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This January REm is 20 years old.

20 years for such a publication I believe is quite some feat.

I don’t say this to try to blow my own trumpet. I was not involved at the start of REm. Indeed, I only really became involved around issue before No 181 in July 2016.

So, I can only really tell the story in part.

Following on from the third of the JBs to run the magazine (John Botting, John Black, John ‘Dave’ Buckley).

Leading the way was John Botting who sold the magazine to John Black after he (the first John) had suffered a serious illness. John Black took over at just the wrong time as it turned out.

Soon after he bought the magazine the financial crisis of 2008 hit. The crisis had a major adverse impact on property markets around the world. Thailand was not excluded.

I think it is accurate to say that the magazine could easily have gone under in 2008/9. This is not an attempt to sully the management abilities of John Black who, sadly, passed away a few years back; more a reflection of just how bad things got.

As a result – Dave Buckley took the reins at REm.

Soon after Pattaya went through something of a boom.

People stopped worrying that projects might not be seen through to fruition – something that had been a concern earlier. New projects were cropping up all over the Eastern Seaboard.

For several years it was a good time to be involved in the Pattaya property scene.

There was a party for almost every occasion. A project launch, a project having all its plans approved, the start of construction, ‘thank you’ for buying … you name it, there was a party to celebrate just about everything.

And in addition to this, there were the Movers & Shakers parties, in which REm was a junior partner in the early days.

For a couple of months back in the heady days the magazine and its supplements ran to more than 200 pages.

Sadly, such days have gone – for the time being, at least, I hope.

In the same way, as things go up, they also come down.

Around 2014 the market had taken one of its cyclical downturns.

The value of the Russian rouble took a dive and developers of long-standing in the city grew concerned that buyers might not be able to meet their balloon payment commitments. Better not to start what the buyers might not be able to finish, they felt.

A perfectly reasonable business stance to take. Though it wasn’t a lot of help to a magazine reliant on the property market.

This is when I and my partner Pure Phanthong became involved (Dave Buckley remains’ involved in the magazine as a shareholder and contributor).

We have now seen the magazine through to a point where it is well poised to take advantage of the next upturn.

And history tells us there will be an upturn. Indeed, the magazine has recently seen former advertisers return and new advertisers come in.

Always lurking in the background has been the internet which has spelled the end of many magazines.

Pure and I have adopted the internet as a valued friend to the printed publication which, I’m sure, is the way forward.

Checkout www.remthailand.asia and our Thai site www.baanrem.com as well as broadening our reach on all social media platforms but at the same time staying true to our heritage and are now distributing REm print magazine in both English and Chinese languages.

If you have doubts about Pattaya’s future, I suggest you consider the upgrades the authorities are making at U-Tapao airport, the major new railway infrastructure driven by the Chinese serving the

Eastern Seaboard, and the comparative stability enjoyed by the country in recent years.

REm is experiencing an upturn and I expect it to grow bigger in the months and years ahead.

As we move into a new decade, I’m not making any new year resolutions other than to do what I can to ensure REm grows and prospers through 2020 and beyond.

At this point both Pure and I would like to say a huge Thank You to everyone that has stood by and supported REm over the last few years, to all our clients and friends who have believed in what we are doing… Many, many thanks… you know who you are.

Paul Johnson