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CVB to train realtors on Clayton's finer points

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

In an effort to help local realtors sell more houses in the county, the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), partnering with Parks and Recreation, will begin hosting the "Quality of Life" program.

The program will include a "familiarization tour" of the county's parks and amenities, aimed at giving realtors first-hand knowledge of the county's selling points, such as community parks, senior facilities, bike trails and nature centers. The first tour is scheduled for May 15.

Beth Bailey, vice president of sales and promotions for the CVB, believes making realtors more familiar with the county's amenities will help bring more residents and tourists to the area.

"It's really to help educate a group of people who really need education about our area," said Bailey. "They are meeting people who will potentially live here. When people move to the area, they need to know what they have to use on a daily basis, or when their friends and family come to visit."

The tour will start with a breakfast at Clayton County International Park. From there, the tour will head to the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center in Rex, the Reynolds Nature Preserve in Morrow, and then to the Steve Lundquist Aquatic Center and Lee Street Park in Jonesboro.

The tour will conclude at International Park with a viewing of the Griswell Senior Center and Clayton County Tennis Center.

For now, the tour will be a special program for realtors, done by invitation only. Bailey, however, hopes to eventually expand the program to include other groups, such as tour operators and meeting planners.

David Barton, vice president of government affairs for the Metro South Association of Realtors, said the program is a "tool" local realtors have been waiting for.

"This is exactly what we need ... tools to promote the county," said Barton. "That's exactly what we've been asking for. It shows that [Clayton County] is not just a bedroom community, but that it's a work-live-play community as well."

While the general housing market is in a decline, Barton said "Clayton County is selling as many houses as Henry right now" due to "droves" of investors, mostly retirees and couples with no children.

While the Clayton County Public School System accreditation crisis is an issue for some prospective home buyers, Barton said being familiar with what the county has to offer will keep realtors on their "A game."

"The more people know [about the area], the more people will talk," said Bailey.