Trillium is profiled as a “Creating Community” company.
This profile of Trillium Real Estate was published in the 2011 Think Local First, Local Resource Guide.
As lights flip on each morning in the Trillium Real Estate office, a restored 1910 home tucked in Kerrytown’s Braun Court, it’s quiet in this elegant, comfortable workplace—momentarily. In a short while, though, it will be filled with the organized flurry that is Linda Lombardini and the calm focus that is Sandi Smith, owners and founders of this remarkably deft local company.
The two, partners in life as well as busines, have fostered a place of many modes at Trillium. Yes, it’s primarily a real estate business, where the goal is exceptional personal service to every client, where Linda’s talking on her Droid while sending email and whipping up comps, where Sandi’s filling up a whiteboard with plans for the future. In their clients’ own words, they more than meet that goal. Reviews are filled with phrases like “extraordinary experience,” “professional, caring and genuine,” and “obvious integrity.”
Trillium Serves All
But then there’s Trillium’s social hub mode that lets those clients feel free to bring in their babies because they know the staff will coo over them. Neighbors walk in with their pups. Friends drop in to bellow “hello!” and drop off vegetables from their garden or guitars for safekeeping. And Dot, 80-year-old mom of the founding couple, calls often, asking, “Are the girls in?”—as many times as Jason Frenzel, their 36-year-old son, whips through the office looking for “the moms.” The tween children of agent Andrea Deranian and office manager Sally Day even have their own office in Trillium, where Sandi and Linda continue the moms’ tradition.
Giving Back to the Community
Civic and community modes follow easily, with citizens stopping in to talk to Sandi, an Ann Arbor city councilmember, so they can give her a piece of their mind to take back to council meetings. Companies, like green builders Living Space and Rainbow Law Center, meet often in the Trillium conference room, as do ad hoc groups like the organizing teams for WRAP, HARC or OutFest. The outside porch, dubbed “The Trillium Stage,” has even hosted musical and theater events.
What flows from this hub is not just the business of housing and not just an inclusive, safe place, but vibrancy and warmth and fun, the best of community.
“That’s our business,” Sandi says, “building proud communities and enriching lives. We do that through ‘helping people make good real estate decisions,’ which has been our motto since 2001 when we started Trillium—and by being a community ourselves.”