June 19, 2013 - Knock, knock. Who's there? Opportunity.
Oxford Township is seeking local real estate agents and brokers to volunteer their services in exchange for free advertising on the municipality's website.
Last week, township officials voted 6-1 to offer local real estate professionals the opportunity to compile a list of all commercial and industrial properties available in Oxford Township.
This list would be posted at www.oxfordtownship.org in an Excel spreadsheet format on a rotating basis for periods lasting 30 days.
"The majority of people that want to come to Oxford to develop look at our website first," said Trustee Jack Curtis, who chairs the Economic Development Subcommittee (EDSC).
Between April 1 and June 13, the township's website received 69,056 visits.
The names of the agent/broker and agency, along with their telephone number and website link, will be posted with the list.
No other compensation will be provided.
This offer is available on a "first-come/first-served basis" to those real estate people who choose to participate.
If after the first 30-day period of posting, no other real estate agents/brokers offer to take over this service, the current provider will update the list and continue to have their contact information advertised for another 30 days.
Curtis explained the rotating format is designed to give every real estate agent/broker a chance to benefit and avoid any appearance of favoritism.
He noted that a while back, an agent created a list for the township and it was posted on the website along with her name and telephone number.
It was removed after "it was deemed that it was unfair to the other agents," Curtis said.
Treasurer Joe Ferrari cast the lone dissenting vote. He thinks it's a good idea, but it's something that the Oxford Chamber of Commerce should be doing.
"I like it. I just think it's more of a chamber function," he said. "I know (Chamber Director) Holly (Bills) could do a really good job. She's always on Facebook."
"Holly was at our meeting and (she) felt (a list of available properties) was a good link to have on our website," Curtis said.
He noted while the chamber does give out the names and telephone numbers of real estate professionals, more people go to the township's website when they're looking for land to develop or buildings to occupy.
Supervisor Bill Dunn expressed his concern about having too much content on the township website, making it difficult for visitors to navigate.
"I'm always afraid (that) on the websites, you get so much on there, people get lost," he said. "Go on the Orion Township website and try to get around on that. You need a roadmap."
"Ours is fairly easy since it's been redone," said Curtis, who added all that's really needed is a spot labeled "available real estate."
"You click on it and the only thing you'll see is a spreadsheet with available commercial and industrial properties for sale in Oxford Township and the Village of Oxford," he said.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.