Don & Jen's Story
I’ve been in real estate for over 30 years.
I’ve focused my entire career in South Florida and have always had an affinity for city living and a love for the opportunities that exist in our urban locales. Prior to marriage and kids, I lived in metropolitan areas like Delray Beach, Coconut Grove, and, best of all, East Fort Lauderdale.
When my wife, Jennifer, and I became parents, we moved to the suburbs to raise our family. It was a healthy experience. We embraced the suburban lifestyle. We taught our kids practical skills, like how to throw a football, ride a bike, and swim. However, we often ventured to East Fort Lauderdale to eat, drink, and socialize. We knew that, in time, we would be living there again. We just didn’t know when.
“We grew impatient waiting for that “perfect moment” — when the kids would be grown up and out of the house. So, we made the move back east earlier than what is considered typical. We were obviously incredibly thrilled. It was the homecoming we had always imagined, only a decade sooner.”
We planned the move by ourselves. Jennifer and I were comfortable analyzing the housing options in East Fort Lauderdale. We know the neighborhoods professionally and personally, so we knew what areas would best suit our way of living. Ultimately, we wanted our new home to be an extension of our lifestyle. This idea motivated our home buying journey and turned our house-hunt into a sociable, outgoing experience.
The most shocking part of our move was how many friends, colleagues, and strangers were envious of our decision and how we went about it. We didn’t realize how many people wanted to make a similar move but didn’t know where to start. In truth, all they needed was a trusted advisor — someone who had already done it to show them the way. This realization, combined with the desire to guide people through an equally fulfilling journey, was the impetus for FREEBIRD.
Q&A WITH DON & JEN
Q: WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT LIVING IN EAST FORT LAUDERDALE?
A: We love it when we’re out exploring or doing activities with our kids and we run into one of our friends or neighbors enjoying their day. It happens all the time! Most days we see people out walking their dog or running, biking, doing yoga, working out on the beach… All sorts of outdoor activities. Fort Lauderdale is a very active community — one of the reasons we love it so much. We’ve seen that our area attracts like-minded people who enjoy living in the moment and taking advantage of the scenery and stellar weather. People here are also really friendly no matter where you go. As you spend more time in East Fort Lauderdale, you’ll see that most everyone will give you a wave or passing smile.
Q: WHAT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES YOU FACED WHEN MOVING EAST FROM THE SUBURBS?
A: Oftentimes in urban locales, the homes tend to be smaller, especially if you’re moving from a suburban single-family home to a condominium or townhome. While it was a challenge to downsize, it was also an opportunity to scale down our belongings; to think about what we really need and what’s really important to our way of living. At first, what might have seemed like a drawback was actually an opportunity to optimize our lives and reduce the unnecessary clutter that comes with suburbia.
Q: WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PARTS ABOUT OPERATING THE FREEBIRD PLATFORM?
A: We love seeing a client experience the lifestyle component and zero in on their favorite housing options. That is where our creative and analytical sides take over. It’s fun being able to share our ideas with clients to help them imagine and unlock a home’s potential. It could be anything from minor fixups, like paint and flooring, all the way through to a renovation that opens up spaces to create the exact environment they envision. The analytical analysis we do for our clients puts them in the best negotiating position possible. We know what similar homes have recently sold for and what other listings are currently available, so we take a data-driven approach to negotiate the best price and terms for our clients.
“If there is one thing that I have learned over the course of my career, it’s that how you live should lead you to where you live.”
If you’re shopping for a new home in East Fort Lauderdale, you’ll want the most qualified expert on your team. Our founder and president, Don Ginsburg, has over 30 years of experience in South Florida real estate development, construction, and brokerage. Over the course of his rewarding career, he has built thousands of homes and developed beautiful communities from Coral Gables to Weston, Boca Raton, and Delray Beach. Don is licensed by the State of Florida as both a Real Estate Broker and Certified General Contractor. He has chaired several real estate committees, spoken on numerous panels, and has been featured in multiple real estate publications. Don has been named a Top 100 “Power Leader in Real Estate” by the South Florida Business Journal and a CoStar “Power Broker.” He also founded a commercial brokerage firm that placed in the top of the Gator 100 as one of the fastest-growing Gator-owned companies in the Nation.
Jennifer is perfectly suited for her role as she has an extensive background in marketing, event coordination, real estate, and most importantly, incredible organizational skills. She truly is the oil that keeps everything running smoothly within FREEBIRD. Other interesting things about Jennifer include:
- Favorite activity when not running FREEBIRD and being Supermom to two boys – Health & Fitness
- When not working, parenting, or exercising you can find Jennifer lounging on the Riverwalk reading a book
- Something most people don’t know about Jennifer is how much Yoga has contributed to her life
- Favorite vacation spots include Colorado, New York City, and Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ
Alex has a passion for every facet of the business. She delivers an exceptional client experience and is truly committed to her work. She is your full-service concierge for everything buyers and sellers need to accomplish their goals. For Alex, real estate is not about writing an offer or closing a sale, it is about empowering and guiding her clients through the entire home selection process with FREEBIRD’s lifestyle first and social-centric program. Outside of work, you will find Alex:
- Doing charity work with St. Jude Children’s Hospital and The Alzheimer’s Association
- Boating around East Fort Lauderdale, coaching cheerleading or binging on the newest Netflix show
- Watching her favorite sports teams, including the Florida Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and FSU Seminoles
- Fun Fact: Alex has lived in eight different Florida cities. However, she knows that Fort Lauderdale is the best of them all!
Peter has over 35 years of experience in the industry, making him the veteran of the FREEBIRD team. He is detail-oriented and has a thirst for knowledge and how things work. He has lived and enjoyed the “east side” and “waterfront” lifestyles since the 1980s, having lived on the water and in easterly locations from Boca Raton to East Fort Lauderdale. Peter is a perfect fit for FREEBIRD as he is so passionate about the quality of life he finds by living, working, and playing on the east side of town.
Contributing to the Greater Good
“It feels good to do good.”
FREEBIRD and our founders strongly believe in being involved in the Fort Lauderdale community. As community leaders, we find that it is our responsibility to give back to people and organizations that are helping others in need. Through community service, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders, charitable giving, and building interconnected and diverse communities, we strive to improve the city we call home for the benefit of everyone.
- Broward County Jewish Federation — We are actively involved with the parent organization and its beneficiary agencies to help senior citizens, at-risk children, and others in need throughout Broward County and the world.
- Love Thy Neighbor — We volunteer with this non-profit, interfaith organization to aid the homeless in Broward County.
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Light The Night Walk — We participate in the annual fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to raise money and awareness for research & support for cancer patients and their families.
- University of Florida Real Estate Advisory Board — As a board member, our founder mentors young and ambitious students to promote real estate studies and provide career guidance.
- Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale — As a Trustee Member of Riverwalk we are helping to build a vibrant community and support a mixed-use environment of arts and entertainment, business, residential, marine, and educational interests.
- Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce — As a member of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber, we are committed to helping promote economic growth and business development to inspire widespread prosperity throughout the community.
- Mockingbird Trail — We are a donor and supporter of this 8-mile urban trail route and linear park, which is designed to promote interconnectivity to parks, cultural centers, businesses, and educational institutions for those who live, work and play in the City of Fort Lauderdale.
- Urban Land Institute (ULI) — Our involvement helps to further Urban Land Institute’s mission of providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating a sustainable, thriving future for our communities.
- The Fort Lauderdale Forum — We remain involved with the Fort Lauderdale Forum — a non-partisan platform for discussion of current issues affecting the lives of citizens in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County — to engage in healthy discussion on how to better serve our community.