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Georgia Business Owner Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is—Takes Three Springs Realty Solar
Dan Easton, owner of Three Springs Realty, in Blairsville, Ga., has long been a believer in eco-friendly homes and emerging building technology and materials making properties "green," or healthy/more energy-efficient, has taken his firm solar.
While his region is more rural and solar is not as prevalent yet, Easton has an inclination for picking up on developing trends. He was one of the first Realtors in North Georgia to earn continuing education certifications like the GREEN designation given out by the National Association of Realtors® and the certified EcoBroker (an independent designation earned to assist buyers/sellers be more eco-friendly with their homes both for buying and selling). Easton would later add related designations, such as EarthCraft Real Estate Professional through the EarthCraft green building certification program, and a long list of international real estate affiliations, such as being one of the first 20 agents in Georgia to earn the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). He is among just a handful of Georgia agent members in The International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI).
This past spring, Dan Easton was the only member to represent Georgia at a FIABCI/United Nations Luncheon and International Symposium in New York City. Two years earlier, he was on a political and economic changes fact-finding mission to Cuba with a 20-person delegation that included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Just as with the green and solar trend, Easton knew the world was becoming more accessible and that meant foreign buyers would have a greater interest in a second home here. Many foreign countries are far ahead of the U.S. in alternative energy production and things like tankless water heaters are considered standard construction features.
Why would such things be important to the owner of an independent, boutique real estate brokerage in Blairsville, Ga.? Because, over time and by making hundreds of connections around the globe, Dan Easton has grown his international real estate clientele to 20 percent of his business.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Georgia is a Top 10 Solar State, ranking No.8 for cumulative amount of solar electric capacity installed through the year 2016. It amounted to a total homes powered equivalency of 162,000. Perhaps even more telling of the future, SEIA ranked Georgia third in the nation for solar capacity installed in 2016 alone. Only California and Utah ranked higher. The Department of Energy also reports nearly twice as many people in the United States now work in the solar industry as in coal, oil and natural gas plants. In Georgia, 4,000 people work in the solar industry and that number is growing.
The Three Springs Realty (http://www.threespringsrealty.com/
For Three Springs Realty, a USDA grant comes into play (as Easton is a business owner) for 25 percent as well as a 30 percent reduction off this year's federal tax bill. Any unused electricity generated has been pre-arranged to sell back to local power company, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC. Easton estimates the remaining balance of the system should be paid off within three to four years.
"In paying for the construction of a small solar energy system, Three Springs Realty supports American energy independence, helps diversify electrical grid sources making the grid more reliable and sustainable for all users," explains Carolina Mountain Solar Owner Stewart Senger. "And it makes a real-world commitment to maintaining the natural environment of the ecologically unique North Georgia mountains."
Megan Senger, who runs the business with her husband, also described how each system installed at the local level benefits and influences renewable energy. "The Three Springs Realty system installed is a model of how a small business can make an independent impact on local green energy efforts. The solar array generates electricity for participants of the Green Power Switch Program of their local power company who specifically want to purchase locally generated renewable energy."
Now that Easton and his business have gone through the solar process, he feels better equipped to assist clients with knowing what to expect, how long the process takes, etc. If a buyer mentions the desire to add solar panels while out viewing properties, Easton can provide a summary and ballpark cost, based on his own experience. It's one more way to distinguish himself from the typical agent in his region and be more full-service to his clientele, while helping the environment at the same time.
About Three Springs Realty:
Broker/Owner Dan Easton has earned more than a dozen continuing education, real estate designations to stay current on the ever-changing real estate business. These focus on a range of areas, including green homes/building technology, resort/second homes, eco-properties, sustainable properties, relocation, senior buyers/sellers and international investments. He is licensed in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
For more information about the international real estate process, either inside or outside the United States, call Realtor Dan Easton locally at 706-835-5149, toll free at 866-745-0333 or visit www.ThreeSpringsRealty.com, which can be read in several languages and has a complete section just for international buyers.
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