Real Estate Weekly

 

Thank you Edmonton.  

To say it has been a pleasure would be an understatement. This is our final edition of Real Estate Weekly and though it’s a little bitter sweet for us, we wanted to reflect on the good memories and successes we’ve shared together.  But more importantly, we wanted to say thank you to our loyal readers, our advertisers and the REALTORS® who made our publication possible.  

It all began 38 years ago...

Real Estate Weekly was established in 1981 and was originally printed by the Bargain Finder. In November of 1984, the Edmonton Real Estate Board agreed to purchase the paper and began writing a remarkable chapter in our city’s real estate story. Ron Esch was the Administrative Service Manager at the Edmonton Real Estate Board, and the paper’s first editor. “Real Estate Weekly came about as a directive from the Edmonton Board to look at what the Calgary Real Estate Board and the Winnipeg Real Estate Board were doing with their newspapers,” says Esch. “As a result of the implementation of the Real Estate Weekly newspaper the REALTORS® saved thousands of dollars in advertising”

Esch would soon move to take a position with the Calgary Real Estate Board, hiring Ed Cowley to be the first manager of Real Estate Weekly.  Cowley had a vision to turn Real Estate Weekly into a true newspaper featuring articles written by regular columnists and contributors, original photography, and of course property listings for REALTORS® around the city. At that time, the paper had a print run of barely 4,000 copies per week. The staff, including four clerks, two sales people and an artist, came to work in our offices six days before Christmas, and on January 1, 1985, we printed the first edition of Real Estate Weekly as sole owners and publishers.

No Smart Phones...No Problem.

When we first started out, if you wanted to find a house in Edmonton you couldn’t reach for your smart phone, tablet or your computer. You had to call a REALTOR® or tour a neighbourhood yourself to see what properties were for sale. With the establishment of Real Estate Weekly, we gave the public access to more listings and to the REALTORS® behind the properties. We helped to revolutionize the buying and selling of information on Real Estate in our market.

The 1990’s and the height of our success

In 1990, Real Estate Weekly hired Dave Robb to be our manager and editor.  Dave oversaw Real Estate Weekly for over 25 years before retiring in 2015.  Originally hired from a small town newspaper north of Edmonton, Dave’s background in weekly newspapers and his passion for photography helped turn Real Estate Weekly into the success it would eventually become. Under his watch, the paper would grow to include a staff of 18 people and would be read by over 80,000 people every week.  Real Estate Weekly featured regular columns from handyman George Dagleish and stories from reporters like Lawrence Herzog, Alex Mair and many more. “We were much more than a weekly newspaper that displayed real estate listings,” said Robb.   “We were one of the largest community papers of its kind in Canada.  We shared tips for homeowners and buyers, and we featured interesting stories about Edmonton’s past. We even helped create interest to save historic buildings like the old WW Arcade which houses the Hardware Grill.  But my greatest memories involved the people who worked here.  I loved coming to work because we had such a great staff.” 

Evolving with Technology

With advancements in technology, Real Estate Weekly was always one of the first papers in the market to stay ahead of the game. Here’s how we evolved: 

In 1990, we transitioned from traditional design to a desktop system. As demand grew, more process colour advertising positions were offered.  To handle the added volume, the paper was electronically shipped to the Edmonton Sun further streamlining the process.

In 1996, the Real Estate Weekly began appearing in the home-delivered Thurs­day edition of the Edmonton Sun, bumping circulation from 26,000 copies per week to more than 60,000 and then 80,000.  

In the mid 1990’s, the paper created a digital catalogue—a first for any real estate board in Canada. 

In 2000, we were the first newspaper in Edmonton to have a digital camera beating papers like the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun to the punch. This made the transition to digital media even more seamless.

In January of 2017, we moved from the Edmonton Sun to the Edmonton Metro where we have had a great partnership. When we moved, the format of the paper changed to feature new listings in a classified format with a single unit and photo. These new listings reflected the listings that came onto MLS® the previous week.

In 2018, the listings moved  to our new website: REALTORSofedmonton.com where Open Houses  were found. This new site also hosted information on the market, monthly stats, find a REALTOR® and much more. It  was and is the hub, a wealth of real estate information for the Edmonton market.

It’s been a great run...

Throughout the past 38 years, Real Estate Weekly continued to assist the marketing efforts of Edmonton’s REALTORS® and has provided an invaluable service to the city’s buyers and sellers. Manager, Sharon Kupper-Radford is proud of what Real Estate Weekly has accomplished. “We provided a unique product by offering a free newspaper to promote the real estate industry, REALTORS® and properties in Edmonton and area,”said Kupper-Radford. “We also couldn’t have enjoyed our success without having loyal readers.” 

Writer Lawrence Herzog may have best summed up what Real Estate Weekly has meant to Edmonton in his feature story for our 30th Anniversary Edition.  “There were dozens of real estate publications in circulation in Canada at the same time as Real Estate Weekly, but very few told the stories of their hometown as much as we did. As a result, many real estate boards used our paper as a model for their own. Over our history, we’ve celebrated the stories of volunteers, community leaders, collectors of the weird and wonderful, helping organizations and so much more.”  In the end, Real Estate Weekly has been the catalyst to  buying and selling hundreds of thousands of properties in Edmonton and surrounding area. 

On behalf of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, all our REALTORS® and the staff of Real Estate Weekly THANK YOU for reading this final edition. It’s been our honour and pleasure to provide you with Real Estate Weekly since 1981.