As I look back on over 30 years of watching the real estate industry develop in Canada, I can tell you that it has been a remarkable journey in communications and information technology. The memory of watching it all unfold will always be a great treasure for me. I was there for all of it. It started with photographers taking pictures of houses and developing film, others gathering information, putting it all together and printing listings on paper and then delivering the packages of new listings and listing catalogues to the front doors of real estate offices across hundreds of miles. All in a two-day turnaround.

Technology has made the process much more efficient today, but what is the most important element of all the technology that has been harnessed for the real estate business over the years? What has been the key element in gathering and delivering all the news and information over the years? My answer would be the same, from the start of it all to today. It is the people.


None of the technology, information systems or communication developments would have happened had it not all been driven by the people. The people in this business striving to get better, trying to deliver more and grasp all of the technology faster than any other business community.

All this information is shared with the public by real estate brokers and sales reps. Some people who are not in the business grab the fruits of all this work and demand that they be recognized as the experts in real estate, property sales and management, by using all the information that was painstakingly gathered and organized by the people who really are in the real estate business.

We get the frustration. We are there too. As a newspaper, REM has been the source of news that is used by other real estate news websites and newsletters (there are no other magazines near REM’s size) without acknowledgement, let alone payment. According to PEW Research Center, North Americans turn to newspapers, both in print and online more often for information than any other news source. That includes REM. So hey, we get it.

My main job these days is to show companies that REM is the very best place to put advertising directed to over 100,000 real estate professionals across Canada. I am not the only one here at REM who brings the history of this industry and the knowledge of this business to every page we produce. We know how this whole thing works and we know the people who make it work. We deliver the REM print magazine to over 25,000 recipients across Canada and more than double that online every month.

The bottom line for all of us, in any business, is the people. Regardless of the differences in our business we must deliver our services to the people and we must do it better than others if we want to excel in our business. Yes, it is frustrating to see others horn in, take our information and use what we have worked hard to collect without paying us for all the work we put into it, but we must believe that the people we serve will recognize what’s most important about serving our customers: integrity and honesty. If we keep these elements close we will win.

Much of the most beautiful real estate in the world today is in countries like Afghanistan, Syria and all across the Middle East and Asia. Yet people are pouring out of these places due to the stupid actions of a few who are bent on destruction and war, most of it under some false pretence of religion.

Maybe the best place to start is our own backyard. I wish you all a time of happiness and thoughtfulness during this Easter period.

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