The Centre for Liveability Real Estate, which launched this year, is training agents how to recognise the 17 key features that improve the comfort and running costs of a home – and then sell those features.
Those features include: air conditioning, building materials, glazing, insulation, lighting, orientation, rainwater tanks, sun control, and ventilation.
CEO and founder Cecille Weldon told REB that the liveability training will help agents win extra business because they will now be able to identify new features that vendors have been investing in over the past decade or so, but which has often not been acknowledged at the point of sale.
“So now what happens is you can get that extra sale, that extra listing and that extra management because you're able to say you can identify all the features of the house,” she said.
Ms Weldon said agents can also use that knowledge to emphasise the low running costs of one of their listings.
The liveability training turns the question of affordability into a broader issue, according to Ms Weldon.
No longer is it just about whether a buyer can afford a home – now it also covers whether the buyer can afford to live there.
“If you know the running costs are covered, you're going look at that property slightly differently,” she said.
Liveability training is a specialist discipline that is taught on top of conventional sales training. It involves a one-day course followed by a four-week probation period.
Ms Weldon said the real estate industry has made the mistake of having general discussions about ‘sustainability’ rather than emphasising specific liveability features to buyers and sellers.
“It’s not clear what features of the house you're talking about when you say ‘sustainability’… and it’s not really telling you the potential of that property,” she said.
The rest of the 17 features are: climate, energy ratings, gardens, hot water systems, local living, solar photovoltaic systems, water efficiency and zoning.
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