We are approaching the 25th anniversary of REM. It is not the most monumental feat of mankind but for us, it will be an important milestone. When I think of the changes that have taken place in these years I am staggered.
All those years ago if you had told me that I would be carrying around a device that permits me to see and talk to people, like the Dick Tracy comic books of my youth, I would have laughed at your wild imagination. Yet here I am with a smartphone.
When REM began there was no Realtor.ca, and no national MLS. Each board was still producing paper copies of new listings each day and printed catalogues weekly or monthly. There are folks in the real estate community who suggest we return to local MLS and scuttle the national system. It is a feasible idea, especially now when everything is online.
Only Ontario had a mortgage broker association and there was one other being formed in British Columbia just as some forward-thinking mortgage professionals organized a national voice called CAAMP and a national standard for mortgage brokers called the Accredited Mortgage Professional.
CREA encouraged real estate boards to embrace a new technology, beginning with something called a fax machine. The business of real estate was in a roller coaster market. Some Realtors created new ways to stay in business during the tough times. Some sacrificed the integrity of the business. Other Realtors toughed it out by moonlighting in other jobs to keep their licenses. I met a highly successful Realtor, a millionaire today, delivering pizza back then wearing the same suit he was in at a committee meeting just hours ago. What great dignity that man had. I will never forget him. When things turned and the market soared, those who stuck it out in the bad times benefited the most. Many who sacrificed business integrity in bad times were brushed aside by those who maintained their professional standards and got calls from people who were ready to buy and sell.
Administration of the real estate business was also in a time of change when REM began. New provincial organizations to govern real estate licensing were being created. The Real Estate Council of Ontario was fortunate to have some of the highest calibre of real estate business people step forward. One of them was my dear friend, Dave Rossi.
I could write pages and pages of all the extraordinary changes that this industry went through all those years ago but there simply isn’t room.
Now I’d like to announce something new in REM to mark our upcoming 25th year. It’s a new professional card advertisement offer, The REM Professional Registry.
During all those years ago that I refer to, Realtors, mortgage brokers and all ancillary business people used to present themselves with a professional card that they posted in their business newspapers. I am not speaking of the major companies and institutions but rather a professional posting of an individual, their service, where they worked and a brief message. It was a simple dignified card that read: John Smith, Real Estate Representative or Joan Smith, Mortgage Broker as well as the area they served and a brief message such as, “In service for 10 years, please refer me to your friends.”
Those postings can still be seen here and there but for most they are a part of the past. The cost of those ads is now higher than they once were and with the high number of mediums today chasing advertising dollars, you can’t cover an entire area with one posting anymore. You sure can’t have a local ad appear nationally. It would cost hundreds of dollars to cover local, national and your individual industry.
But that is going to change in the year leading up to our 25th anniversary.
I am pleased to announce that REM is rolling out a new program to celebrate our 25 years in business. REM is re-introducing the professional card ad from many years ago and making them available for just $25. This is for individual Realtors, mortgage brokers or other professional persons related to the real estate industry only. One professional card per person.
Now, selling $25 ads would soon put us out of business but here is how we are going to do it. First, there will be a limit to the number of cards we will print. Secondly, REM is being assisted by two business partners to underwrite the cost of the ads. They are Colour Tech, who will provide their technology and Metroland Media, who will help us bear the cost of printing those pages. I urge you to thank these two companies for their commitment to our industry by using their products.
These professional cards will be uniform and depict individuals across the country who seek referrals and business from fellow professionals in the industry they serve. The idea is to hearken back to a time when professionals advertised themselves with a standard card that depicted class, character and dignity.
If you are interested in booking a professional card now, click here or for more information call Mila Purcell at 416-425-3504, ext. 4 or email email@example.com. Be prepared to send your photo and pay by credit card.
Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.