By Kevin Kelley
The more a real estate agent knows about a community, the more knowledgeable he or she appears, and the more homes he or she will sell in that area.
For the third time in four years, officials from Fairview Park and its public school district sponsored a conference for real estate agents. The 2012 Fairview Park Realtor Conference took place Thursday at the Gemini Center, the city’s $19 million recreation facility that opened in 2008.
During a presentation, Jim Kennedy, the city’s director of economic development, emphasized community features that would be of interest to young families. He spoke of the city’s strong recreation programs, its proximity to the Cleveland Metroparks and its strong property maintenance program.
“We hope you have a lot of success in bringing young families here,” Kennedy told the real estate professionals.
“This administration has taken a very proactive approach to the rejuvenation of this community,” Kennedy said in reference to his boss, Mayor Eileen Patton. The mayor was unable to address real estate agents as planned due to a family illness.
The conference began with a bus tour of the city on school buses supplied by the Fairview Park City Schools. The district’s Business Advisory Council sponsored the conference along with the city.
“We like to show off Fairview and encourage you to do business here,” Kennedy told real estate agents as he began narrating the tour. Superintendent Brion Deitsch narrated a second tour.
Buses drove past Gilles-Sweet Elementary School, which opened in 2007; Fairview High School; the city’s senior center; three of the city’s five parks; and several neighborhoods and subdivisions.
Deitsch later told agents how the district is spending less per pupil and achieving higher pupil test scores while achieving financial stability. By supplying middle and high school students with netbook computers, the schools have created a 21st-century learning environment, the superintendent said.
Lisa Harwood, a Remax Realtor who lives and works in Rocky River, attended a previous conference.
“I used all the information I received on that tour,” she told West Life. She said the information helps her educate potential homebuyers about features of the community, such as its parks and public schools.
Barbara Schroeder, another Remax Realtor who works out of Westlake, attended the conference after receiving an invitation in the mail.
“I like hearing about the new development projects,” she said.
Both Realtors said they would recommend the conference to their colleagues.
Both also said the real estate market is showing signs of improvement after a long slump.
“I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to stop,” Harwood said. “Properties that are priced right and in good condition are selling quickly.”
The conference also included a continuing education course for Realtors given by Angelo Russo, a local attorney and Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce trustee.