So I left off last month with a question.
How can City Ventures sell all-electric homes? Or better yet, WHY sell all-electric homes?
The first thing to remember when answering that question is that City Ventures is first and foremost, a business. Businesses operate to earn a profit. Without a profit there would be no business. Being Green and “doing the right thing for Mother Earth” are certainly motivators on HOW we run the business. But make no mistake that WHY we run the business is to make a profit. So how do you make a profit as a homebuilder? It’s pretty simple. You sell homes. Every decision you make as a homebuilder is designed to sell more homes. Sell more homes and I almost guarantee you’ll make a profit. Obviously I make it sound easier than it really is since there are homebuilders that sell homes and don’t make a profit, but that’s the subject of a whole different kind of Blog.
This Blog is about building Green. And therein lies the point I want to make.
There are builders that are making a profit without being Green and there are builders building Green and not making a profit. At City Ventures, our strategy is to make a bigger profit BY being Green. Instead of making them mutually exclusive, we’ve chosen to USE being Green as the strategy that will help us sell more homes. Once again this sounds easier than it really is because of one irrefutable truth. It costs money to be Green. Economics 101 tells us that when something costs MORE, people buy LESS. Actually, depending on what aspect of Green we’re talking about, building Green can cost A LOT more. So how do you sell MORE homes, if they cost A LOT more? You can’t. That’s not reality. People may say they’d pay more for a Green home when they’re taking some survey coming out of a grocery store, but the reality is unless people see value, they won’t pay anything more. Especially in today’s internet based society. People are just too informed these days. They don’t have to take anyone’s word anymore. They can go online and do all the research they need to make an informed decision. And they do.
So back to the question of why an all-electric home.
We believe the key to getting buyers excited about buying a Green home is twofold. First, make the cost of buying Green be as close to zero as possible, and second, make one of the benefits of buying Green that it actually reduces the true cost of living for the homeowner. That’s what the all-electric home does. We’re selling the all-electric Green home for the same price as our non-Green homes. We have figured out a way to have the Green homes cost NOTHING more. Obviously I won’t share all those secrets through the Blog, but I will discuss the other aspect which is having the Green homes reduce the cost of living to the homeowner and answer the question; How can City Ventures sell an all-electric home?
Here’s how it works. We made the homes all-electric. We put a large enough solar system on the roof to generate the power necessary to operate this all-electric home. We then eliminated natural gas in the project. Obviously the homeowner will have no monthly gas bill. That’s a cost of living reduction. Because the solar system on the home is big enough to generate a large amount of power, depending on usage, the homeowner will have no electric bill. That’s a serious cost of living reduction. We actually went one step further and pre-wired the homes for an electric car. If the homeowner had an all-electric car, charged by solar power, they’d have no gasoline bill. That’s a massive cost of living reduction with $5/gallon gas out there.
It’s possible with the City Ventures all-electric home to eliminate a natural gas bill, an electric bill and the monthly cost of gasoline. We believe if you can show buyers that without paying any extra for a home, you can substantially eliminate the monthly cost of living for them, AND do the right thing for Mother Earth, we’ll sell more homes.
And we’re proving it every day. We have over 100 homeowners in 4 projects that have no gas or electric bills. And they didn’t pay one dime extra to get that kind of home.
I’ll expand on this further next month.