Spotlight On: Editor of Real Estate in Depth, Named HGAR 2020 Affiliate of the Year
Mary Prenon | November 2020
Anyone who knows John Jordan also knows that he is the consummate news professional who has served as Editor of Real Estate In-Depth for 25 years. Throughout his career he has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, Gannett Suburban Newspapers, Westchester County Business Journal, Westchester Magazine, Construction News, Westchester Commerce Magazine, Real Estate Forum and Globest.com.
Famous over the years for his many news “scoops,” Jordan continues to publish breaking news stories long before the daily newspapers or even daily websites get wind of them. In fact, the only thing Jordan is missing is the quintessential reporter’s fedora with the word “Press” tacked on the side.
It’s no surprise then—except to Jordan—that he was honored this year with the HGAR “Affiliate of the Year” award. “I really was shocked,” admitted Jordan, who was in the HGAR Board Room in White Plains when he was announced as the winner at the Association’s first-ever virtual Members Day last month. “At first, I was wondering why they asked me to come into the office, since the event was held on Zoom. But then when Gail Fattizzi (HGAR President) thanked me for my 25 years of service, I thought that was the reason and had no idea what was coming.”
Born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, Jordan and his family later moved to Westchester, where he graduated from Blessed Sacrament High School in New Rochelle and The College of White Plains at Pace University. A Journalism major, Jordan worked as a sports reporter for the former Reporter Dispatch (now the Journal News) while in his junior year of college. After graduation, he spent six years at Gannett Suburban Newspapers as a sports reporter and a local government and investigative reporter with Fairpress, a weekly newspaper that covered Fairfield County, CT.
Somewhere along the line, he also found time to get married to his wife, Patricia, at the Good Counsel Chapel, which is part of the Pace University campus in White Plains. Then, at the request of his father, he abruptly changed careers and starting working in the family’s flooring construction business. “My dad asked me to come in and work with him, and I tried it out for a while,” said Jordan. “Eventually I had to go back to writing, because that’s what I love.”
He joined the Westchester County Business Journal, and stayed during two different ownerships, sometimes working well into the wee hours of the morning. But after six years, Jordan decided it was time to start his own business and in 1995, Hudson Valley Editorial Services was born.
His initial clients were local magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times. After a meeting with former Association CEO Gil Mercurio, Jordan found himself at the helm of the long-standing Westchester Realtor, the predecessor of Real Estate In-Depth, which was launched in January 1996.
“At the time, most of the other Realtor organizations were producing Association-related news only, but we felt it needed more about the real estate industry itself, as well as trends, breaking news, economic development, local, regional and even national news,” explained Jordan.
Now, nearly 25 years later, Real Estate in Depth has grown from a circulation of just 3,000 to more than 12,000. “Except for my wife, this is the longest relationship I’ve ever had,” he quipped. “Nobody but the Association of Realtors or my wife would have put up with me for that long!”
In the past 25 years, Jordan has interviewed members of Congress, governors, state senators and assembly members, county executives, and business leaders around the greater New York metro area and beyond. He started the newspaper’s coverage of the annual Lobby Day, when Realtors throughout New York descend on Albany to meet with their local lawmakers on issues of importance to Realtors and homeowners. In 2016, Real Estate in Depth also became available online at www.RealEstateInDepth.com and later, the association added a weekly digital newsletter, with the latest top stories.
Most recently, Jordan launched a new print feature, “Five Questions,” consisting of a one-on-one interview with local, regional and national newsmakers. To date, it has included NAR CEO Bob Goldberg, veteran real estate developer Martin Ginsburg, and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, on handling the initial impact of COVID on his city. In this edition, Jordan interviews outgoing Congresswoman Nita Lowey.
Shortly after the onset of the pandemic, Jordan launched the daily “COVID Update,” with the latest news about COVID and the real estate industry, distributed via e-mail.
“I have been very lucky to have two CEOs and Association Presidents who support the newspaper, during boom times and difficult times,” said Jordan. He also credited the late Ed Sumber, former Association Counsel, who contributed monthly articles, as well as current HGAR Counsel John Dolgetta. Columnists John Vrooman and Jennifer Maher have also been long-standing contributors. “We have a great staff and people who believe in the publication and are committed to producing a quality, well-written and informative newspaper,” Jordan added.
Married for 35 years, Jordan and his wife Pat have a 34-year old son, Sean, who is an ER nurse at Garnet Medical Center in Middletown. A known New Jersey Devils hockey fan, Jordan began taking Sean to games since he was 10. “He was into fish at the time—he liked the Miami Dolphins and San Jose Sharks,” he recalled. “When we went to a Devils vs. Sharks game in 1996, I told him if he liked the Devils, I’d take him to those games.”
Years later, Jordan was surprised to see that Sean had saved all of the ticket stubs from the Devils games, as well as the Mets, Yankees and Army football contests. “He took the time to frame them and gave it to me to hang in my ‘man cave’ downstairs. It actually brought me to tears,” said Jordan. Father and son still enjoy going to hockey games and can often talk hockey for hours. “It’s nice to see that my son still wants to hang out with his dad,” he said.
Jordan and his wife live in Middletown with their pack of small dogs and a Quaker parrot that Jordan says “won’t shut up” when he’s trying to conduct phone interviews. “I finally put him in front of the TV to keep him quiet,” he admitted. “Now he’s the only parrot that has his own flat screen TV in the Hudson Valley!”
Even after 25 years, Jordan has no plans to slow down. “I really love what I do because no day is the same. I’m truly blessed,” he said. “My dad always said if you wake up in the morning and love going to work, you’re already beating out about 95% of the population.”