REM was founded in 1989 by my father, Heino, only about a year after I was born.

The story, as he told it to me, was that REM was primarily meant to promote his primary business – a cable television channel called Real Estate TV.

It displayed a revolving catalogue of real estate listings. Images of a property for sale would scroll by and a narrator would read the listing’s description – including, as we’d later laugh about, many clichés. Every listing had “charming” back patios, “cosy” interiors, “rare” views of the city and so on.

My dad had left his job with the Toronto Real Estate Board to become an entrepreneur and pursue starting up this cable channel, an opportunity he felt was too good to ignore. He was an immigrant chasing the Canadian dream.

When my father wanted to promote the opportunity to have listings featured on Real Estate TV, he decided to place an advertisement in the national trade magazine for Realtors in Canada. That’s when he discovered something surprising: There wasn’t one.

And that, more or less, is the story of how REM came to be.

The cable television channel eventually was taken over by Rogers and suddenly REM became my dad’s core business. Without really intending to, he became a magazine publisher. It ended up being a job he’d hold for almost 30 years.

Much like my father, I never intended to become a magazine publisher, either. I went into the family business originally as our “digital media manager” – which my dad and I sometimes joked meant the “resident young person.”

I went to university for broadcasting but have always had a passion for design and coding. The year before graduating, it was clear to me that REM’s website had a lot of room for improvement. I offered to help with a redesign using a platform called WordPress, and before long I found myself responsible for developing and maintaining everything digital at REM – email newsletters, a social media presence, online advertisements, everyone’s email accounts and anything else IT-related. Over the years, and as the world of publishing and journalism changed, our digital side went from being an afterthought to a critical part of our business.

My dad retired as publisher of REM in 2018, only a year shy of its 30th anniversary. When he did, he passed that mantle on to me. He died a year later.

At the time, REM was facing immense pressure, as was – and is – the case for every news publication in the world. Readers, especially online, expect the same quality but without any cost or inconvenience, and our bottom line was getting tighter and tighter with each year.

My father had instilled in me a belief in the value of quality journalism, and that it was the most necessary expense for the magazine. Many other publications either threw up paywalls to have their online readers pay the difference or cut corners – most especially in the quality of what they published. We’ve done our best to strike the right balance, without resorting to either option.

Only a few months after Heino passed away, the world shut down because of a global viral pandemic. At a time when REM was already at a turning point and trying to find new ways to adapt, this was a massive setback. Our monthly print magazine was delivered to real estate offices across the country. If all those offices were closed, who was left to receive it?

After a few false starts of reprieve from lockdowns, it became clear that a return to print might not be in the cards for quite some time. As a result, our digital side ended up becoming the crux of our entire operation. While it was able to bring us to what (we hope) is the finish line of this pandemic, it unfortunately wasn’t enough.

So we will be suspending regular updates to our website and email newsletters, starting today.

Moving forward, I will be stepping aside as REM’s publisher and CEO – a job neither my father nor myself ever really intended on holding, but nonetheless has been as rewarding as it was challenging.

We are in the process of finding a new ownership team for REM, to continue its established identity as Canada’s premier magazine for real estate industry stakeholders and professionals.

I am certain that, with a new team in place, REM will be back and better than ever.

In the meantime, I want to thank Jim Adair for his over 30 years of service as REM’s editor. He has been REM’s voice and is the man most responsible for its established reputation for integrity, independence and quality journalism.

I also want to thank you, our readers, without whom REM would not exist. Everywhere I’ve gone, across the country, I’ve met Realtors who know and love REM. Your trust and support for this publication is what has made it special for over three decades. We have seen imitators come and go but none had the same blend of quality content and a loyal readership. Without that, REM never would have succeeded.

Though this is the ending of one chapter, I look forward to what the future still yet holds for this publication.

For now, as my father would say, keep a happy thought.

63 COMMENTS

  1. I always looked forward to the latest issue. Well done. You are right to be proud of the work you, your father and your team have done. Thank you for that.

  2. I knew your Dad at TREB back in the old days. REM was the best trade magazines I have ever read.It will be missed by all of us in the industry. All the best to you and yours going forward, and thank you for what you did to raise the level of our profession.

