By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau | February 2022
Christina Laney Mitre, REALTOR® ASSOCIATE, GREEN, CRS, SRES®, with Corcoran Pacific Properties, Honolulu, Hawaii, recently expanded her real estate business scope to include green real estate services.
She works alongside her mother and mentor, Yumi Laney, who has been in the real estate business for 43 years.
Mitre is committed to building a more sustainable Hawaii through her real estate business and volunteer work. That includes serving as president of Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako and launching a passion project: Smart Living Hawaii Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to help Hawaii become self-sustainable.
Here, Mitre talks about some of her goals and accomplishments.
2022 green goal – I want to partner with or start a green-sustainable development community in Hawaii. I will also explore using the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac green home loan programs here.
Best green marketing strategy – I interview influential, sustainable leaders from Hawaii’s business and non-profit worlds for my podcast, Smart Living Hawaii. The podcasting gives me a real connection and builds relationships with the interview subjects. As a result, I get referrals and learn a lot while preparing for the interviews.
I joined the local Rotary Club and am the president of Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako’s, a leadership position that puts me in front of Rotarians across the state. Ours is the first Eco-Rotary Club globally, and we serve as a resource for eco-related work and service projects for our Rotary district. Though Rotary isn’t a place to solicit business, it’s a place to serve and show people your passion and heart. Through my Rotary work, people realize that I’m a REALTOR® who is genuinely focused on green and sustainability.
I also join task forces and environmental and legislative groups that push environmental bills – ones that often get shot down because they adversely affect the real estate industry. I advise these groups on how to tweak their bills in a way that will both accomplish their goals and address the real estate concerns.
Green hero – David Sands of Bamboo Living, who has been building bamboo homes for over 25 years. He believes building with bamboo can address numerous challenges associated with climate change and make an impact on affordable housing, deforestation, and carbon sequestration.
Most important green housing trend – Some of the trends I see include wellness and healthy homes; home designs that complement location, weather, and natural elements; and edible landscaping, food forests, and herb gardens.
Best advice to new NAR Green Designees – For success, you need to dive into green real estate and commit to ongoing learning, become an expert, and stay up to date on innovations in this niche. The process may feel overwhelming because there’s so much to learn, but keep building connections with experts in the field, a database of vendors, and relationships with others around the country who are passionate about green real estate. Though all this takes time, having the skills and knowledge to be an expert advisor in this green space will be your greatest asset to your clients.
The greatest reason for optimism – We import 90 percent of everything we need and use in Hawaii, and that’s not sustainable. Yet, ancient Hawaiians were able to live off the land. Though we have the perfect weather to grow food year-round, we produce very little. With technology and innovation and like-minded groups working together, I think we can make Hawaii a sustainable state.