This event on Saturday, April 20th, was a big success. Here’s a video taken by Jim Smith at the height of activity:
Golden Real Estate’s monthly Sustainability Series continues next Thursday, April 18th, at 5 p.m. with Session #4 about electric vehicles.
Eleven people have already signed up for this session, but we have room for twice that number, so sign up if you’ve been wanting to understand the technology, economics and practicality of owning and driving electric cars.
Did you know that electric cars outsold gas powered cars until about 1915? Drivers (especially women) preferred them until, ironically, the electric starter made gasoline-powered cars easier and safer to start.
So, electric cars are not new. What’s new is the battery technology which now allows EVs to carry enough stored electricity on board to provide a range approaching that of a tank of gasoline — as high as 300+ miles.
Lead acid batteries were the only kind that the original electric cars could utilize. Today’s batteries are lithium-ion, but within a few years there will be solid state batteries.
This is just some of what you’ll learn at next Thursday’s session. To reserve your seat, email me at Jim@GoldenRealEstate.com. The session will be at our office, 17695 S. Golden Road, in Golden.
If you can’t attend, you might enjoy a 35-minute YouTube video of my presentation, “Gas Cars Are Obsolete — and Here’s Why.” It’s online at www.GasCarsAreObsolete.info.
The session is followed on Saturday, April 20th, with a “Drive Electric Earth Day” event in our South Golden Road parking lot, where you’ll be able to interview the owners of many different models of EVs about their cars and why they love them. An electric bicycle dealer is also bringing bikes to test ride! Register as either spectator of EV owner at www.DriveElectricWeek.info.
Golden Real Estate is celebrating Earth Day by holding an electric vehicle round-up on Saturday, April 20th, from 10 am to 3 pm in our South Golden Road parking lot.
It’s a national event, called “Drive Electric Earth Day,” organized by Drive Electric Week, which is held every September. As with that event, we’re inviting owners of electric cars, trucks and motorcycles to show their vehicles and maybe offer rides. You can register online at www.DriveElectricWeek.info as either an EV owner or attendee
As an extra added attraction, I have invited Best Electric Bikes USA (who sold me my electric bicycle a few years ago) to set up shop and bring some electric bikes for test rides. Research has shown that owners of electric bikes ride more often and therefore get more exercise than owners of non-electric bikes. It’s true for me!
Maybe you saw the coverage last week of the American Automobile Association’s warning that electric cars lose up to 30% of their range in very cold weather. This happens because the battery in an electric car is also used to warm both the cabin and the battery itself. This loss of range matters more, of course, when EVs have only 100 miles of range than in the newer electric models with over 200 miles of range.
Having driven EVs for seven years now, I can report that an EV is, in fact, the best car for winter driving. Here are just a few reasons:
You’ll never have trouble starting your car. It’s a battery and motor! Turn it on, put it in drive and go — no warming up. Also, you can warm up the cabin before you unplug. Even if you don’t, the cabin will be warm in less than a mile.
You’ll never stall or get stranded. And you’ll never break down. There are only 50 moving parts in an AWD Tesla. The only time you’ll find an EV on the side of the road is when it has a flat tire or has been in an accident.
You won’t have to gas up in the cold. Think of your EV like your smartphone. Plug it in at night and you always leave with a full charge in the morning.
It handles better in snow. An AWD EV has a 50/50 front/back weight ratio and a lower center of gravity, which translates to great traction.
If stranded in a blizzard, you’ll have heat. Even if your EV is upside down in a snow drift, the heater will keep you warm, burning only 5 miles of range per hour. And no worry about carbon monoxide poisoning!
Talk to any EV owner to learn more. If you don’t know one, call me!
As you may already know, Golden Real Estate is a leader in sustainability, as expressed in the value statement printed on all our yard signs: “Promoting and Modeling Environmental Responsibility.” And most of our agents, including myself, are Certified EcoBrokers, having taken extra training in all aspects of sustainability as it applies to real estate.
We’d like to share what we’ve learned with you, so we’re launching a Sustainability Series that will take place on the third Thursday of every month in our office. We can accommodate 20 or more attendees in our office, but we will move it elsewhere if the demand exceeds our capacity, so please RSVP. You can do so now for all sessions.
Each meeting will focus on a single aspect of sustainability. Here’s the schedule for the first six meetings (subject to change):
Jan. 17th — Home Insulation — Walls, windows, foundations, crawl spaces, attics. (This is a bigger topic than you might think, but it’s also the cheapest and most effective path to reducing energy consumption.)
Feb. 21st — Home Heating Methods — Forced air, heat pumps, radiant floor, solar thermal, and other technologies.
Mar. 21st — Solar Power — Rooftop and ground-mounted photovoltaic, solar gardens, solar panels vs. solar roof tiles, and home battery storage/backup.
Apr. 18th — Electric Vehicles — What’s here now and what’s coming soon in cars, trucks, motorcycles and more.
May 16th — Sustainable Renovation — What are the more sustainable and popular materials and designs?
June 20th — Water Conservation — The latest concepts and products for conserving water use, both indoors and outdoors.
All sessions are 1 hour long and begin at 5 p.m. in our Golden office or nearby if a larger space is needed based on the number of reservations received. The sessions will be led by experts in the field, although you can count on me to add my own comments!
Go ahead and reserve your seat for any or all sustainability sessions now by sending an email to Jim@GoldenRealEstate.com. We look forward to producing this informative series!
