Sustainable or same-old? An Investigation into the Communication of Green Features within Online Real Estate Listings across Five Southern Ontario Municipalities
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Green features in residential houses are widely attributed to a reduction in both residential energy usage and regional greenhouse gas emissions, with prospective homebuyers well-positioned to be enablers of a low-carbon future. However, despite their potential for energy cost savings, improved dwelling comfort, and ample environmental benefits, considerations for green features in residential real estate transactions are limited. Presently, the disclosure of a home’s energy consumption information remains voluntary at the time of sale. To provide insights into the information communicated to homebuyers in pursuit of a home with green features, this study will take an exploratory approach to understand the consumer experience during the first stage in the home buying experience - the online home listing review. To explore the experience of a prospective homebuyer, this research will feature e-mystery shopping of online real estate listings in the five southern Ontario municipalities of Hamilton, Milton, Burlington, Oakville, and Brant. The resulting data will identify the information on green features that is currently communicated to prospective homebuyers in the initial fact-finding stage of the home buying process. In accordance with the Customer Based Social Marketing and Marketing Mix frameworks, the study findings will discuss how online real estate listing, as a form of communication from the real estate professional, can be used as a tool to encourage the consideration and sale of energy efficient homes. Understanding the information being communicated to prospective homebuyers who are interested in green real estate is integral to the promotion and sale of homes that are energy efficient. The benefits of this research are two-fold; both driving the demand for homes with green features and the potential knock-on effect of retrofitting within the existing housing stock to meet a growing market demand.
Cite this version of the work
Bailey Vanderbeek (2023). Sustainable or same-old? An Investigation into the Communication of Green Features within Online Real Estate Listings across Five Southern Ontario Municipalities. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19161