Roland Hopkins - Founder's Message: Back to work with our help

April 28, 2011 - Front Section

Roland Hopkins, NEREJ

Every 17 years the country enters a recession. That being true (which it is) why are we all surprised when it happens? The current recession has bottomed out and people who survived the first two years of it are beginning to throw out the fear and work again the same way they know how. This smart action will help in bringing us all back to participating in the world's greatest multi-trillion dollar industry - commercial real estate.
The Journal was the first social network business entity, founded in 1963, where people read about people, met people, got leads from people, learned about people's wants and needs, and saw people's pictures. Modern tech social networking does the same, but in a different way - the 21st Century way! Want to read a prospect's or competitor's profile, go to his/her website.
From 1963 through now if you wanted the same, go to the newspaper or check the country's first regional commercial real estate website (launched in 1994) Punch in "professional profiles" and read about the top people going back almost 50 years. And, by the way, in New England, 90% of all commercial real estate development has been done in the last 50 years.
I launched the New England newspaper on January 17th, 1963 (go to and peruse the first 12 weak pages and have a good laugh.) In 1963, New England had one shopping mall, one industrial park, no condos, no nursing homes and little remodeling. It was just the beginning of Urban renewal. Boston had built one high rise office building (John Hancock) in the 20th Century. Then Mr. Berman decided to carpet apartment floors, paint walls, and drop ceilings. He called it Bermanizing. It worked. Maurice Gordon bought a few antique office buildings, carpeted floors, dropped ceilings, and painted the walls and advertised: Remodeled To Suit office space. The first guy to do it. What timing!
Who needed a commercial real estate newspaper? Answer? No one up until then. Luckily for me and with no surveys or brilliant minds going into the decision to start the newspaper, the timing was perfect. And the timing is now again perfect for commercial real estate people to open their curtains again and emerge into the fabulous, very strong world of real estate that never goes away.
Food, clothing, and shelter: we all need it. The stock market can crash at any time. No one predict a day-to-day winner (much like horse racing). I'm not even sure where the market came from, when and where it started, or even why. If you know, drop me a note. But real estate? Everyone needs shelter so real estate will never go away.
Everyone need food, so supermarkets, farms and convenient stores will never go away. Everyone need clothes (or face being arrested) so clothing stores and the industrial buildings where they are manufactured will never go away. Got it? You are in the greatest industry in the world, and it is now growing again.
Make sure you grow with it and allow us to help. We have the newspaper (the power of the press) that you will begin to see grow bigger again. We have the regional website that you will see begin to offer more informative sections. We have a daily newsletter that can be scanned in a minute or studied longer, but fun to look at. And we have two paper sites that give you everything you are looking for every week and is open 24/7. Social networking in the 21st Century? We offer it all, and it is designed with you in mind. Try us! You'll like us!
Roland Hopkins is the founder of the New England Real Estate Journal, Norwell, Mass.


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