WVFI-launch: While having turned my back on real estate journalism, I felt the need to contribute to it in some other way. There were any number of awards for outstanding journalism, but there was none for real estate journalism. My idea was therefore to set up a society and a jury which would honour particularly deserving real estate journalists once a year. I approached Professor Karl-Werner Schulte, one of the world’s most renowned real estate economists, and he warmed to the idea. Calling Schulte the father of real estate economics in Germany would not be overstating the fact. Being a person who is always open to innovation, he was thrilled by the idea, and so the WVFI Scientific Association for the Advancement of Real Estate Journalism was founded. For the jury, I won over my former superior, the erstwhile published and editor in chief of DIE WELT, Thomas Löffelholz, with whom I had maintained friendly relations. Another jury member I recruited was the renowned media scientist Professor Matthias Kepplinger of whom I had heard so much through Elisabeth-Noelle Neumann. Finally, Hans-Joachim Beck, at the time the Presiding Judge at the Fiscal Court of Berlin and one of the most highly respected experts for real estate tax law, joined the jury and has remained on the panel ever since. A fund-raising drive resulted in a number of real estate companies that were prepared to sponsor the society and its annual award. The first winner of the award was Jens Friedemann, back then responsible for real estate topics at the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG. Today, Friedemann is himself a member of the jury.

from left to right.: Prof. Dr. Karl-Werner Schulte, Christian Hunziker, Dr. Rainer Zitelmann

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