Over a dozen Cornwall real estate agents have been lamenting the weak market we’re seeing this season. Inventory is fat and sales are few and far between.
This of course is having an impact on businesses that depend on house sales, from support services to sales of furnishings and all those things that people spend money on when the move.
Cornwall is an interesting market, but the bottom line is that job losses, an inability to retain younger workers, and an inability to attract younger people to the community is having an impact.
Mix in higher taxes than nearby South Stormont, a dysfunctional and unproductive City Hall, and Economic Development team as well as poor performances by a cronyism fueled Seaway Tourism and Chamber of Commerce and it becomes clear how the bar has been lowered to the red line.
Cornwall’s local economy is getting bulldozed by big box stores even though not that many have invaded the city. Where other communities have fought the arrival or growth of Wal-Mart for example our city gave Smart Centres Corporate welfare.
Some of the problems seen is that local business decision makers tend to be older and less literate which makes businesses less competitive in a market where consumers spend more time on Facebook than listening to local radio.
Except that Cornwall doesn’t really have local radio with its two stations being reduced to chain fodder for a big National chain which doesn’t even have a local news room.
Akwesasne has CKON which is the closest thing we have to a local radio station.
CFN was going to bring a local Online TV station including an evening newscast, but City Hall’s boycott has led to a cancellation of that project and the six emerging media jobs lost.
Is there anything we can do to spike things other than hoping for a random ebb and tide?
Lower taxes is the biggest factor as it comes down to bang for the buck for people considering Cornwall.
Spread what little wealth there is. Until the corruption with tentacles even leading to local charities ends people will take their poor experiences and keep sharing them with others. How many people have been burned applying for jobs or trying to set up businesses only to see artificial barriers?
Stop using public dollars to protect the bad guys. Do we really need the city to keep pumping about $20K per year into the Cornwall Living magazine without getting hard core results? How many great stories aren’t in there unless they fall under the aegis of Rick Shaver or Bob Peters? As talented as Jason McNamara is, is he the only talented photographer in Cornwall? Is John Earle really the only videographer in the city?
If you don’t share those contracts out more fairly, chiefly based on talent and value, what happens to those that feel locked out? They move. And they share their horror stories enroute and those horror stories do more damage than the weak offerings of Bob Peters and Kevin Lajoie’s press releases.
Real Estate agents need to up their game. They need to market better, smarter, and wider. The practices they currently use only work with limited results, mostly based on word of mouth. I recall asking one prominent agent, Jacques Perreault, to define what he does better than an other agent or what he does that should give a potential client a better reason to use him and he simply couldn’t define himself.
And he’s a past President of the local Real Estate board!
Real estate agents are our ambassadors. They usually are the first contacts potential new Cornwallites meet and that makes their performance and the culture that they share crucial. If they fail, in a sense Cornwall fails.
When I originally moved here my ex-wife wanted us to settle in Brockville. I fought for Cornwall, but looking back the points she made have become abundantly clear.
We also need to give people more reason to enjoy and stay in Cornwall. Having lost Lift Off, Winterfest, and La Cabane a Sucre is a total fail. Should those that were a part of that failure be allowed to continue or maybe is it time to let some new blood in?
The United Way failed in reaching its target which is utterly embarrassing as the targets are usually set below the real targets to make every one feel good. Michael Galvin, a key factor in the demise of Lift Off’s decline is now in charge? Really?
The city is spending tons of money on hockey while the arts go begging for dollars. The 33 year old public art gallery is about to launch a National Campaign after the City cut its funding to Zero. Is that going to promote our community? By bringing shame and highlighting the ignorance and pettiness of people like Councilor David Murphy and Claude McIntosh who led the charge to kill the gallery’s funding?
Our city needs to make sure that newcomers to Cornwall can truly build a life and that means inclusion and a not behaving like a bunch of xenophobic extras from the movie Deliverance. Divisiveness and mayhem have kept our population under 50,000 for far too long.
It’s time to change. This sad Real Estate market of 2015 should be a huge warning sign to our city. We need to reverse that trend.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.