attempt to help education the reader of the post on the seriousness of the issue...and it is getting more serious every day.

I have been noticably absent from this forum since Hurricane Ike. Finally I am now settled in my cute little travel trailer. I was very excited about downsizing and moving into my trailer until I realized how much electricity it was going to take to heat and cool it. Right now, I have not turned on the furnace and hopefully won't until I have a chance to redo the insulation in the walls. I am using lots and lots of blankets and still freezing. But I am determined not to run up a big heating bill and hen brag about the small footprint my trailer makes. It isn't much, but it's all I can offer right now toward the environment. If I had four kids, I doubt I could turn off the heat...so everyone's situation is different.

Keep posting - Earth Day is coming.

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#270171 - 01/19/09 04:03 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
RC21 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambr...
Oh my! I hope you didn't have any damage during the storm and that your new trailer serves you well! My tips for the cold: seal all the doorways, get heavy drapes and wear layers; long underwear is a great invention! smile

"My mother is 94 and she buys them. She also takes her old phone books and newspapers and magazines to the nearby recycle bin...just a few city dumpsters where you pull up and toss the stuff in."

Is there a recycling program in most of the States? In Ontario we have recycling for almost everything, as well as a garbage truck that has a separate hopper for food and yard waste that goes to be composted (called our "green" bin). It's collected in most areas weekly. I don't know what systems you use there...

Sustainable living doesn't have to mean drastic change in your life, but it does take a little bit of effort. Cut down one little thing at a time. It's very hard to make complete changes, but it's about thinking more seriously about how we are each affecting the world.

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#270328 - 01/20/09 01:53 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: RC21]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Almost all cities have some type recycling. One small town that has been circled by Houston has three different bins that homeowners put in front of their homes...glass, plastic, garbage...something like that. My city, adjacent to Houston, has big trash bins where you take your paper and plastic. It's just a corner lot with big green bins. I have not been to the city dump in years, so they may have something there that allows homeowners to separate their trash if they want to haul their own to the dump. But mandatory? NO, not where I live. I cring at the plastic bottles that go in the dump. In fact, that is on my 2009 resolution list...to do a better job of pulling those out of the trash.

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#270344 - 01/20/09 03:25 PM Re: EARTH DAY...where were the builders? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
RC21 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambr...
Interesting. We put out all our recycling into one bin, some areas must separate cardboard and paper, but most not.
We have the garbage, green bin and recycling bin- so three all together. The green bin is the latest, slowly coming out over the past few years, with some areas just getting it. We've had the recycling collection for several years now.
At least you have places to take them-- it just seems like a lot of extra work. I was reluctant about the green bins at first but because they take meat, oils, etc... I now find I have almost zero garbage. I do have concerns with the amount of gas, etc. that is needed to go around and collect them, and the amount of energy that is required to actually recycle, but it's definitely better than being in a landfill forever I guess.

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#283475 - 03/27/09 03:50 AM Earth Hour Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM - Lights out
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Go to www.earthhour.org. First year was 2007, when about 2.2 million folks in Sydney switched off their lights for an hour, then 2008 saw 50 million switching off their lights. This year the goal is one billion. I think there are only about 8 billion people in the world, so a figure of one billion people being aware of Earth Hour is rather impressive.

Earth Hour is not some small gesture. When the lights go out in the Sydney Opera House and the Golden Gate Bridge...and in 74 countries around the world...it's an environmental statement that can't be overlooked. I am wondering how much more energy efficent the builder homes constructed in the last five years would be if they were constructed in the next five years.


Edited by Darlene B (03/27/09 03:52 AM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#283588 - 03/27/09 11:00 PM Re: Earth Hour Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM - Lights out [Re: Darlene Bitner]
TB in TX Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 08/16/07
Posts: 2813
Loc: X
Thanks for reminding us. I will turn my lights out, definitely! But can I leave my TV on? wink

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