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Create a real-estate platform backed by unexpected adds, optimized for searching and displaying green properties or potential ones.



Creating a new demand must be associated with the existence of an unmet need, we believe that, in the Colombian case, the need is access to information in a way that be simple to understand, simple to compare against other data, and especially easy to reach. 

The fact that a green building is more attractive than another (green or not) depends largely on how it is presented to the public. Over the years we have focused on selling the idea of ​​green properties just to the builders letting them know that it is a matter of environmental responsibility, however we have not shown the common citizen its health benefits, or to corporate buyers its effect on productivity, let alone the economic benefits to tenants. 

We started with the premise that the commercial phenomenon is inevitably linked to the lifestyle that we promote as the best you can get, then we identify who or what is the key to transmit to the public a better understanding of a sustainable lifestyle.

  The strategy is to create an accompanying awareness program focused on the characters who have the more potential to communicate with the public and create demand. The strategy is to train the trend-makers.   The tactic is letting the people access to new lifestyles parameters they didn’t know that were out there.

Category of the action

Mitigation/Adaptation, Changing public attitudes about climate change

What actions do you propose?

 Some context:

All over the country the cities are growing, more than 50% of the population lives in cities of over 100,000 inhabitants and, for decades, the demand of properties has been bigger than the offer securing than for a long while new and used buildings will continue growing and transforming to meet the needs. We can expect then that real estate companies will be a major player in the language of the urban development over the next years. 

Here, while one of the most popular online real state platforms of the country (and one of the few that manages a shared listing strategy) announces that the real estate business moves 1.5 trillion pesos in monthly transactions, no more than a month ago, the guild representative of the Colombian financial sector proposed to stimulate housing demand with the scheme of lease-with option of purchase, meaning that (increasingly) public policies and private initiatives are been called to act quickly in order to help the citizens to understand the benefits of a sustainable city.

Just in Bogota over 2,000 formal and informal real estate firms are involved in the market, not counting the rows of rents, management of buildings and appraisals. What if we could join them in our team to promote awareness of the city they are building and the achievable quality of life?  

We strongly believe that if we could act collaboratively with that number of actors, helping them to commit with a master, general strategy, allowing for a degree of uncertainty and openness to change, recognizing that a new trend will develop best if it’s agents are allowed to be dynamic and to evolve in ways that results in the development of a collective language and intelligence, we could create the right demand, the one for green cities.


The idea consists of two main components: 

- Creating an open source platform that works as a real estate firms directory or network, acting as a shared listing of Agents and Attributes to integrate into existing online platforms.  

Getting to recognize the green features that a building has, treating them as an added value in addition to the typical description parameters in their websites or publications (such as area, location and photos) will motivate clients and firms to make visible their green efforts, and promote them in the renovations that are usually done before going out in the market.

- Boost innovative communication.  As many of us know, there is a huge gap between the technical language of a building and the common client language, and the ones that are called to act as translators are the real estate agents and the advertising they use and place in media, so our tactic is help them meet halfway. Encouraging creative clear tactics to communicate the potential of choosing green properties, introducing the passerby citizen to a range of characteristics that are new to them.  Less paper advertising and more symbols easy to recognize, aiming to the creation of an audience that identifies clearly what they are looking for.  Using this approach facades and walls of the promoted properties will have visual impact, generating not only environmental awareness among citizens but also an easy recall on the property itself. 

The specific actions to develop the proposal are:

1.       Creating an open source website template, as an online directory, that aloud collaboration between real estate practices. Every registered member will be listed as a green properties agent.

2.      Launching an accompanying program using the platform to create networks and sharing trainings to help them communicate green features.

3.       Creating a “glossary” of attributes  as a pack of options (descriptors) for them to use in their own listing systems.

4.       Making partnerships , offer the municipalities to back up the platform, to link specialized contractors, consultants, events, to join the movement.

5.       Marketing. Promote the site among the real estate firms. Placing green question marks all over the city to create an expectation campaign.

The actions may vary while evaluating the existing resources on the market but the driver to put any of those in motion will be if they meet the main objective:  The real estate offices, fundamentals at the time of decision making, will be forced to 1. Introduce new descriptions related parameters in a common language.  2. Promote a new kind of assesments, making the case for green buildings, focused on aspects like long term costs of ownership , the energy efficiency of the property, etc. 3. Give Visibility to green (existing) properties. 4.  Highlight green buildings benefits. 


Who will take these actions?

The proposal is presented by VerdeUrbano, an startu VerdeUrbano


Where will these actions be taken?

It could start in the three biggest real state markets cities in Colombia, Bogotá, Medellin, Barranquilla. Ths cities not only have the fastest rates of growing but also are attempting to impulse processes of urban renovation. Bogotá, as we are put it in as an example, is the city with more developed regulations about green roofs in the country, that itself give us a baseline of the interest of the government in supporting green convertions.

It's easy replicable to Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, countries in which the real estate market works like in Colombia . Brazil, Chile, are to be evaluated. In USA and Panama the main action could be the integration of the green parameters to the existing MLS platforms.

To respond to which other countries may be applicable should be done a specific evaluation, but, the three main components are able to be applied worldwide. An open source web template will aloud to make the necessary changes to prioritize one feature vs another giving the specific scenario. Creating a easy to identify communication/advertising symbol is also plausible and relatable to the specific city's main characteristics or population and the resulting accompaniment program 


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?


What are other key benefits?

- Improvement of properties: To be part of this new movement the owners will be pressured to make changes, this mode, if housing dwelling does not meet the basic conditions for a healthy habitation, they will want to make changes. It is expected also that people feel encouraged  to come together as group and make common changes that benefit individual investment. Example: the case of a condo that be willing to convert/optimize their social areas. 

-  An increment in the sales of local products and services as they become popular, as the led lights national industry or the companies that sells green walls or install solar cells. 

- In the long run a better informed citizen will demand also: Achieve good location for public areas and access to infrastructure. Ensure energy efficiency, micro generation, water and resource efficiency. Use sustainable local construction and local materials. Affordable use of resources.

- It gives a voice for the common citizen to ASK for more.  

What are the proposal’s costs?

Our goal is USD $ 8,500, money that we will use in the construction of 10 green signs, which are priced at $ 800 each, including delivery of plants free of charge to citizens who wish to interact with the initiative. 

USD $ 2,000 will be used in the design, development and distribution of an open template for the website, so that the initiative can be implemented anywhere in the world by people who are interested in the subject. Another USD$ 400 website (hosting, design, coded) USD $ 700 team expenses, administrative expenses. The remaining money will be used to fulfill the necesary partnerships.

Time line

2015 -I  

Creating a team.

Research on the specific challenges of adding new features to plaforms. Evaluation scalability


Creation of open source template.

Start fundraising for launching advertising

2016 -I Partnerships

2016-II Launch of advertising and platform

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