The Shift is a LeaseUp podcast hosted by our founder Kurt Chisholm, in conversation with brokers at the intersection of CRE and tech
The Shift is a LeaseUp podcast hosted by our founder Kurt Chisholm, in conversation with brokers at the intersection of CRE and tech. The guests come from different professional backgrounds, but all leverage technology to get more deals done.
For the seventh episode of The Shift, LeaseUp’s Kurt Chisholm spoke with Deena Zimmerman, National Council Co-Chair of Retail for SVN and VP at SVN Chicago.
Deena has worked across a wide range of “unique use” properties, but is perhaps best known for her work in the cannabis space. She’s been on the ground with Illinois’ legalization of first medical, then recreational marijuana, helping her clients navigate complex zoning and permitting laws around cannabis, earning her the unofficial title “the cannabis queen of CRE” – which she fully owns.
Deena is also a vocally tech-forward tenant rep broker who utilizes GIS software, LeaseUp’s CRE deal platform, and other tech tools to make her clients’ lives easier and help her win more business.
“I don't think you have to have 100 tools in your toolbox, but just have a few that will make you more successful, and quite frankly, more nimble,” she tells Kurt on the podcast. “Not only is tech helping my clients themselves and myself be more nimble, but I'm using it to win more assignments.”
Later in the episode, Deena adds that tech adoption will only become more important as Gen Z enters the marketplace. “They’re going to expect heavy tech. This hybrid work model isn't going anywhere, and while belly to belly is super important, especially in our industry, technology like Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams — every single day I'm on that, and it's helping me to be more nimble with my clients around the country.”
Deena Zimmerman is a real estate broker with over 17 years of experience in the industry. She’s the national co-chair of retail for SVN and a VP out of the Chicago office. She got her start selling insurance door-to-door, and transitioned to real estate in the mid-2000s after selling advertising in a real estate trade publication. “When I got in the industry I was literally given a rolodex and told to go out, and good luck,” she says on the podcast.
Over her career in CRE Deena has honed a niche in retail, and loves working with entrepreneurs. Her bread and butter is tenant rep, and she also enjoys development work with landlords. Through her role as SVN’s National Council Co-Chair of Retail she stays up to date on emerging retail trends nationwide.
Listen to the full episode to hear Deena talk about trends she’s seen over the last few years, and where she sees retail evolving in the near future.
Kurt Chisholm is the founder and CEO of LeaseUp. Kurt’s been in CRE for over a decade, as a tenant rep broker, landlord, and investor. He left brokerage to build LeaseUp after realizing the need for a CRE deal platform that lets brokers leverage tech to get more deals done.
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