Tristen Heimann, director of residential rentals at Luxury Living Chicago Realty, has become a top-producing Chicago rental broker, having assisted hundreds of clients with his expertise in the downtown neighborhoods. He has a true appreciation for the city’s progressive architecture and provides a level of detailed knowledge and understanding that goes beyond just the typical apartment showing.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I was born and grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana in a family of five. After being private Catholic schooled, I went on to Ball State University and received my masters degree in architecture with a concentration in sustainability and residential design in 2009.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
If a racing career didn’t blossom at an early age, I always knew I was going to be an architect. While on family road trips, I always found my face glued to the window to see the skyline grow from the distance. Still to this day, I’m infatuated by the built vernacular of cities across the world.
How did you get your start in the industry?
Back in the winter of 2010, I was fortunate enough to have a job at a small architecture firm, Griskelis Young Harrell Architecture, in the Wrigley Building. Unfortunately, it was also the middle of the Great Recession and as the lowest guy on the totem pole, I was let go. During my last week, my principal architect placed a portfolio on my desk and asked if I knew the candidate. It was my former classmate from architecture school. The next day we met to catch up on our careers and life, including a new venture he was considering in real estate brokerage. Eventually, when my former classmate asked if I was interested in getting started as a broker, I told him absolutely. The rest is history.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Luxury Living Chicago Realty’s founders, Aaron and Amy Galvin, have really sculpted me into what I am today and positioned me to continue to grow. A key takeaway has been understanding that “luxury” isn’t in the apartment, but it’s also in the service and process. Every touch point with a client needs to embody luxury.
What does a day in the life of Tristen Heimann look like?
I wake up to my cats bopping me on the nose, then I stare out the window for a few minutes and watch the sunrise come up over the lake. I jump into emails around 7 a.m., then phone calls and finally schedule my day, week and month. Prior to a full day of showings, I also try to go for a run out on the lakefront or gym every day.
What do you like most about your job?
My clients! I love problem solving and matching each client’s unique lifestyle with an ideal living situation. Each client has different needs and seeing the expressions and reactions once someone finds their PERFECT apartment really keeps me motivated.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
Short term: to surround myself and mentor a core team of real estate professionals. Long term: as a downtown rental-focused broker for over eight years that has helped 900+ clients, I’ve been at the forefront of the evolving trends in the multifamily sector. I’d love to pair my insights with my background in architecture and become more involved in development.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
Working seven days a week certainly is a lifestyle choice. So, I celebrate the little breaks with running along the lakefront or going up to a craft brewery to relax. Also, over the last few years, I have been able to enjoy a lot of international travel.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
I’ve been blessed to travel the globe quite extensively over the last few years, from Siem Reap to Athens to Cairo to Tokyo. There have been so many incredible places and all favorites in their own right. However, Moosehead Lake, Maine has become a happy place for my fiancé and I. My future in-laws built a stunning log cabin on the lake where moose outnumber the human population. It’s absolutely beautiful and very remote up there.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Although he is more of a Hall of Fame candidate, I would like to see these questions asked of world famous and local Chicago architect, Adrian Smith. I’d like to know more about his story from the early days to designing the world’s tallest buildings.