Todd Heine comes from a strong financial background, but reached the point where he wanted more personal interaction with people on a daily basis. A friend of Heine’s, who worked in the commercial real estate industry, thought it would be a great fit for him. Ultimately, he decided to try it. Ten years later, Heine is grateful for his friend’s encouragement.
“In the commercial real estate business we tend to be generalists,” Heine said, director of Avison Young‘s Corporate Food Services Group. “When you look at other professions they tend to specialize, be it attorneys, architects, physicians, or accountants. I’ve taken my knowledge of commercial real estate a layer deeper than generalizing, and I am specializing in food manufacturing and food distribution space. This allows me to guide my clients on a daily basis on best practices and industrial trends in their business.”
According to Heine, Avison Young has a true team approach that integrates professionals with different expertise, which sets them apart from other firms. “This eliminates the silo atmosphere that has taken a toll on many commercial real estate firms. We are always striving to put the best people on a project that can best serve our clients’ goals.”
2014 was a very big year for Avison Young’s Corporate Food Services Group, Heine noted, as the firm completed a number of national projects for companies that require highly efficient facilities for food storage and distribution.
“The demand for these facilities is driven in large part by the consumer wanting high quality, fresh foods,” he said. “In order to achieve this, modern technologies need to be implemented and it usually starts with an optimally designed facility.”
During the first half of the New Year for industrial real estate, Heine expects that he will continue to see vacancy rates drop into record lows. “This will likely continue the trend of both local, national, and international capital looking for new investment opportunities.”
Reflecting back on 2014, Heine said the biggest lesson he learned was balance. “My wife and I had twins back in April. It has been a wonderful year, yet I had to learn to balance both work life, and home life, so I could give the best to each.”
“I’m committed to feeding our twins dinner and putting them to bed each night,” he said. “When I get home, I put away email and don’t check the phone. I will not finish up any of the day’s work until the kids are in bed. This helps me focus on them and take a break from the busy day.”
Heine’s daily habit also helps him relax after a busy day. “One habit that I try to do every day is go for a walk,” he said. “Whether it’s a 20 minute walk home or after the kids are asleep. I find it makes me a better father and better in business. It allows me to clear out the end of the day’s noise in my head.”
His greatest accomplishment outside of working in industrial real estate is completing a triathlon a few years ago. “It took a lot of training and discipline and was a tremendous accomplishment for me. My goal is to focus on doing another one soon.”
Heine has had a successful 10-year career in commercial real estate, and it all begin at the suggestion of a good friend. Heine said if he could give himself a bit of advice when he first starting in the industry, he’d tell himself, “Stick with it and continue to treat your clients the way you would like to be treated. If you continue to put your client first, and their goals first, good things will happen.”