When I started FACILITYCalgary it was to get real estate customers. I’d been in Edmonton for 27 years at that point, so returning to Calgary in May, 1999 was a deliciously exciting time to enter the Calgary real estate market; I knew my craft but didn’t know very many people and I was learning the market here. I knew how to represent clients, negotiate lease and sale transactions – but I didn’t have any clients. I thought starting this weekly newsletter would be a pathway to establishing lots of connections, and it was at first. But it became apparent it was more than that for me and a whim became a committment, a hobby became avocation ...
This July marks 20 years.
Readership these days is just under 25,000 who receive FACILITYCalgary every Tuesday morning.
Background: about twenty-two years ago, when I was working in the Colliers International office in Edmonton I began experimenting with newsletters – using the internet and e-mail tools to reach clients and prospects with fresh information, news, trivia and industry gossip. It was an unpopular experiment at a time with Colliers wasn’t keen on their agents doing anything outside the corporate playbook.
Calgary: in May 1999 I relocated to Calgary, initially with Colliers and then relocating to MaxWell Realty. In July 2019 I began publishing FACILITYCalgaryon a bi-weekly basis to a readership of a few hundred. Later that fall I began publishing weekly. In time the tools got better, a list service used to distribute the newsletter, and then a website http://facilitycalgary.com . Along the way, several powerful things showed up – friends and supporters have offered guidance and support, sponsors came on board and an incredible collection of Calgarians who’ve sat for me in the interview chair – adding considerable flavour to this publication and its success. Special thanks to Kevin Keyes and Sharon Martens who offered encouragement and moral support in early days when I needed it most, and to those who’ve helped with a nudge or kick in the pants as required/deserved along the way …
Every week a wide variety of sources collide; my in-box is always full and contributions of news items and transaction information are always welcome. Technology helps me gather the news. In addition to being a news-junkie, I have an in-flow of about 2,500 newswire items fed my way every week from sources all over the journalism globe.
There are hundreds of people to thank for 20 years – readers, thank you. Interviewees, thank you. Sponsors, thank you. Friends, thank you.
Obviously this self-serving little rag has evolved to be something worth reading, worthy of support from advertising sponsor and a spectrum of Calgary’s who’s-who as sources of news and interview material – thank you all for your help, your support and your kindness.
My goal for this publication was initially to serve me, and it has. What happened over time changed this publication has changed me. Sure, I still need and want clients in need of office space, industrial facilities and investments to buy – or homes to sell, but this publication has morphed into something else. I love it – I can’t deny that, nor do I want to. Putting out a summary of news that can be quickly digested to a wanting and willing audience has proven to be a lot of fun. I even get a scoop on the conventional media once in a while which is fun when it happens. More importantly, this hobby-turned-avocation has earned its place in the Calgary business media landscape. I had a comment a few years ago from a prominent CEO; he commented about why he would let me interview him, “you always seem to get the story right”. Few comments have ever been more appreciated.
Each Tuesday morning I’ll continue to publish this news – happily and proud of the product, and as long as readers keep showing me they want it I will continue to publish it.
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