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The Counselor - January, 2000

And so, back to work

The year 2000 is here, and Y2K is behind us. What to do with excess supplies of canned food, bottled water and mild chagrin? Surely there are more pressing issues ahead of us. It's time to refocus on running our businesses, and being Counselors.

I'm delighted to take charge of this publication, and will strive to live up to the standards set by CRE Hugh Kelly. Past editors have told me that this job is an easy one, thanks to the efforts of Faye Porter. When Faye and I met to discuss The Counselor, I could see why. But, at this same meeting, Faye told me that this is her last issue. She's leaving for Nashville, to escape the Chicago winter and live near her family. As I look over the proofs for this truly enormous issue, I miss her already.

This issue launches a new feature in The Counselor, focused on business issues facing members. The opening piece deals with attracting and retaining people. Later on, it will address training, fee structure, client relationships, and other issues that you ask for. Please write to me at noah@shlaes.com with your comments and ideas.

The Orlando coverage occasionally mentions further content on the CRE web site. Expect to see more of this. As the organization grows, and online access becomes more universal, this publication will include more "teasers" for detailed information kept elsewhere.

Another notable trend is the growing affiliation of the Counselors with other groups, such as the NASDR and Chartered Surveyors initiatives mentioned elsewhere in these pages. This can only help the organization, making the world slightly more aware of this "principled, social, slightly arrogant" cadre of professionals. (See President Faggen's column for more on this comment.) The CRE designation has historically been known by fellow Counselors. Judicious broadening is in order.

Editorship's greatest pleasure is having an excuse to talk with fellow CREs. We are professionals, to be sure, but what brings us together is that we like to talk. When people ask me "what are the Counselors," I tell them about a trip a couple of years ago.

I was helping a large local company sort out its options in Kansas City. Instead of my chosen location index (distance from Bryant's Barbecue) we were forced to take a more traditional approach. First, we called on Bill Davis, CRE. He sat us down with coffee and a map, and laid out his view of the market. (Ending, of course, in lunch at Bryant's.) When we were done, my team could talk with anyone in the market, and safely keep feet far from mouths.

What did Bill get from it? A plate of barbecue and a morning's amusement. I'm sure he knows that he can count on the unstinting assistance of my team. But I'm also sure that Bill knew this before my visit, just as I knew that I could count on him. We're CREs, you see.

Copyright 2000 - Noah Shlaes