Sustainable homes survey instruction manual

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Survey Results from real estate agents

What are we doing?

Prior to COVID-19, we were conducting surveys with real estate agents and house hunters to engage them in conversations about energy performance and to collect information on perceptions of energy performance people are buying or renting a home. We were conducting the surveys at open for inspections as this is a critical time when people are making choices about the homes they live in.

But now that we’re all staying at home to do our bit in slowing the spread of the virus, we’ve had to change this tactic slightly. We are now surveying house hunters through an online survey, accessible here. If you’re looking to buy or rent a home in the next 12 months, please fill out the five minute survey.

Instead of surveying real estate agents at open-for-inspections, we’re now surveying them via telephone (see below). 

WhY are we doing it?

House hunters and estate agents often don’t really think about how a home will perform in terms of energy and greenhouse gas emissions, which can lead to people unwittingly wasting large amounts of energy and money.

That’s why we’re engaging with people before they make the incredibly important life decision of choosing a house. This will be the beginning of a larger public conversation about how we consume energy in the built environment.

How will it work?

Surveys with real estate agents will be ‘undercover’, or ‘secret shopper’ style, where you will pose as a prospective house hunter seeking information about the property and its energy efficient features. Given that we don’t want the estate agents knowing that we’re surveying them, try to keep the conversation casual and informal.

Picking an open-for-inspection near you

  1. Go the Real Estate website and pick an open for inspection that suits you. For purchase properties, click here. For rental properties, click here.
  2. Select the suburb that suits you.
  3. Click ‘search’.
  4. A list of properties will be displayed. Choose a few that are close to each other at similar times.
  5. Once the property is displayed, call the estate agent on the property listing.
  6. Conduct the survey and fill in your answers in the same survey form.

surveying guide

“Hi, I’m [NAME]. I’m just calling to ask some quick questions about the property at 123 Sample Street.”

Here are some example introductory questions:

  • “Have you had a lot of interest in this property?”
  • If for sale: “How much are you expecting the house to sell for?”
  • “What are the key features that make this property stand out to you?”

Pivot to survey questions:

“Energy efficiency is really important to me. Are you able to tell me the star rating of the property?”

Proceed with the remaining survey questions in this form. 

“Thanks so much for your time”

End phone conversation.