  3. THANK YOU REM!!

    Heino & William Molls, Jim Adair, and the countless contributors to real estate excellence in your magazine all these years.

    I’ve been reading REM as long as it has been in existence. Many years ago I too was given the platform to publish my response to editor about the competition bureau, and the CB wrote a response back to my letter.

    Though I have followed the industry very closely in my 32+ years career, I always look to REM to corroborate my information, like a fact checker to the real estate industry’s latest news stories.

    Our industry does not happen in a vacuum, but clearly there will be a void left by your magazine and it will be impossible to fill. Many have come and gone after REM, but none of them has been able to sustain relevance.

    This brings me to ask my question, why does publication like this not be supported and run independently under CREA’s ownership?

    Think about this. For as long as I’ve been in real estate I’ve been a member of CREA. Myself and hundreds of thousands of Realtors across Canada I’ve been paying our dues in my case for decades.

    This magazine represent Canadian Realtors from coast to coast to coast. Why not now, without having to look for outside financing or control, that CREA step up to the plate and continue this Canada’s only Real Estate Magazine, for most organized real estate country in the world.

    CREA what say you…

  4. Thank you for everything Jim and Will, your work will be missed. I am honoured to have known Heino. He was a wonderful man.

  5. Very sorry to hear this news. I hope you find someone to carry on publishing such quality real estate news that I have enjoyed reading & learning from over the past several years. Cheers to the REM’s team legacy! Wishing you great success in your next chapter William.

  6. I only recently became aware of REM (digital) and have been enjoying to receive the email with the link to great, helpful and informative information for Realtors.

    I hope the torch can be picked up by someone. Perhaps CREA can chip in from our dues to help keep this going and clear of pop-ups etc.

  7. I retired from Real Estate myself in 2007… had a good run at it. My wife has been in Real Estate since 1976 starting in London, ON, moving to Edmonton, AB in 1980 and finally to Lake Chapala, Mexico in 2012 and still going strong down here. She and I have enjoyed your magazine for years and particularly down here where we were able to learn many nuance things that make a difference in her still very active (and lucrative) career here.

    Although on a bit of different subject, I started a weekly entertainment guide down here that is now received by about 4,000 people (here and people that travel here for great summers AND winters) and I have been looking for a way out… by jove I think I have it if you don’t mind me paraphrasing your very unique and superb letter to your readers.

  8. Go forward with the best of luck and well wishes! REM has done a great job!
    – well read and appreciated by me since 2001

  9. You never realize what you had until it’s gone. I have fond memories picking up a REM magazine at my first brokerage as a brand new agent in 1991. Idolized some of the contributors who have since become personal friends. As a new agent I felt it was important to read it monthly to get up to speed on important matters. Thank you for your legacy.

  10. That was a well written and informative article, I am so sad that it is a goodbye. Good luck in your adventures moving forward. I have enjoyed reading REM

  11. Thank you to you and your family, and Jim for a publication that for 30+ years has shone a light on all that is happening in the business ( particularly the politics) from coast to coast. We can only hope that someone as fair and balanced sees fit to carry the torch forward, so free enterprise and private property rights continue to survive in Canada.
    As a now retired realtor who has been reading each issue from the beginning, the story behind the publication was quite informative and thought provoking.
    I will miss the “comments” section too – so important to get others’ take on current events, much more informative than listening to the national press with their liberal, sensationalized agenda (or ignorance of facts).
    Good luck and fortune to you all!
    Sincerely
    Judy

  12. I have been reading REM for all of the 17 years I have been in this business so far. I was extremely honoured to have an article done on me by REM back in 2011 when I competed at the World Powerlifting Championships. It was such a joy to do the interview and represent realtors across the country in this story. REM kept kept me well informed on everything real estate and also did me the incredible honour of writing a front page article on me. Thank you, REM, for all of the memories!! You will be missed.

  13. Sad day! A trusted, informative and fun read always. Thank you and all contributors for supporting the real estate community. Enjoy your next adventure!

  14. Realtors receive many emails related to the industry daily and for me, REM newsletter email was the one that I always opened and read the content, even discussed the subjects with colleagues and friends. Articles and reports were relevant and educational to us all. It is sad to see it go and it will be missed by many.

