Connect @ UNITE!

September 20 & 21, 2023  |  Prior Lake, MN

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The 2023 Minnesota Realtors® annual conference will feature CONNECT, a new sustainability track. CONNECT is presented in partnership with the Minneapolis Area Realtors®.

The second annual conference on energy efficiency, CONNECT will be held on September 20, 2023 at Mystic Lake Casino from 9 am–12 pm. A full morning of presentations will start with an introduction to energy efficiency, a panel discussing energy efficiency policy and legislation in Minnesota, and everything you need to know about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax benefits, and rebates. An opportunity for in-depth learning on day two of the conference, September 21, 2023, will feature programming focused on energy efficiency and real estate best practices. 


It is a meeting of the minds that CONNECT energy efficiency and real estate. Realtors® have a fiduciary responsibility to know building science, and to know how to help consumers maximize the value of a property as well as manage the total cost of ownership. New technology and tools, as well as tax credits and rebates, add up to an opportunity to know more and do more to address climate change, improve the lives of your clients, and increase your level of professionalism. The CONNECT track has been approved for 3.0 Hours of CE by the Minnesota Dept. of Commerce.


Wednesday, September 20

Part One: Building Science—What You Need to Know to Be a Successful Realtor®

Presented by Aaron Smith, CEO of EEBA—Energy & Environmental Building Alliance 

·         Basic building science, how buildings work 

·         How to increase energy efficiency and trends and cutting-edge building products 

·         Building Codes past present and future 

·         Electrification is here, what your clients need to know to avoid a “brown discount.” 


Part Two: What’s Happening?

Minnesota thrives! Minnesota is adapting to climate change, embracing our future, and creating opportunities. This part of the track focuses on what you need to know about advocacy, legislation, regulation, and policies that support a robust real estate market for the future and enhance our quality of life. 

Panel discussion hosted by Todd Shipman, past chair of NAR Sustainability Advisory Group. Panel Members are: Larry Kraft, Minnesota State Representative from St. Louis Park; Kim Havey, Director of Sustainability, Healthy Homes, and Environment for the City of Minneapolis; and Eric Fowler, Senior Policy Associate for Buildings -Fresh Energy.

Part Three: The Inflation Reduction Act for Realtors® 

Leverage the opportunity to improve the comfort and value of your, your clients' property, and the properties you transact.

Presented by Cynthia Adams and Robin LeBaron CEO/Co-Founder of Pearl Certification and Green Door. 

Thursday, September 21

Breakout Session: Intro to Valuing, Financing & Marketing Green Homes  

Please note: This breakout session will run alongside other breakout sessions, with three opportunities to attend throughout the day.

Presented by Teresa Lopez, CEO of Green Energy Money (GEM) Business Development & Education-as-Marketing, Mortgage Banker over 25 yrs.; funding residential & development loans. This breakout session will cover the following:

  • Review recent case Studies of high-performance existing home retrofits and new construction, incorporating rainwater harvesting, solar, geothermal, and other technologies.
  • Identify types of economic and performance data appraisers and lenders need to support value and underwrite loans; determine the value of green upgrades.
  • Get up-to-date information on green financing initiative programs, and guidelines: Fannie Mae, HUD-FHA, and other local and national lending programs.
  • Understand Marketing, listing, and selling a green home – write effective and targeted green features listings in MLS.
  • Explore market differentiation for builders and Realtors®—to help you stand apart from competitors and become a trusted, recognized “TRUE GEM” in your community! 

Thank you to our sponsor!

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