John Di Tommaso and Neil Black, CENTURY 21
“It feels good to help business owners, investors, and families in the areas I grew up in.”
John Di Tommaso, a franchisee with CENTURY 21 Benchmark Realty Inc., has opened a new office specializing in residential, commercial, and development-based real estate in the North York district of Toronto. Having grown up in this neighbourhood, Di Tommaso feels an intimate connection with the area.
“My favourite part of the business is building lasting relationships,” says Di Tommaso. “We’re always looking ahead of the curve to find new ways to keep clients coming back by providing even more valuable services.”
Di Tommaso’s personal connection to the neighborhood enables him to interact with the community on a deeper level. “When you have local insight, you know your community inside out so you’re first to see where the market is headed,” says Brian Rushton, Executive Vice President of CENTURY 21 Canada. “You know exactly how to tailor your services to specific customer needs – John has the hometown advantage and more.”
Di Tommaso had noticed a tremendous upsurge of real estate market growth in his community, including a number of residential housing developments and a new hospital. These developments encouraged him to invest in the community by opening his CENTURY 21 office.
Di Tommaso says that opening his own real estate office had been his dream for a long time. “It feels good to help business owners, investors, and families in the areas I grew up in.”
He gives back to his local community with every sale, and is raising his son there as well, keeping his family legacy – as well as his business legacy – within the community alive.
Di Tommaso says there are benefits to running a local business as part of an international franchise network. “There’s a massive advantage to being known and respected globally. I’d been with the other big companies before and wanted to continue, this time with the support and connections of the world’s largest residential real estate network, CENTURY 21.”
Meanwhile, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CENTURY 21 franchisee Neil Black has been recognized as the 2015 REALTOR® Volunteer of the Year by the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR). He has been given this honour due to his commitment to his community and province.
“Neil has always been a committed, hard worker for his community and for so many organizations,”says realtor Jacob Risk, who nominated Black for this award. “Neil is always kind, considerate and friendly and leads by example.”
Black’s family always extoled the value of being a “do-gooder” and giving back to your community to repay it for all the opportunities it has given you. At a young age, Black volunteered for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul by carrying food supplies for the poor. More recently, he has been involved in The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, and various fundraising initiatives for community projects including the Dartmouth Sportsplex. Black has also devoted his time to participating in volunteer boards such as the local residents’ association and the Nova Scotia Economic Renewal Agency.
“Neil represents a true community volunteer and feels that we must share our time and experience to continue to raise the standard of our industry,” says realtor Gordon Burns, NSAR Past President, who presented Black with his award.
Since the beginning of his real estate career in 1978, Black has held many prestigious positions, including Director of the Halifax-Dartmouth Real Estate Board, President of Home Builder Association, President of the Mortgage Loans Association of Nova Scotia, Director of the Atlantic Provinces Real Estate Council, and Chairman of the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission. Black now serves on the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS®, as Atlantic Commercial Council Representative.