  15. What a shame. REM has been a stalwart of promoting professionalism as Heino, William and Jim guided its pages of much needed information through the daily morass of confusion surrounding the real estate sales business. I met Heino and Jim at a C-21 extravaganza in 2009. Heino was most gracious, and I was fortunate enough to become an arm’s-length friend of Jim’s as the years rolled by. We just met for coffee last week. He is a true professional to the core. It’s sad to realize that William has to let go of the helm. Hopefully someone, or some entity, will pick up the ball and carry REM’s much needed message forward. Are you listening C.R.E.A.?

    Best of good luck Will and Jim.

  16. This makes me really sad. I hope someone will take the torch that you want to hand over. As others said this was one of many sources of learning and broadening my horizon. Hopefully this not a good bye but more like a “see you later”. I would miss comments from some of my favourites like Brian and Carolyne . A bientot and best wishes to you and your loved ones.

  17. Sorry to hear you go, perhaps you could sell the business through a good realtor!!!! LMAO, sincerely sad to see this platform dissolve…hope the future is bright ahead…

  18. Thank you so much for all your years of putting together these fantastic articles about realestate. They have offered some great insight into our industry. You will be missed. Wishing you all the best with your new ventures.

  19. So sorry to hear this, but sending heartfelt thanks to you and your father for accomplishing so much with REM over the years. As a former publisher, I understand the huge commitment of time, money and effort it takes to keep a publication running. Best wishes for the future!

  20. Thank you for your service and sharing your informative magazine with us all. it won’t be the same, but what is today. Let’s hope we can all continue in the spirit this business is meant to be. All the best.

  21. Sad to hear that you are not going to continue. I read REM all the time as do many associates
    in our company . We use many of the articles for training and discussion at our sales meetings.
    Hoping someone can take over the reins and continue your high standards.
    All the best in you new future !!

  22. I love this magazine and look forward to receiving in my inbox. Thank you for have a source of information in one place we can count on and learn from. I hope that you find someone to take it over. Wish you the best and thank you for your dedication.

  23. Thank you and your family for all you have done for the Real Estate Industry…..keeping us up to date and informed for so many years. I have been a constant reader since the very beginning….and still looked forward to reading REM.

    All the best for the future as you step down…. and for the search for someone to take over the leadership of this worthwhile paper.
    Thank you again…. you will be missed.

  24. Thank you for all your hard work! I have loved reading REM, it was my weekly habit to review the articles to keep up to date. Wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  25. I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned much from your publication over my 30 years in real estate. You will be sorely missed. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors! And, Thank you! Thank you!

  26. REM has been an incredible assist to the real estate professionals. Thank you for all that you have contributed that has brought to light the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny if this business.

    With luck, REM will carry on, however with you and Jim, it will certainly be different.

    I hope you and Jim and all of your staff find continued success and that we in find you again – you’re all wonderful!

    My sincerest best wishes and kind regards!

    Thanks for everything!

  27. I have appreciated REM’s informative articles for a number of years, including after retiring from real estate. Thanks for this!

  28. Dear Mr. William Molls: I want to personally thank you an your father for all of your families years of service in professionally promoting Real Estate in Canada. I have been a faithful reader now for over 20 years. At one point I had actually made it into the publication. I can remember the day that it came out, I was so proud. Your fair reporting on the changes in Real Estate over the years helped solidify the profession as a whole. You will be missed.

    2 Timothy 2:15
    Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

  29. Very sorry to read this. I have quite enjoyed reading REM articles and hearing different opinions from people in our industry. I wish you all the best. Thanks to your family for your years of dedication.

  30. Sad to hear. I’ve read and passed on your articles to many new agents who had no time to read them.
    I most always did.
    They never let me down.
    Bravo to all for working so hard to keep it going during the pandemic.
    Hope you all the success.
    Thank you from all of us.

  31. Thank you so much for all that you have done for the Canadian real estate industry. REM has been an AMAZING partner for Realtors across Canada and I have always enjoyed reading REM over the last 30 years. I would also like to express my gratitude for having the privilege of contributing to REM publications over the years and of course, I wish you all the utmost success and happiness.

