When you live in a community and you earn your livelihood from those within it, supporting its causes, its interests and its charitable organizations simply makes good common sense.
That’s the philosophy that underlies the Freeman Real Estate approach as the company continues to reach out to the neighbourhoods it has served for more than 40 years.
“We think local,” says Dan Freeman, who with his brother Elden Freeman are the owner-operators of the 35-member real estate office. “We’re both cognizant of the fact that the community has given us a lot over the years. Many of our clients and friends live in the neighbourhood. It feels nice to give back a little.”
The value of payback is something the Freemans learned from their mother Nancy and their father Barry, who started the real estate business on Bathurst Street in 1971. An old-school businessman, Barry was the first to lend a hand if a person was courageous and desperate enough to express the need for help. That kind of goodwill trickles from one generation to the next and from one sibling to another and it helps the Freemans appreciate where they came from and where they’re heading, says Dan.
In fact, it was under Barry’s direction that Freeman began staging live musical celebrations in Vermont Square Park as a thank you to the community he served. The park is the public crown jewel of the Seaton Village neighbourhood and home to St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club, an amazing organization set up to offer programming to children and youth to help them overcome barriers and develop confidence. The Freemans support the club and their children have enjoyed various programs and activities, which today cover all ages from newborns to adults in everything from swimming to computer labs.
Vermont Park is home to many of the events the Freemans put on. To wish the community a Merry Christmas this year, Freeman Real Estate is sponsoring a free skate on December 21st from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Bill Bolton Arena in Vermont Park.
For the past few years the Freemans have also hosted free historic tours in and around Seaton Village and the Annex. The tours are led by historians adept at bringing the past to life by telling the cultural, economic and political story of an area through its buildings, homes and landscapes. Tours have included the Tollkeeper’s Cottage, Seaton Village and Tarragon Village.
When they can, the Freemans try to employ local talent for their events. David Beadle, a local moth expert, hosted an interactive evening in the park replete with moths and refreshments. Bill the Bat Boy was brought in to edify people about bats and to help them with any problems they might be having.
Both events were big hits. The company’s social consciousness also extends to its staff, many of whom volunteer their time to help
at the various events hosted by the Freemans. In fact, Dan is already lining up ideas for next year.
“Because we’re a very dog oriented office, I’m thinking of having some sort of dog show in the park,” says Dan. “I imagine the community would really love that.”