Willson Says Busiest Month Was in November ‘Recession’

Harry A Willson - 1938-02-07

Camden Courier-Post – February 7, 1938

Realtor Sees Defeat of ‘Lawyer’s Bill as Feather in Cap of Board


Harry A. Willson, who recently retired as president of the Camden County Real Estate Board, wants the world to know that he is one of those “who is selling Camden and Uncle Sam long.”

In other words, the Camden realtor says he didn’t know the real meaning of “recession” in 1937, that November was his best month, and that by the middle of April, 1938, he expects to see “things humming and business okay everywhere again.”

“We had a busy year in 1937,” declared Willson, speaking both as an official and a businessman.” And we had a good year in business and I want to say that November was the best month that I had, when everybody was talking about this recession.”

“The biggest accomplishment of the year for the real estate board was the defeat of the bill which would permit only lawyers to negotiate real estate transaction. It was the so-called ‘lawyers’ bill.’

“Under its provision no realtor would have been allowed even to draw an agreement of sale. We know that there are negotiations that require a lawyer’s services, but we realtors feel we are fully capable of making an agreement of sale, drawing a lease and making a settlement.

Realtors Capable

“The majority of the realtors of Camden have a good technical working knowledge of the law. For myself I’ve been a member of the bar since 1912, and I know scores of other real estate men who are not only learned in the law, but are as capable of handling legal matters in their business as any member of the bar.

“We consider that’ victory as perhaps the largest, feather in our cap for the year. But we’re proud that we moved into decent headquarters as well.

“We have headquarters now at 421 Cooper Street, with an executive secretary in charge at all times. It is a headquarters worthy and fitting for, a group of businessmen with the personnel and extensive interests of the real estate board.

“We are now able to issue a weekly bulletin, ‘The Realtor.’ which we send to the real estate men of the county, to various Chambers of Commerce and to other interests vitally concerned about real estate.

“I think the real estate board has been of great help in solving municipal problems, too. Carl Evered has been aiding in the matter of direct taxation and Ellis Goodman, on his committee on public parks and beautification has rendered a splendid service to Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, who has charge of that department.

Sign Nuisance Abated

“Their joint efforts have resulted in ridding the boulevards of unsightly signs that were bad advertising for the city. Goodman and his committee also aided in the movement that rid the city of buildings that were unsightly, and standing, gave Camden a bad reputation abroad.

“So far as business is concerned I know that my business in 1937 was swell. I feel that the realtors would say the same thing, If each of them was asked regarding their business. November was my best month of the year.

“It is a fact that early last Spring houses were occupied to such a great extent that it was impossible to get a house to rent. During the fall this demand slackened off, but I haven’t one fault to find with business during 1937, and I think that things will be all right this year.

“I look to see this recession come to an end in mid-April. I expect you’ll see things popping then. The New York Shipbuilding Corporation should be right in the thick of its work building those two new naval vessels by that time.

“The working force should be recruited to its full strength by that time, and that means money will be pouring into the city and business is bound to leap upward.

“1 know, too, there is a more optimistic feeling at the R.C.A., and in that industry they expect to see business starting upward in marked fashion in the Spring

“Altogether, speaking as an officer of the real estate board and a business man as well, I haven’t fault to find with 1937, and I’m still selling Camden and Uncle Sam long.”


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