posted on September 06, 2011
By JIM LEUTE (Contact )
Web traffic is up, and the phone is ringing. Now all local economic development officials need is for one or two of those visitors or callers to bring their companies to Rock County.
Rock County 5.0 has produced an eight-minute video that features the area’s real estate and development opportunities. The video complements other projects implemented by Rock County 5.0, a five-year public-private economic development initiative launched in 2009 to reposition and revitalize the county’s economy.
Earlier, the group started marketing building sites that are certified as shovel-ready. Because Rock County 5.0 has done the certification work, prospects could start construction in as few as 30 days and avoid a six-to eight-month delay while they pay someone else to certify the property.
The idea is to minimize risk and enhance a prospect’s speed to market, critical components in today’s highly competitive economic development circles.
Rock County 5.0 also has developed an online portfolio of six buildings designed to meet building codes and the requirements of the county’s two shovel-ready industrial parks. The buildings range in size from 59,000 square feet to 700,000 square feet. Each includes a profile with detailed specifications, floor plans, a site plan and renderings.
“These value-added offerings speak volumes about Rock County’s speed-to-market attributes, which are continually generating increased attention within the business development arena,” said James Otterstein, Rock County’s economic development manager.
The new video features local companies such as Corporate Contractors Inc., Helgesen Development Corp., Hendricks Commercial Properties and J.P. Cullen & Sons. Otterstein said the video is targeted at real estate brokers, site development consultants, company decision-makers and specific industry publications that cover real estate and development news.
Otterstein recently sent an email to about 800 people who fall into those categories, alerting them to the video.
“Nobody in the public sector is doing this type of aggressive positioning; it’s just not happening,” he said. “It is happening in the private sector, but not on the public side like we are doing.”
That makes Rock County much more appealing and makes the area part of expansion conversations, he said.
How does Otterstein know? “We are getting a significant boost in Web traffic on these particular pages,” he said. “Secondly, and I think more important, is that we’re receiving inquiries from prospects who are using the exact vernacular and jargon from those pages. “They are saying they’re looking for ‘shovel-ready sites,’ or they’ll ask if we have ‘pre-designed buildings.’” The added interest is encouraging, he said. But to date, it hasn’t directly resulted in a company moving to Rock County. “Even with everything Rock County 5.0 has done, it’s an indicator that things are still tough out there,” he said.
“It’s also an indicator that it’s a long process with a lot of pieces. “We have to establish our brand first, and then the success stories will follow.” Otterstein said Rock County 5.0 plans to develop other topical videos in the next year to further enhance and demonstrate the value offered in the county.