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REM editor Jim Adair says goodbye

Back in the 1970s, when I left a job at the Mississauga Times to work for the Toronto Real Estate Board, I was tasked with writing a farewell column to readers. A veteran reporter at our competition had just written a similar column, in which he thanked dozens of prominent local and national politicians and celebrities. But I had only been working at the Times for four months and didn’t have an impressive list of contacts to thank.

So I wrote that I couldn’t thank everyone I worked with at the Times, not because I didn’t have the space but because I hadn’t yet learned all their names. To make fun of the other columnist’s name-dropping, I thanked Mick Jagger and Margaret Trudeau, because “as far as I know, they have never said a bad thing about me.”

Well, now it’s time to say goodbye to REM’s readers and the shoe is on the other foot. The list of people I’d like to thank is too long to include everyone who helped me shape the editorial content of REM for the last 33 years. But here are some who made a significant impact.

It starts with the dozens of freelance journalists REM hired over the years. Susan Doran had a story in the very first issue of REM and has written hundreds of articles for us since then, rarely missing a month. Kathy Bevan was REM’s ace reporter for several years, chasing down stories even when the subjects didn’t want to be interviewed. One year during the Western Connection conference, she cornered a real estate board EO in an elevator when he tried to escape her questions.

Many thanks also to Toby Welch, author of more than 100 REM features, and other long-time freelancers Diane Slawych, Mario Toneguzzi, Danny Kucharsky, Yvonne Dick, Don Procter, Sohini Bhattacharya, Dennis McCloskey, Connie Adair, Steve Maxwell, Myles Shane, Tony Palermo and the late Lloyd Manning.

REM wouldn’t have gained the credibility it has in the real estate industry without the contributions of many current and former Realtors, who filled our pages with advice and observations, and didn’t shy away from controversy.

Marty Douglas wrote more than 250 columns, originally called Western Perspectives and then Metes & Bounds.

Barry Lebow, who helped REM score a contract to produce a magazine for a mortgage broker’s association, wrote dozens of columns and more recently began producing videos that he shared with REM readers.

Dan St. Yves, a former real estate agent in Kelowna, has been writing a monthly humour column for REM since 2000, never missing a month.

Carolyne has provided as many Recipes for Realtors columns as we could use. She is also the most prolific commenter on all REM stories, offering her take on the industry’s latest news. (And thanks also to our other most frequent commenters, Brian Martindale and PED.)

I also owe a debt of gratitude to Ross Wilson, Debbie Hanlon, Stan Albert, Ted Greenhough, Mark Brodsky, Chris Seepe, Aiman Attar, Peggy Blair, Aaron at TRES Labs and the late Albert Teichner. They all provided a wealth of information for Realtors – click on the Columnists and Advice for Agents tabs on this site and check out their stories, and those of many other guest columnists.

The most-read stories on REM were consistently those dealing with legal issues, and we were blessed with many excellent legal writers. They include Natalka Falcomer, Don Lapowich, Mark Weisleder, Martin Rumack, Bob Aaron, Shaneka Shaw Taylor, James Cook and one of REM’s biggest supporters, Avi Rosen. Many thanks to you all.

Our print magazine had a resident photographer – Marko Shark, who then turned the task over to his son Elijah. Thanks for all the great images guys. And thanks to Craig Hodge and Darla Furlani, who provided REM cover shots from the West Coast.

Thanks to those who provided REM with their video content: David Greenspan, Richard Robbins, Toni Sing and Jenny Wun, Shawn Bell, Nicole Attias and many others.

To everyone who sent me a story about a new office hire or charitable endeavour in their community, thank you. Thanks to all the boards and associations who sent us editorial contributions and distributed the print edition of REM to their members. Thanks to the staff at CREA, who supported us throughout the years, even though they often didn’t care for what we wrote and were annoyed that we refused to put Realtor in capital letters.

And finally (yes, I know the music is playing and they want me to wind this up), a word about the people at REM. Art director Liz Mackin had great patience in putting together most of the print issues over the years. Thanks also to graphic designers Shawn Kelly, Yee Truong and Eilidh Harding.

It was great working with “Uncle Barry” Holmes, and later sales director Dennis Rock. When Dennis retired, his daughter Amanda came on board and immediately became the most popular REM staffer at trade shows.

Thanks also to hard-working production and distribution manager Mila Purcell (who got me hooked on Brother Jack McDuff) and production co-ordinator Judy Cupsky.

I wrote about Heino Molls and the launch of REM when he retired. We lost Heino in 2019 and I’ve thought about him every day since.

William Molls took over as REM’s publisher and CEO and has made a valiant effort to keep it going during the pandemic, never straying from our philosophy of providing quality editorial content and not selling out, when it would have been easy to do so. Thanks for all your support, Will. Your dad would be proud.

Okay, that’s enough, except for a personal plug: although I will be “mostly retired”,  I’ll continue writing about Canadian real estate in my column at Realty Times. And I look forward to seeing what a new team will do with REM.

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