This is my last regular column before I retire. In the words of a dear friend I lost a few years ago, it’s been a slice.
In the past few weeks I have received wonderful, touching notes from people who have read this column or come upon it over the years, wishing me well. I am so moved and humbled by your words that I am left speechless. Thank you.
I have received great words of encouragement on what is ahead – a new page of my life and new adventures. Thank you for your optimism. I promise you that I will do my best to keep the spirit of your good advice close to me in the days ahead.
When I think of the years I have been through in this business, I think of it in two main stages. The first is with the Toronto Star in 1968 and the second, right up to this week, is working with and publishing newspapers for the real estate industry across Canada. My time in real estate includes producing the Toronto Real Estate Board MLS system as well as working with its newspaper and finally this one, REM.
Back in the day, we had presses right in the TREB offices. They would roll every day, printing pages of listings that had pictures taken the previous day, then assembled with copy and printed on thousands of pages that were perforated with holes punched for the small binders carried by almost every board member. Each day, TREB would deliver these pages to members, who would separate them and place them in their binders to show clients the very latest properties on the market. We could turn thousands of new listings around in 48 hours. We were very proud of what we could achieve.
I cannot imagine what people would think today if they arrived at their real estate board offices and found ink-stained floors and greased gears around thunderous printing presses they had to pass to access their committee meeting room. But that is just how it was back then.
You know how things developed. The tremendous innovations of information gathering and information distribution by computers seemed to be forever in development yet was accomplished in only a few short years from start to finish. I continue to be annoyed that the real estate industry is not given enough credit for being the pioneers of these incredible systems. Many government as well as massive commercial operations in place today are based on systems first developed by Canada’s real estate industry.
As all these great changes unfolded, the well-intended working stiffs, like me, did the best thing we could do to help the whole thing develop: We got out of the way. It was a generational change! And besides, we had other things to do. Realtors were still reading newspapers. They still absorbed information and news on their industry. All we had to do was make sure that what went out was good, solid reporting, information and news. It has never been forgotten. What a privilege it has been to produce a monthly publication that has presented valued information and news to the industry.
We are now in the midst of a generational change once again. REM is changing and evolving. Not in terms of its integrity of information or in presenting news for the real estate industry that cannot be found anywhere else. That will never change.
REM is now distributed by a wide array of methods and mediums. In addition to the monthly print edition, REM has an electronic newsletter, a website and soon will have more ways to access front-line news that will always be researched, vetted and presented objectively and honestly.
It’s time for me to do what would be best as all this unfolds. I will get out of the way.
Moving forward, REM editorial remains in the hands of Jim Adair, its founding editor. Rest assured, the integrity of this publication remains intact.
Marketing and sales is in the competent hands of Amanda Rock, who will help you find the best fit for your advertising in REM.
From this point on, the new sheriff in charge is William Molls. William is a Ryerson Radio and Television graduate. He has done time with CTV, Much Music and City TV in Toronto. William is the architect of REM’s website and online presence. He is REM’s new publisher. I ask that you extend to him the same kindness, consideration and thoughtful suggestions I received from you all going forward.
The Good Lord willing, I hope to say hello to you all at upcoming trade shows and events. I won’t be working anymore but I hope to be around here and there.
Thank you all so very much for making this a great ride!