Wednesday, Feb. 20 2013 5:29PM
MARKETING LEE’S SUMMIT
Easy does it
By Toriano Porter
Nothing is easy when it comes to selling, but the prospects of retaining or attracting business developers and homeowners to relocate to Lee’s Summit is quite the sale.
Business leaders and realtors alike cite the quality of the school system in the city as one of the top reasons selling businesses and potential home buyers on the perks of living and working in Lee’s Summit has made their jobs less challenging than in other locales.
“Lee’s Summit is usually one of the highest regarded and desirable locations in the whole bi-state metro area,” said Jim Devine, president of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, “partly because of the school system, partly because the choice of housing is good and frankly less expensive then the other side of the state line. Partly because of the sense of neighborhood and the sense of a downtown, and finally less crime and an easier commute. All those things add up.”
The EDC is at the forefront in helping retain and attract businesses to Lee’s Summit. The EDC has four focal points they use to push the advantages of Lee’s Summit: Community product improvement; business retention and expansion; attracting targeted, higher paying industry; and generating a positive community image.
“There are really two markets,” Devine said. “Existing business and then business. They both have different needs. Existing businesses…pay taxes and the employ people and they are the top priority. We establish a one-on-one personal, professional relationship with them and they know they can pick up the phone and call us.
“The pitch to (new businesses) – every guy is different. Typically, the businesses that we typically talk to are ones that want to expand out of Kansas City or out of an older industrial or office area to a newer location. Typically they are running out of space or can’t hire enough employees where they are at.”
On the realtor side, Leslie Marshall of the Keller Williams Platinum real estate group agreed that the schools in Lee’s Summit and an easy commute are the true calling card when selling the city to a potential homeowner.
“For Lee’s Summit, the number one thing I sell to buyers is the school system,” she said. “We have excellent schools here in Lee’s Summit – and that’s the number one reason, definitely. Also the proximity to Kansas City; there are great commute times almost anywhere in the city. Those are the two major things I sell here in Lee’s Summit.”
Marshall, who concentrates on the New Longview area of town, said the entire housing stock climate in the city is on the rise and is also a great talking point when selling.
“The housing market in Lee’s Summit has grown significantly in the past year,” Marshall said. “Inventory is very low and demand is high. We’re starting to see prices inch back up; it’s a great time to sell and it’s still a great time to buy because interest rates are still very low. It’s a win-win on both sides for both buyers and sellers right now.”