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#368241 - 02/26/11 07:17 AM Start your own Green Drinks Chapter & find new potential clients
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
A few months ago while browsing the internet looking for good stuff to post in our Green Building Forum, I stumbled across Green Drinks.org, a world-wide environmental networking organization with over 475 chapters. While I am a coffee drinker myself, I read that Green Drinks mixers were very friendly, very green and open to everyone with an interest in the environment. To my amazement, Houston was not one of the 475 cities that had a chapter. I could not stop myself from jumping on the web site to see who was represented...and found that the other major Texas cities had chapters. I could not believe that we did not have one. I saw a very inviting button that said "Start a Chapter" or something similar so I clicked on it. Bingo, now I am the Organizer of the new Houston Chapter of Green Drinks.

Why am I putting this in this forum? Well, to brag, I guess. Turns out...I will get quite a bit of green building information from folks who attend these mixers...and may even pick up some clients, all while I am promoting my favorite cause...fragrance-free and chemical-free homes. Now you may not support my cause but instead have one of your own. You may think that homes should have more insulation or that people need to stop drinking from plastic bottles or that kids should have more field trips in school so they can learn about Mother Earth. Whatever your thing is, you may find an audience and an outlet in a local Green Drinks Chapter. So, if real estate is slow in your area, why not create your own noise and start a Green Drinks chapter. In one year or less, you can have yourself a great group of friends, lots of potential clients, and just a bunch of new information on how to have a more energy efficient home...info you can pass along to your buyers, for instance. Then, even if you are NOT an Eco Broker or Green designated, you can still keep up with those agents when it comes to green talk. I admit setting up the email and Facebook and two other web site pages, getting a logo and finding a place to hold meetings takes time...but have a friend help or your grown kids or spouse or assistant. I love it. I am having fun with my door prizes and have even given "recycled" door prizes...new in the box and kept safely stored in the closet" stuff. Yep, recycling is honorable and affordable. Green Drinks chapters are honorable and educational. With prices going up, up, up for utilities, clients will be impressed with the tips and information that you give them...much of it learned from experts you will meet at a Green Drinks mixer.

To sum up, we are having some laughs and talking about community gardens and lower ceilings and lower energy bills and smaller footprints. Being an Organizer is not for everyone...and you do not have to be 100% green to attend or even start a chapter...but you will love the people you meet because they are caring and they are interesting and they are varied. So have fun...and I hope you meet a lot of buyers and sellers. They will love you for all your hard work in finding them an energy efficient home AND they will appreciate your starting Green Drinks in your town.

Green Drinks is just an interesting turn on the old Happy Hour...but restaurant bars serve coffee and Cokes and sandwiches and all kinds of good stuff. Green Drinks mixers are Dutch Treat, so drink whatever you want and hand out a lot of business cards and make some Green Friends.

One last thing...the people attending these functions are from academia, from government, from the corporate world...so I hope you will check this out and accept this hint in the spirit it was intended. It's not often that I have a good idea for marketing.

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#368997 - 03/04/11 09:36 AM Re: Start your own Green Drinks Chapter & find new potential clients [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Perky_REALTOR Offline
Mod Squad
Major Contributor

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 7688
Loc: PA
That's pretty awesome Darlene!

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#369067 - 03/05/11 04:41 AM Re: Start your own Green Drinks Chapter & find new potential clients [Re: Perky_REALTOR]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks, Perky. I'll let you know how it goes. I know the price of gas is going to cut down a little on attendance because of the way Houston is laid out. Realtors use enough gas without driving across town to have a cup of coffee, even for a good cause. Eventually, though, we will adjust to the new higher price and things will go on.

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#421514 - 03/12/13 05:36 AM Re: Start your own Green Drinks Chapter & find new potential clients [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Here's an update on Green Drinks. I was right about it being a great place to meet up with folks and talk about the environment, especially how it impacts the real estate and home building businesses. I was dead wrong about me being the one to lead the Houston Chapter. I ran out of time to market and organize it long before I had enough attendees to find someone to replace me. Then, when I was just about to give up, I received an email from Jennifer Lam, a Keller Williams agent with a GREEN Designation. Now Jen is the new Organizer of the Houston Chapter of Green Drinks and I am happy to say that our Chapter will have a great future.

I definitely encourage Realtors to look up their local Green Drinks Chapter and become active in it. Jen had more folks at her first meeting than I had at my largest. These folks were professionals, people who live really green lifestyles, people who just want to learn more about the environment. One thing they all have in common...they all require new housing at one time or another. Green Drinks Chapters do not charge membership fees and we love meetings like that, don't we! Just go and meet folks, enjoy an evening out and help those who may need guidance in their energy efficient home choice.

Hopefully your Chapter will have an Organizer as friendly and informed as our new Chapter leader, Jen Lam. One of my Realtor friends attended, loved it and posted it on his calendar as a regular meeting. For those of you with stalled marketing plans, maybe it will bring a fresh approach. Face to face marketing to folks who know you is always a good thing.

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