A place where we highlight the building professionals who have been accredited by our institute.
Teresa St. MartinEarth Advantage Broker
How did you get started in real estate?
Relocation to the Portland area for a non-real estate career and working with an agent that
didn’t understand our needs, caused me to take some initiative for our own purposes. After
getting familiar with Portland’s great neighborhoods and wanting a career change that
required less travel, I found real estate to be a rewarding career choice.
I became enchanted by the burgeoning green building movement through a mentor in the
early 2000’s and that cemented my direction into real estate. I was the first NAR GREEN
designee in Portland and am a LEED GA as well as an Earth Advantage® Broker & EcoBroker.
My previous career in medical technology gave me a unique perspective on how
technology can improve our daily lives. It is exciting to be a part of the sustainable build
movement, seeing home building technology improvements serve and improve our
What was the first property you sold for a client?
A beautiful craftsman bungalow in the Rose City Park area. The owners decided to sell
because the roof orientation & tree placement did not support the possibility of a solar
installation. This was a case of a client who loved the configuration of the living spaces &
home styling; but they knew that one element important to them, could never be satisfied.
This client purchased a replacement home that allowed for everything they had on their wish
list and improved both their daily quality of life as well as their long term ownership costs. The
new owners of the bungalow have enjoyed the home and both parties still live in their
respective homes, over 12 years later.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience with energy-efficient homes?
I have worked with builders on new home construction and used the EPS score as the
measure for home performance targets. This was very useful in helping clients to understand
the benefits, “hidden behind the walls”, of superior energy efficient construction.
I also educate home buyers with strategy on making our wonderful 50-100+ year old
Portland homes into more energy efficient and comfortable places to live. Some of my
clients have performed whole house retrofits and have given mature construction a new life,
good to go---- for the next 100 years. It is amazing how a well-built home can be respectfully
retrofitted to give the occupants modern comforts, while retaining the charm of the original
Without fail, a home with enhanced energy efficiency whether new or retro-fitted provides
the occupants with more comfort and improves the quality of their daily experience. It’s nice
to have surety about making the home owner’s experience better.
What has being an accredited Earth Advantage Broker
meant for you as a broker in Portland?
The EA Broker accreditation has provided me with a baseline of information that helps me to
assist clients in making lifestyle choices that fit their goals. The technical information goes
beyond just catering to the general ‘green’ description and provides depth to my services.
The hands on nature of the EA Broker accreditation is a nice compliment to the more ‘virtual’
orientation of the national accreditations that I currently hold.
If you were to incorporate one green feature into your own home,
what would it be and why?
I currently have a solar array and that was on my wish list for a number of years, it’s somehow
satisfying to see it ticking away generating electricity, even on cloudy days! My next green feature will be a landscaping/garden redesign to create a Xeriscape on my hillside lot. I have some natural springs, that are not well used, and those along with an irrigation system that sprays water everywhere, create an opportunity. Water is a precious resource that we can all make better decisions about, even in the Northwest where we have lots falling from the sky, there are options to utilize water in a more efficient way. It is a big project, but will be very visible and hopefully help inspire some of my neighbors to re-think their own yards and reduce my summer water bill.
What's your favorite meal to eat on a winter's day in Portland?
Bowl of Elephant’s Deli tomato orange soup, it’s like a vitamin C shot wrapped in velvet.