    Kindest Regards

  32. Thank you for all the insight and perspective you have provided into the real estate world.
    My first thought was “Is this April fools day?” but alas we are 4 full weeks past that.
    This is truly a sad day. Like the passing of a loved one we mourn the loss but we also reflect and celebrate all the great success of REM and all it has provided REALTORS(r) and those in tune with the real estate profession over the past 3 plus decades.
    Thanks for sharing your story in your closing chapter. It is a stark reminder that we are often victims of success and that as our world of convenience and access evolves there are consequences, of which this is certainly an unintended one.
    REM will be missed and I do hope, like the great Phoenix REM will rise from the ashes to even greater prominence.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  33. Thanks for publishing three or four of my “Letters to Editor” during the last few years. I appreciate all your excellent job since the first time I had your magazine in my hands 21 years ago. The only thing I can do now is to wish you the best. Good luck in your life !

  34. I have been reading REM for quite some time and really enjoyed reading the articles, especially the ones related to litigation. Wishing you the best and do hope someone will take over the torch and run with it. best

  35. REM has been the one honest, unbiased and brave publication willing to tackle the real issues facing our industry. For this and your excellent work over the past 30 years you deserve our gratitude. Thank you and best wishes for the next chapter.

  36. Thank you so much for all your hard work. We totally understand and wish you all the best of luck with your future endeavors.

  37. This is indeed sad news. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute. Thank you Jim for all your support and always responding on a timely manner. I know this publication and all the information will be missed by the industry. We will look forward to the day will REM will be reinstated. Wishing the entire REM team much success.

  38. Thank you for all the years of being an incredible trusted resource for us Realtors and our clients. I will miss REM as I have always considered it a great resource in my business.

    I hope the new owners will continue in your footsteps and maintain the relevance and the quality of the information that you brought to our business.

  39. Many thousands of real estate professionals, including me, regularly look forward to REM for its uniquely Canadian, independent and broad perspective into our business. I am grateful to those who founded, built and operated REM, they fulfilled an unmet need in our business. Thank you to the REM team, and all the very best for your future endeavours!

  40. This is a sad day for all the Realtors that appreciated this industry icon that was REM. Thank you to you and your family for all the years of dedication to providing informative and topical information that made me a better Realtor.

  41. So sorry to hear. I have definitely enjoyed and learned from this entity. It’s ok though to do your thing. Enjoy!

  42. So informative—your readers will miss you—I really will. Hopefully someone will move forward. I have been selling real estate for forty-six years and REM has been read and appreciated since its beginning . From Owen Sound and our beautiful Grey/ Bruce in Ontario—thank you for all the years!!!Best wishes for your future. We benefitted from how this came about and knowing the story, is so heart warming. Marylon Hall

  43. Sorry to hear this as I have always considered REM my go to publication for all things Real Estate in Canada; bringing us interesting stories, new innovations and educational opportunities. I’m glad you shared REM’s history including how both you and your father “fell” into your roles in developing REM. The same has occurred in many family generational businesses including my own. As this chapter and door closes, I wish you the best in all you choose to do and in finding new ownership to carry on the good works of REM because without it there is a huge void.

  44. I absolutely loved ready REM every morning with my coffee, it gave me in sites to the real estate world that has helped me through my 19+years as a realtor myself. I am truly saddened to hear that REM will be shutting down. I hope that the magazine gets up and running again very soon. Good luck in your next chapter and always look ahead

  45. Thank you for your years of service. I have read most digital versions of REM for the past 8 years and have learned so much along the way. From all those who wrote articles and updates on our ever changing industry.

    I hope to see a new rendition and wish you well.

  46. Thank you to you and your Dad. He saw a niche and filled it superbly. I’m sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I have always enjoyed the informative articles in the REM and the format was clear, concise and gave another perspective to RE situations. Best wishes to all and thanks. Jean Holbert-Leighton (A Retired Realtor after almost 17 years of an enjoyable profession and second career.)

  47. Thank you William and Jim for your dedication to this invaluable publication. It has been a honour to receive it ea h week. Best wishes for your future endeavors, whatever they may be.

  48. REM has always been a great magazine for realtors – thank you Heino, William and Jim.
    Wishing you all the best.

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