Thought Leadership in CRE: An Interview with Todd Mitchell, CCIM, RPA

July 20, 2023 | By: Todd Mitchell

At the start of 2023, Todd Mitchell, CCIM, RPA, received the 2022 Thought Leadership Award from CRE Insight Journal. Todd is a 20-plus-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, and an expert in implementing efficiencies across portfolios, developing top-producing teams, and driving operational excellence across the real estate sector. CRE Insight Journal spoke with Todd about his time in the industry, mentorship, transparency, and more. These are his answers.

How did you enter the industry?

Like most of us, by blind luck. I was given an unsolicited opportunity to join the Property Management team at a premier asset in midtown Atlanta, 1100 Peachtree. #OriginStory

What do you enjoy most about commercial real estate?

The diversity of options. There is Property Management, Appraisal, Investment Sales, Service Provider, to name a few.

Do you have any mentors? What have your mentors taught you?

Everyone I have ever had the privilege of working with has mentored me one way or another. That said, people like Jack Bossert, Russell Lipscomb, Pat Freeman, and Linda Bolan have been very impactful to my career. My mentors have taught me what to do, and at other times, and of equal importance, what not to do.

For you, what does it mean to be a thought leader?

Thought leaders are forward thinkers and consummate learners. Thought leaders are people who are open to unconventional ideas, and have the skill needed to articulate those ideas.

What key lesson have you learned through your work in CRE?

Number 1 with a bullet point: People are the MOST important part of any business plan always have been and always will be. Everything in our industry, whether we’re business development, sales professionals, or operations professionals, it is all people first. On the engineering or the administrative side, it doesn’t matter. Everything is people, everything has always been people, everything always will be people.

At the 2023 ESG Summit, you presented on corporate transparency, why is this an important concept?

Transparency can build confidence in a firm’s internal and external stakeholders. Conversely, a lack of transparency will build mistrust and lead to divisions in the ranks of the stakeholders, weakening the firm.

What role should the property team play in the community their properties are in?

Property teams are the face of the firm and asset. They should carry the same ambassadorial presence in the community as they carry with the asset’s tenants and visitors. On an individual basis, I think it is important for the property teams to understand where their property is located and what is around them and make an effort to understand any local history of that community and be thoughtful of what impact you could have.

What has been the biggest shift you have seen in the industry?

The impact of multiple generations working, living, and playing in the assets. We have four separate generations in the industry now, and soon enough Generation Alpha will be knocking at the door too.

What changes do you see on the horizon for CRE, and what changes would you like to see?

CRE’s approach must continue to trend toward a more seamless built environment. We must double down on our commitment to viewing our region through holistic filters. All of the uses for real estate, industrial, hospitality, retail, office, and residential, must come together with the supporting infrastructure, transportation, education, the arts, and more, in a more cohesive, and less siloed manner.

To stay up to date on news and resources such as this and other topics of importance to the real estate industry, subscribe to the free CRE Insight Journal Newsletter using this link.