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REALTORS® and anyone even loosely involved with their local Association of REALTORS® has heard the beginning of the Preamble of the Code of Ethics:

Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS ® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

The concept of the preservation of a healthy environment and our individual and collective stewardship is the topic of my thoughts today.

Each step we take in life is planted on this precious Earth. While she is resilient, she requires care and nurturing. Each action in real estate is focused on serving our clients but just as we would never do anything to harm their efforts to buy, sell or invest in property, true professionals would never do anything to harm the very product that we help transact…the land.

NAR 2022 President Leslie Rouda Smith stated it this way, “REALTORS® will have to make sustainability a primary focus — because our customers and our planet demand it.”

President Smith suggests four levels of good stewardship:

First, governance.

At all levels of the association, NAR is making sustainability a factor in its decision-making.

Under the 2022 NAR Leadership Team, sustainability is now one of our Strategic Priorities.

The Sustainability Advisory Group now includes all Chairs who sit on the Public Policy Coordinating Committee, and NAR’s Vice Presidents of Advocacy and Association Affairs.

And as leaders in their fields, NAR and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are exploring a partnership that will help keep members informed about how weather events affect housing and markets.

Second, resilience.

In addressing climate change and sustainability concerns, NAR is building a more resilient real estate industry.

For example, Flood Factor on provides flood risk data on each listing, allowing property owners to accurately assess their risk and better prepare for future flooding events.

FEMA’s Risk-Rating 2.0, which NAR supports, enables more precise and accurate ratings of individual homes, rather than flood zones.

This allows consumers to make better, more informed decisions about the risks and costs of insuring a particular property.

And, NAR’s Smart Growth Grants and Placemaking Program supports state and local associations in the creation of parks, trails, and community gardens.

These types of features create more resilient communities by enhancing things like stormwater absorption.

Third is social responsibility.

There is an important intersection between sustainability and our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

A resilient, sustainable market must encourage healthy communities for citizens of all income levels and backgrounds.

Finally, there’s environmental stewardship. 

NAR is working to solve environmental challenges with market-based approaches that benefit the homebuyer and the planet.

Research continually shows buyers pay a premium for homes that hold certifications, like Energy Star or the National Green Building Standard.

NAR is working to help ensure “green” data fields are available in MLSs.

And that members feel comfortable using them.

President Leslie is spot on and I can’t wait to see what great things come out of the NAR 2022 Sustainability Advisory Group, of which I am a member.

Under all is indeed the land and REALTORS® stewardship of the land is as fundamental as returning a client’s phone call. Read more about our initiatives at and learn that creating a culture of sustainability is good for business, the clients we serve and the earth we should protect.