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Can't We Make The "New Normal" Better Than The "Old Normal"?

June 8, 2020

Can we make the “New Normal” better than the “Old Normal”?

Socrates said “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. “ The truth is that every major innovation came as a result of finding a better way. Things we can’t live without were once considered worthless. Look at our cell phones – who can really live without theirs? I remember my mother having a telephone cord that was fifty feet long. She loved that thing. For heaven's sake, I learned to type on an actual IBM Selectric typewriter. Sure I missed the click click of the keys at first but the wireless keyboard on my computer serves me so much better.

Challenges create opportunity and for NAR GREEN Designees, this is our time.

After sheltering in place for the past three months due to the COVID 19 pandemic, something most of us never thought we’d see in our lifetime, many are seeking to live in a place that offers “more” for them. “More” for parents who spend 24/7 with their kids and those kids needed a place to run might be leaving the city and heading for the suburbs. “More” for families who found themselves working from home and homeschooling discovering more space would allow the entire family the room to continue to work from home, spend time with their families and be productive all at the same time. "More" for the mom or dad who just needs a room of their own. "More" for older parents whose children and their families are coming to live with them for financial reasons or just to be close to Grandma and Grandpa. “More” for these families is a necessary change that would allow them to adapt to this new normal. Now that so many have utilized technology to work remotely and have a better work-life balance, what’s stopping them from doing so moving forward?

What we know as Realtors and NAR GREEN designees to be true is that there are many considerations when people choose a home. The ability to love where we live, be comfortable and to use less resources doing so is paramount right now. With so many people choosing to work from home, operating costs of that property will increase dramatically if that home does not “adapt” to this change. Homeowners will be using more electricity for lighting, technology and basic operating systems such as heating and cooling by simply spending considerably more time at home than they ever did before. They want to be comfortable.

Suzanne Shelton wrote an article back in 2017 entitled “Why Do We Keep Making It So Hard For People To Get What They Want” citing the following data compiled by her team:

· The folks buying homes – particularly higher-end homes – want higher performing, greener homes.
· In my experience realtors are not set up/not trained/not inclined to recommend an energy audit as part of the offer process the same way they recommend a home inspection.
· It’s hard/impossible to find one person who can do both a home inspection and an energy/air quality inspection.
· Energy/air quality inspection reports often lack a statement of benefit – what are you really buying/what improvements can you really expect? And they’re often not comprehensive – you have to call someone else to give you a recommendation on the HVAC system. And who knows if that person knows anything about building science and can size the units right for a home that’s been tightly sealed? Sounds like a set-up for a lot of finger-pointing down the road to me.

You can read her full article here:

There are also many homeowners who have no need or desire to move however they’re going to need to adapt to this new normal also. We know that simple modifications to the homes we live in can create a more comfortable, more affordable lifestyle. Changing our light bulbs to LED, utilizing Smart Home technology, getting free or subsidized home energy audits and retrofitting or upgrading the systems in our homes to more energy efficient models can bridge the gap and solve for the Green of the Earth and the Green of the Dollar, all at the same time. We know this stuff and it’s our right and privilege to share this in a smart manner.

There’s a lot of talk about PIVOT right now. My opinion is that as NAR GREEN designees, we have to DIG IN. We have a special niche and wealth of knowledge that empowers us to better serve our clients and give them exactly what they want. We have to ask powerful questions that encourage our clients to share what their “more” is. Dig into it.

As NAR GREEN designees, our power is in the knowledge we have only when we share it. We have the ability to be a resource to so many and all we need to do is share what we know. No, this isn’t about posting on Facebook. This is about real life and the communities we serve.

We have to take it to the next level.

We have to form alliances in our communities with businesses and their leadership teams, elected officials, our utilities, state organizations, community organizations of all kinds. Think about it. There is no better way to be that resource for our community than to have a network of our own. Keep learning more! We can help each other and by proxy, reach more people who want to know more. There are others like us. Go find them!

Priorities have changed and with home being more important than ever, physical and psychological well-being for all of our families is everything. We can help those in our communities adapt to this new normal and give them “more” by providing insight and resources to give them exactly what they want. This is what we’ve trained for!

Note: If you’re a Realtor and do not have the NAR GREEN designation, I’m teaching the course virtually in four, easy-to-digest parts. Thanks to our friends at NAR, the registration fee for this 15-hour course is only $149. Come join us. Here’s the link to register:

Christina Mathieson, LEED GA

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson,

eXp Realty, 68-56 Groton Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375

NYS Licensed Real Estate Instructor


Christina Mathieson is a results-oriented business strategist and lifelong entrepreneur who proudly encourages those around her to dream big and motivated by an unwavering social responsibility. Christina is a Realtor who utilizes her business expertise in the marketing and pricing of residential real estate with a specialty in high-performing and solar-powered homes, tinue to continue to develop Green Education programs for real estate professionals as well as community education programs on sustainability and solar. Christina’s “Becoming A Solar Specialist” program is the first of its kind to educate on residential solar power and energy efficiency and how these upgrades affect a real estate transaction.

Christina has been awarded National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Ever Green Award, was inducted into Long Island Business News's “Top 50 Women In Business” Class of 2018, 2020 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022. is a certified LEED Green Associate and a John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Coach and Trainer and a Jack Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She holds a NYS Private Career School Teacher license in electrical technology, a NYS Department of State Real Estate Instructor license, a NYS Real Estate Salesperson license and is a certified NAR Green Designee and Instructor and holds a NAR Pricing Strategy Advisor Certification. In 2019 Christina was appointed to the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission by her Legislator, Kevin McCaffrey, to advise on legislative issues regarding women and families in Suffolk County. In addition, Christina is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council is proud to be the founder of Long Island-based non-profit,

When she’s not engaged professionally, Christina devotes her time and spirit to her family: husband Jose, children Robert, Sam, Elizabeth and Lauren, step children Jose and Christina and grandchildren Katie, Michael and Ella.


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