The real estate industry is worth trillions of dollars, and effects every single person on the planet. We all need a place to safely live, and millions of people around the world travel to an office or a building to spend their day. Going Green had a chance to talk with Neal Collins, the president of Latitude, to learn about the future of sustainable real estate.
Neal, thank you for being here. Tell us what industry you primarily work in.
I work in real estate sales and development and I am the president of Latitude. My work has brought me around the globe working on community development and climate change adaptation projects. I have a dynamic background that combines investment analysis with marketing and communications. I am also the host of The Regenerative Real Estate Podcast.
How did you get involved in the sustainable industry?
I got involved initially with the Peace Corps, which then evolved in a graduate degree in Sustainable Development and positions with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in South Asia in India and the Maldives.
We then began to wake up to the growing need to direct community-led approaches to sustainable development in our own backyard. Land and property ownership is at the nexus for this so we have focused our efforts on using real estate as the catalyst for positive change.
What trends are you seeing in your industry?
On the consumer side more people are intentionally looking to live more in harmony with their values. But for most they don’t know how to do it, are in the dark on the serious factors at play, and equally as important, don’t know how to finance it.
On the supply side we see more developers wanting to go green. Building science has come a long way and we now have the technical capabilities to transform our built environment. One of the interesting things about why the timing of this is significant, is that it coincides with the Internet of Things era. This is where marketing has green washed the technology.
We are pioneering Regenerative Real Estate since we see health and community being left out in the overall conversation of sustainability in real estate.
What is one “Action Item” the viewers can take away from this conversation?
Our homes should be sanctuaries where we can live, love, recreate, work, and rejuvenate. Instead they are isolating us and destroying our immunity and community. From implementing more placemaking DIY projects on the low end, to using financing strategies to find and live in healthy, sustainable homes on the high end. We are demonstrating how things can be transformational for society.
Neal was a guest on our podcast, Going Green, and his episode will be premiering next Friday. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to be alerted when Neal’s episode is live.