|An interview with John J. Hentschel, CRE®
Executive Editor & Publisher of Real Estate Issues
President | Hentschel Real Estate Services, LLC
This year, Real Estate Issues, CRE’s acclaimed international professional journal, has completed its transition from a quarterly, paid subscription, print publication, to a bi-weekly, open access, digital journal that is delivered free of charge via e-mail.
The Counselor asked Mr. Hentschel about the changes occurring at the new Real Estate Issues and what we can look forward to.
What motivated the change to a digital format?
Hentschel: While the digital format yields some minor economies and savings in production and distribution costs, the principal motivation was strategic as part of a coordinated communications effort by CRE to use Real Estate Issues, in tandem with The Counselor, and the good works of The Consulting Corps and the CRE Foundation, to exemplify and demonstrate the CRE culture and thought leadership to potential users and consumers of real estate services as well as to prospective members throughout the world.
The digital format is currently the preferred and most competitive medium for the contemporary consumption of information, enabling not only the more timely delivery of content, but also the collection, compilation and analysis of real time performance metrics which provide the ability to gauge the readership profile and refine the content accordingly. The digital format also provides multimedia capability (for example supplementing text with links to other relevant or related information or embedding links to video interviews and/or panel discussions about the topic or related matters).
The digital format has also eliminated the stress of meeting a fixed manuscript submission deadline. Submissions are accepted at any time throughout the year and placed in the publication pipeline immediately after peer review.
How has Real Estate Issues changed? How is it the same?
Hentschel: Our paramount goal has been to preserve and enhance the reputation of Real Estate Issues and its recognition as among the most highly respected and emulated of real estate professional journals in the world. The interdisciplinary composition and stature of CRE membership is unique. As a result the journal affords a singular opportunity to serve as a forum in which innovative ideas, techniques, and information about solving problems and capturing opportunities can be presented and examined from an interdisciplinary and international perspective including comparisons of the similarities and differences between viewpoints and techniques employed around the globe.
As an alternative to the traditional quarterly collection of articles that readers might set aside intending to read someday when they have time (which too often is never), Real Estate Issues differentiates from its peers by focusing each edition on a specific article or topic that allows readers to quickly assess whether the topic warrants their time and immediate attention. The reader can always retrieve, review and print all articles that have appeared in the journal during the course of the year (2018 is Volume 42) since they are indexed and available in a format similar to the former print publication via the website. An online archive of previous articles is also available which can be retrieved by author, topic, or title. The current plan is to publish a compendium print edition at the end of each year.
How is REI working with the academic community?
Hentschel: While academic journals often tend to focus on the findings of theoretical research, Real Estate Issues is oriented to practical applications. As a result, REI is reaching out to and working with the academic community to assist with transforming theoretical to applied research and become the preferred channel for communicating the results. The digital format also makes Real Estate Issues more readily accessible at no cost to university faculty and students thereby providing an early introduction and exposure of CRE to the real estate profession’s emerging and future leaders.
Why is the publication now available free of charge to non-CRE subscribers?
Hentschel: The subscription fee was never a major revenue source. Elimination of the subscription fee and more frequent publishing schedule provides an opportunity to reach a broader audience in order to promote CRE brand awareness and enhance recognition of the CRE designation among practitioners, consumers of counseling services, and other constituencies and audiences (e.g. civic and community leaders, as well as leaders in government, business, finance, legal/accounting, development/construction, etc.). Readership and the number of non-CRE subscribers and page views have been rapidly increasing each month, a trend that is expected to continue and accelerate over the coming year.
Subscribing to REI (or The Counselor) is free at cre.org/subscribe. You can send a link to this page to your colleagues to invite them to subscribe. Or, you can email REI@cre.org a list of people you’d like to invite to subscribe.
Members can have a big impact on sharing our message! If each CRE invites 10 subscribers, REI would have 10,000 subscribers.
Has the change in format influenced the organizational structure of REI?
Hentschel: Producing a publication like Real Estate Issues is a business that requires not only the structure and rigor of a business plan but also the organization and deployment of labor to accomplish it. The former editorial board structure has been replaced with a proactive panel of volunteer CREs from around the world who serve in the capacity of peer reviewers, and Topical Associate Editors who are responsible for monitoring a specific industry sector (e.g. industrial, retail, office, housing, hotel), discipline (for example, law, finance, technology etc.) or region of the world. Each Associate Editor is responsible for identifying trends, resources (books, software, information platforms, etc.) and current topics of interest within their respective spheres, and thereafter soliciting articles from those best suited to write about them. While the editor in chief now focuses on content, a new post of Executive Editor and Publisher provides oversight and concentrates on business issues such as external relations and increasing circulation and readership.
How can people get involved?
Hentschel: We are always interested in receiving manuscripts and/or suggestions about topics of interest and authors who would be best suited to write them (including members and nonmembers). As a corollary and supplement to CRE’s popular Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate™, manuscripts that drill down and detail various elements and facets of the Top Ten Issues are of particular interest. Likewise, while the Top Ten Issues identifies emerging problems and opportunities, REI is working to identify specific topics for which, through member involvement and contribution, REI and CRE can develop and publish recommended solutions. •