As part of our series, CRE Future Leaders, we caught up with Andy Heymann, a director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Chicago office. Heymann has assisted regional and national firms with lease restructures, renewals, relocations, acquisitions and dispositions. His current clients range from local law firms to Fortune 500 corporations.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in Highland Park, and went to college at the University of Texas. It was great to spend 4 years in Texas, and I still go down to Austin for a football game or two every year.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
I never had a set profession in mind, but always liked numbers and math growing up. I studied geology in college, but once I realized that being a geologist entailed a lot of remote field work and sitting behind a computer logging data, I knew that wasn’t going to be a career path for me.
How did you get your start in the industry?
A friend and I got our real estate licenses in Texas during college to do house/apartment leasing for friends of ours on campus. From there, I got an internship at a small retail brokerage in Austin through my fraternity for a semester. Before my senior year of college, a close friend’s father who was at CBRE in Chicago sent my resume around to a few firms here in Chicago for an internship in tenant rep. I was offered a summer internship working with the team I am on now at what was then Equis/DTZ (now C&W). I started with them right out of college.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Steve Schneider, who I have now worked with for almost eight years including my internship, has been a great mentor and partner for me in this business. I’ve been lucky to have many others in and outside of the CRE industry who have been mentors to me, but day in and day out Steve and I are constantly talking and bouncing ideas off one another.
What does a day in the life of Andy Heymann look like?
I am up early and get to the gym by 5:15 a.m. and in the office by 7:00 a.m. From there, every day tends to go in a different direction whether I am out on tours, meeting with clients/prospects, on conference calls or many times, tackling something on a deal or project that came up out of nowhere. Part of what I love about this business is the variation day to day but constant communication with people.
What do you like most about your job?
Everything that goes along with the entrepreneurial aspects of being a tenant rep and/or in commercial real estate. Every day is different, and being able to self-manage my days and the type of business I want to pursue/work on has been really enjoyable. In addition, I am lucky to have an awesome team that I work with and others in the office have become some of my closest friends in and out of the office.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
I have been fortunate to have some great (and challenging) experiences thus far. I’ve learned from others who have been doing this longer than me that the learning process never stops, and there are always new challenges or deal nuances that years of experience can’t prepare you for. That’s exciting to me and I hope I am able to continue to grow in this business and within C&W.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I have a hard time sitting still so I am usually out doing something. My fiancée and I love traveling to new places and trying new restaurants/bars in Chicago. I am also a big music fan and like going to see concerts.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
Anywhere in the mountains, but especially Vail. I love hiking, kayaking, snowboarding and anything else I can do outdoors. I am going to South Africa and Mozambique for my honeymoon next November and even though it’s a year away, that is where I am most excited to visit next.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Brian Duffy—he is a hard worker and as a result working on some great stuff right now.