NRV Realtors and Giles County officials unite to improve county’s ‘curb appeal’
On Aug. 21, Realtors from the New River Valley and surrounding areas were invited to attend a breakfast meeting organized by Giles County Administrator Chris McKlarney and sponsored by James Tyler, the administrator of Carilion Giles Community Hospital, to learn valuable information on services in Giles County.
McKlarney shared a “snapshot” of Giles including population, geography and economic facts. He also shared the direction Giles County is heading and how they intend to get there by investing in local infrastructure and education; supporting industry; continuing to grow the tourism industry; investing in commercial and industrial real estate; improving the quality of life by supporting wellness and recreation opportunities; and reorganizing government by consolidating departments and tasks, establishing common goals, keeping taxes low and then staying out of the way. He said holding the meeting with the real estate community was to familiarize them with the county and its offerings and to receive feedback on what Giles County can do to improve its “curb appeal.”
Dr. Terry Arbogast, Giles County schools superintendent, volunteered to make himself available to meet with Realtors and their clients to provide more information about the school system. This invitation had already been extended to Priscilla Morris, a Realtor with Long & Foster Realtors, on an earlier occasion. Morris shared with the group that she had taken up him up on this offer when touring the community with some clients who were relocating to the area. She said that his tour was instrumental in these clients deciding to call Giles County home.
Linda Hayes, coordinator of the Giles County Live and Work Awareness Campaign, discussed efforts in the past six months to strengthen the “Live and Work” aspects of Giles County. The county tourism group has focused on the “Play” segment, which has resulted in increased tourism dollars for the county and significant grant dollars for the promotion of festivals, signage and other marketing activities.
Hayes referenced a meeting held earlier this year with business leaders of major corporations, real estate agents and public school officials to discuss the new Live and Work Awareness campaign. Arbogast later gave personal tours of each of the public schools to the business leaders, producing good results with increased awareness of the school system’s programs.
A printed brochure on Giles County Public Schools, a collaborative marketing piece created by Alisa Moody of Wild County Studios, Hayes, and Arbogast and his staff, debuted at the August meeting for use by real estate agents. Moody, designer and webmaster of the county’s website, also presented enhancements to www.gilescounty.org, showing the ease of navigation for visitors and new homeowners in finding information about relocating to our area.
There were about 35 people in attendance, including Realtors and staff from Long & Foster Realtors and Coldwell Banker Townside Realtors, an agent from ReMax 1st Realty and the guest speakers.
Susanna Lilly, a Coldwell Banker Townside agent, described the meeting as an “informative overview of Giles County’s dedication to progression in industry, schools, building and recreation that offer an array of hidden gems. Looking forward to the county’s newly created website debut.”
Lilly’s colleague Mihwan Park added, “It was a nice meeting to know about Giles County and that it has a great potential to be developed as a town for tourists.”
– Submitted by Stephanie Slocum, Long & Foster
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