Golden Real Estate’s Sustainable Practices
1) Our office produces more energy than it consumes. With our 20 kW of solar panels, we heat, cool and power our office and charge our six electric cars. We also provide free EV charging to the general public, yet our Xcel Energy bill is only $11.26/month. At our request, Xcel removed our natural gas meter.
2) We accept polystyrene from the public in our “Styrofoam Corral,” keeping over 200 cubic yards of the material out of the landfill every year.
3) We use only LED light fixtures and have four “sun tunnels” (skylights) for naturally lighting our office.
Click here to read about our transition to “Net Zero” in our Jan. 4, 2018, column, “Promoting & Modeling Environmental Responsibility.”
Last week I mentioned how Golden Real Estate was honored for coming in third among metro brokerages of our size in the number of transactions completed in 2016.
In this week’s column, I’d like to share my personal strategy for success in real estate, which has evolved into a company-wide strategy serving all agents — and benefiting clients.
Decades ago I adopted what I thought was a quote by Confucius. My sister had it posted on her refrigerator. Thanks to Google, I discovered that it wasn’t a quote by Confucius, but it could have been. “Concentrate on giving, and the getting will take care of itself.” That philosophy underlies this column and its success in attracting clients for me and our agents. The time most real estate agents spend prospecting, I spend coming up with topics on which I can educate myself and then share that knowledge with my readers.
That’s how journalism works. A reporter is given an assignment, learns all he can about it, and then reduces it to a concise article that summarizes what he learned. That’s what I do every week — learn more than I already know about a given topic, then share what I have learned.
I never run out of topics to write about which educate the public — and thereby myself — regarding some aspect of real estate. Sometimes, I’m able to clarify or contradict statistics or statements which I see in the press or on TV. For example, is the market cooling down or heating up? Are we in another bubble? As a Realtor, I have access to raw data that allows me to address such topics in a way that general assignment reporters can’t.
Giving back is important. Golden Real Estate is a member of two chambers of commerce (Golden & the West Chamber) and one business association. Rita and I are active members the Rotary Club of Golden, and I’m also a member of the Golden Lions Club. Serving in this way is satisfying in itself, and demonstrates our values. [We are also big supporters of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (through Jeffco Interfaith Partners, now called West Metro Interfaith Partners) and Family Promise of Greater Denver. Two of our agents are big-time volunteers with Golden’s Christian Action Guild. Myself, I’m a long-time member of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, Golden Solar Tour (now called the Metro Denver Green Home Tour), and the Denver Electric Vehicle Council.]
Another business principle that underlies my practice of real estate is authenticity. Misrepresenting one’s level of success, for example, is not only a violation of the Realtor Code of Ethics, it is not good salesmanship. I consider myself a lifelong learner and don’t “know it all.”
That principle expresses itself in me by being a news and public affairs sponge. I love listening to music as much as the next person, but my car radio is always tuned to the only all-news radio network we have — NPR. I often hear local real estate stories, since it’s a popular topic these days, but being well informed on other national and world affairs is also important to me.
On the other hand, I have little patience for talk radio, whether conservative or liberal. I’ll listen to analysis and hard news, but I consider opinions a waste of my attention.
In terms of the day-to-day practice of real estate, I know I can’t do it all, so I surround myself with a support team. That team includes, among others, a transaction coordinator, a stager, a photographer, a drone pilot, several lenders, inspectors, and a handyman (who works only for our clients). That said, I don’t over-delegate. I like to get my hands dirty. I’ll put signs in the ground and do my own narrated video tours of each listing, including for my broker associates. Our office manager, Kim Taylor, helps with every aspect of listing and selling homes, but I’m happy to show listings, hold open houses, enter listings on the MLS, create websites for each listing, etc. I don’t just have a team, I’m part of the team.
Another factor in my personal success is surely my full-time accessibility. My cell phone (303-525-1851) is never turned off. I was in Puerta Vallarta all last week, which may come as a surprise to those clients and future clients who reached me on my cell phone and made appointments to meet with me this week. (I also submitted last week’s column from Mexico and will be submitting next week’s column from a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.)
Experience has taught me that “to make money, you need to spend money,” and I never forget that. One example of an expenditure that paid off was our moving truck. I bought our first one at a convention in 2004 and it has been so useful to clients and has built so much goodwill for us among non-profits and community organizations, that I bought a second one last year. In 2008 I also invested in a storage shed for the moving boxes and packing materials that we provide free to clients.
Another “investment” was the purchase of a 10’x20’ chain link enclosure for collecting polystyrene (“Styrofoam”) for recycling. We take at least one truckload per month to a reprocessing facility in Denver, keeping over 200 cubic yards of that material out of landfills every year. Our investment in 20kW of solar panels not only powers our electric cars and our office, it allows us to provide free EV charging to the general public. Both these expenditures send a statement about our values that resonates with our clients and prospective clients.
Back to real estate, we have been early adopters in sometimes expensive ways to improve the quality and exposure of our listings. Years before they were adopted by other brokerages, we invested in drones to take aerial photos and videos of our listings. We also were early adopters of HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology for still photographs of our listings. This produces magazine quality photographs in which every element of a picture, including the view out each window, is perfectly exposed.
By now, you may be thinking I’m a workaholic, but Rita and I do enjoy a personal life, going to the theatre, traveling often, and watching many entertainment programs at home. But when my phone rings (except in a theatre!), I answer it. I feel my clients deserve that.
Some listing agents put under “broker remarks” (which their sellers don’t see) that “Seller requests no Sunday deadlines.” What they’re really saying is that they don’t work on Sunday. That’s not us!