By William Molls

I grew up with this magazine you’re reading. Literally.

My dad, Heino, launched this humble publication 29 years ago, and as a result I’ve had the good fortune of spending nearly my entire life surrounded by some the biggest names in Canadian real estate. I’ve watched a generation of dramatic developments happen in this industry, and the rapid technological changes that contributed to them.

Believe it or not, I can remember a time without the internet, smartphones and social media. I remember what my life was like before these incredible discoveries became absolute necessities.



In the past, it took generations to feel the impact of technological shifts like the printing press and industrial revolution, and yet we’ve witnessed just such a change in less than half a lifetime.

There have been powerful and startling consequences for the real estate industry as a result. Previously unimaginable digital platforms for sales and marketing, more exact and demanding expectations from buyers and sellers and a faster-paced environment for real estate professionals.

For our magazine, too, there have been significant consequences.

Newspapers and magazines are facing an ongoing existential crisis, as more readers move online, where they expect the same quality of content but now for no cost at all. REM is no exception to this trend. Our readers, like your clients, have extremely high standards and expectations. But quality journalism, like a quality real estate salesperson, doesn’t come for free, and even if you expect exceptional service at half the cost, you’ll find you only get what you pay for. I’m sure you tell your clients this all the time: There’s a real value to what you do. You should be proud of that.

In journalism today, like in real estate, it’s easy enough to go it alone. When searching for what’s happening our industry, you might hop around between cheaply produced news sites with less than reputable sources, the same way a For Sale By Owner seller might think that they don’t need an agent they can trust because they can consult with questionable Russian websites and YouTube videos to learn about buying and selling real estate.

Do you believe that online listings have made all real estate agents unnecessary and out-of-date? I bet you don’t. You understand that, while many things have changed, there’s still a great value in the services you offer. No technological advancement can change the need for quality service from someone you can trust.

Personally, I still believe in the value of quality journalism, and I don’t believe a new kind of media technology must mean the end of everything that came before it. Radio didn’t kill newspapers, and television didn’t kill radio. Instead, after each of these generational changes, the medium survived through transformation and adaptation.

In the same way that there’s a value to Realtors, there’s value in quality journalism and analysis. That is what this magazine has provided for the past 29 years, and it’s what we will continue to do for the next 29.

This industry deserves to have a trusted news magazine like REM to provide in-depth insight and analysis of the many dramatic changes that impact Canadian real estate.

Any website or blog, produced by someone overseas or some major conglomerate with little actual understanding of this industry, can reproduce superficial headlines and wire stories. But that’s not the quality news and analysis you deserve.

What REM provides, as a fully independent and 100-per-cent Canadian news magazine, is a dependable, well-respected source for in-depth reporting and analysis of Canada’s real estate industry.

We will continue to adapt to and embrace new technology, but we will never go back on that promise.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all those who have wished my father a happy retirement and myself the best of luck with this new era we now embark on at REM.

I look forward to our next 29 years and beyond, together.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It has come to my attention that there apparently are many brokerages and agents out there who have never heard of REM. And there are so many new people.
    REM isn’t just for Ontario.

    Perhaps it would be useful to apply the old technique: He told two friends, and she told two friends, and they each told two friends… You get the idea… Like the old shampoo commercial. It works.

    Today, send an email to your agent connections or even mention REM in your newsletters, inviting your customers and clients to read REM. In paper print or online.

    There’s so much to learn from each other at REM. Of course, ideally everyone would be on their best behaviour.

    Many agents don’t realize what a good networking opportunity REM is.

    Post using your real name and identify your area of expertise and its related domicile. You are even invited to post your private URL so as to be able to network and communicate privately if preferred.

    Many of us have made valuable out of town connections. It’s not just about advertising. It’s about being able to help one another help our client needs.

    Until I put my licence on hold, I always identified my boutique corporation along with my name. I networked extensively using several ways and means over the nearly four decades, including REM.

    Support REM as they support you. Only good can come from it. READ it and participate. Pass it on.

    There’s American and international readers too. Once again, we have more than 9 million expats (not all are government) and that’s a huge number representing a third of our population. Some like to keep an eye on Canadian real estate information, not just relying on regular newspaper input. If you do Relo work, invite your clients to read REM. Put the REM domain URL with your email sig file perhaps. Everyone wins.

    Carolyne L 🍁

  2. I think it might be appropriate time for a shoutout to the new master control, William Molls, son of original owner Heino Molls who always seemed to be in the background, occasionally writing a publisher’s column but otherwise not communicating or interacting with the readers: I just learned that William created and built the whole REM website. Quite an undertaking that I’ve not seen acknowledged publicly.

    If you look closely, you will see that the site is more complicated than it looks at first glance. It isn’t just about interesting articles and commentaries.

    Of course the world of the web is a subject all its own, and there’s a multitude of web masters out there. But the world of newspaper management stands on its own two legs in another unique world.

    When you mix those two arenas, along with our unique real estate world, it can seem totally foreign to many readers who perhaps have never given a second thought to what makes it all work behind the scenes.

    And then there’s editor Jim who keeps his fireproof comments drawer where some comments get relegated to, lol, for safety-keeping.

    We readers are fortunate to have this opportunity to express our findings and feelings. There’s so many adjunct methods of reading REM.

    Using my loss-leader Gourmet column as an example, there’s an Iran-community news that shares that column to its own readers, and although I don’t speak Chinese, it appears that someone somewhere perhaps has translated the column for their readers, along with other REM information. When searching out topics on Google, I occasionally come across these and other site replicating REM information.

    We have 9 million temporary or long-term Canadian expats living in other countries, and that translates to about a third of our population. The number is not just made up of government people. And those folks sometimes like to read about goings-on back home. Many are still, or were, property owners here in Canada. What better way to stay in touch with their homeland. And a great marketing opportunity for REM advertisers who don’t just appeal to the real estate community.

    So, William and Jim continue changing the diapers of Heino’s baby. Hopefully having patience to continue for many more years as the block-chain AI world envelops all industries including ours.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/sep/08/decentralisation-next-big-step-for-the-world-wide-web-dweb-data-internet-censorship-brewster-kahle?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Guardian+Today+-+Collection&utm_term=285190&subid=25426808&CMP=GT_collection#img-1

    Will there ever be a World Wide Web MLS system (that functions as “useable?”)

    Carolyne L 🍁

  3. Best of good luck William.

    I met your dad a few years ago, and you have big shoes to fill. (better get some insoles)

    Pursuing and maintaining a sense pf professionalism within any venture is an ongoing, never-ending process. We can always improve upon previous performances, no matter how good those performances might have been. To that end, it is easy to keep promises that we know that we can keep, but damn near impossible to keep promises that were made via self-serving lies. Professionals keep their promises because that is the simple thing for them to do, but it is a difficult thing to do for the rest. Thus, keep it simple. Quality, not quantity; that’s the ticket. Some of the highest flying mega-producers in this business are slippery lying scoundrels with big phony images (they just haven’t been tripped up yet) and many of the less-than-top producers are true professionals. Keep your eye on the professionals.

    BTW: Keep Jim the-Editor-guy in the saddle; I’ve met him a couple of times and he’s a real pro. Just check on how many of my outrageous submissions are stuffed in his special drawer of flammable materials.

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