Jay Lamont, 76, longtime host of a Philadelphia area real estate radio show, founder and former instructor of the Real Estate Institute at Temple University, and investment advisor to thousands of listeners and d friends, died Saturday August 21 of cancer at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, California.
For 31 consecutive years, Mr. Lamont broadcast All about real estate Sunday morning on WPEN-AM (950). He partnered with Temple in 1973 to add the Real Estate Institute to its continuing education program to help brokers, agents, appraisers, property managers and others interested in real estate matters thrive.
He wrote real estate columns for the Daily News and Philadelphia Magazine and was a real estate and financial commentator for KYW-TV. He specializes in buying vacation homes and has often lectured on this and other topics at conventions, conferences, meetings, seminars and symposia.
A longtime resident of Ocean City, New Jersey, he was a member of several real estate associations and received the 1979 Delaware Valley Council of Realty Boards Community Service Award.
In October 1978, Time-Life Inc. and Money Magazine named him one of the nation’s top real estate investing professors.
“He was my mentor,” said Allan Domb, a Philadelphia real estate broker and developer and an individual member of city council. “People always ask me about him, and I say I’ve always had a good time with him.”
Later in life, Mr. Lamont was an independent consultant based in Ocean City and owner of the Waterfront Restaurant in Somers Point. Her favorite saying was, “When you rent, it’s a house. When you buy, it’s a house.
“Housing is the most expensive item in our society today, in terms of price,” Mr. Lamont told the Daily News in 1981. For a house, finance it, choose a neighborhood.
Strong and tall, bald and bearded, friendly but brutally honest, Mr. Lamont was a radio celebrity from November 1978 to September 2009. A few punches on callers he disagreed with.
“Some people see Jay as the world when it comes to real estate,” an appraiser told The Inquirer in 2007. “His following is almost like a cult.”
Working out of a crowded studio apartment in Bala Cynwyd, he held a virtual real estate appeals tribunal on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. until noon, and built a reputation as the go-to specialist in the Philadelphia area when it comes to housing and residential real estate.
Listeners were drawn to his humorous and free style, with many later sharing stories of how they took his advice and made money. Advertisers were paying $ 300 a minute during his prime, and Mr. Lamont could boast that his show was “the most watched show on business and consumer knowledge” in Philadelphia for much of its airing.
“I find the show informative and entertaining,” wrote former Inquirer business columnist Al Heavens in 2007. “Lamont is passionate about real estate and his observations are, say, always candid.”
The real estate heavyweights listened to Mr. Lamont, and townspeople entered anger when he shot them. Some people in Gloucester City were dismayed and dismayed, and one wrote a letter of protest, saying he advised against investing in their city in 2007.
“I take offense at Lamont’s words”, a Gloucester City resident wrote on a local news website. “I’m sure others feel the same. But I accept the fact that he is entitled to his opinion even if he is wrong.
When the show, cut from three to two hours, was finally cut off, listeners lamented. “I would take away something new from the show every week,” a longtime fan told The Inquirer in 2009.
Mr. Lamont taught real estate at Temple from 1968, then at the school’s Real Estate Institute from 1973 to 1998. The Jay Lamont scholarship at Temple provides funding to a Fox School of Business student majoring in economics, finance, or real estate.
“Thank you for being the reason why we can provide real estate education to so many people,” the institute wrote on its Facebook page upon the announcement of his death.
An only child, born August 30, 1944 in Yeadon, Delaware County, Mr. Lamont received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Franklin & Marshall University and studied real estate at the University of Pennsylvania and the Villanova University.
His father sold real estate in West Philadelphia in the 1940s, and Mr. Lamont seemed to have a knack for seeing trends and opportunities before others. He got married and divorced twice.
His third wife, Linda Kelly, died five years ago. He moved from New Jersey to Oak Park, California after his death.
“He was still on the run, at 100 mph,” said his cousin Joe Lamont. “He was full of energy, still acting like a child. It was a 300 pound teddy bear.
Besides his cousin, Mr. Lamont is survived by his daughter Molly, his first ex-wife, and other relatives.
A service must take place later.
Donations in his name can be made to Temple University Real Estate Institute, Temple University Center City, 1515 Market St., Suite 215, Philadelphia, PA 19102.