Brock Frost was born in Cornwall Ontario and raised in Ingleside. While completing his education at Queen’s University, Frost became interested in real estate. He focuses mostly on the investment side of real estate ranging from rental properties, foreclosure acquisitions, international development and construction. Frost works as a sales representative at Storm Realty, he is also the founder of The Frost Group Inc., the founder and president of the Cornwall Business Network, and he is very active in the community.
Brock Frost answers five questions for the Seeker. This interview was conducted by Jason Setnyk.
1. You are the President and founder of the Cornwall Business Network. What was the rationale behind this organization? What opportunities and/or services does the CBN offer its members that other business associations do not?
In November 2011, I was approached by a former colleague about launching a new networking group in Cornwall. The idea was to provide a more modern twist on business networking that did not exist in our community at the time. Initially, I was hesitant to involve myself in another project but after a week of meetings and discussions, I jumped on board and Cornwall Business Network was born.
In a short time, our group has surpassed expectations both for our members and in the community. We take tremendous pride knowing that our members reap more referrals from CBN then from any other group of its’ kind (according to our own members!). I believe this is partly due to the fact that we limit access to CBN to one member from each different industry. One lawyer, one realtor, one electrician and so on.
Cornwall Business Network is a registered non-profit organization in the Province of Ontario and our members currently pay an annual fee of $99.00. Each and every dollar goes directly back in to the group and is completely refundable if you do not receive any referrals from within the group. After all, the purpose of CBN is to exchange leads and referrals, not simply collect membership fees.
For more information please visit our website at www.cornwallbusinessnetwork.com
2. Is Cornwall Ontario a business friendly City? What do you think the City is doing right and where can the City improve in regards to Economic Development and growth?
I must be careful what I say here! Is Cornwall a business friendly city? Well, I think it definitely has its’ moments. We are far from perfect but I think we are definitely heading in the right direction.
One way in which I always judge economic growth is through the real estate market. Are property values increasing? Decreasing? What is the rental market like and what are the capitalization rates? Is construction on an incline or decline? Are outside investors looking to buy property in Cornwall? I can say with certainty (and I am heavily invested in the Cornwall real estate market), that Cornwall is showing positive signs in this regard. We are not perfect, and I believe we could definitely use some fresh ideas, but I am pleased with the direction the City is taking as a whole.
3. You founded the Church on Sydney. What was your vision behind it? Tell us about that experience and endeavour.
The Church on Sydney, as with any of my other projects, was geared towards promoting culture in the community and enhancing entrepreneurship. I had always envisioned a location in which entrepreneurs and freelancers from all walks of life could come together with a single purpose. The Church, with its’ vaulted ceilings and exposed brick walls offered services such as Wi-Fi, desk space and everything else you needed to get your work done, all in a funky and modern environment.
From the day we opened the doors the community response was overwhelming. I was literally without words as I watched the support poor through the doors; member after member and event after event. Within a few short months we were booked solid almost every night all while maintaining the original concept of a networking hub. In fact, in 2012 we were nominated for New Business of the Year.
It is unfortunate that this project was cut short due to unbelievable circumstances but as any business person knows, we all must learn from our experiences, embrace it, and move on. And I have.
4. You were on the Eagle’s Nest Panel as a judge. Tell us a bit about the Eagle’s nest. What did you learn from that experience and furthermore what do you hope that the contestants learned from you and the panel participating in that competition?
Who doesn’t like Dragon’s Den? Well, Eagle’s Nest is Cornwall’s version of the popular Canadian TV show. Being an entrepreneur has taught me that many people have a lot of great business ideas but often lack the resources in order to transform their ideas into a functioning reality. Eagle’s Nest was created for that specific reason: not only to help promote entrepreneurship but more importantly award those individuals with real cash that they can use to help grow their own businesses.
The show was a huge success and we are currently working on Season 2. My goal for the upcoming season is to substantially increase the prize money awarded with a top prize of $10,000 (but don’t tell anyone just yet!)
5. Storm Realty has been active in the community supporting Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Cornwall’s Winterfest Carnival. What is your philosophy about business and community, and how does your involvement with Storm Realty fit in to that?
Storm Realty Cornwall is without a doubt a wonderful place to work. Steven Iwachniuk has done a tremendous job promoting his brand all while giving back to the community which helped shape his own career.
Business and community, to me, are synonymous. You cannot have one without the other and they come hand-in-hand. To be successful in business means giving back to your community and having a great community means having successful business people who call it home. Storm Realty embraces this philosophy wholeheartedly and it is an honour to be part of such an amazing team.
Thank you for the interview Brock Frost, the Seeker wishes you the best with your endeavours.