A Principal-Based Structure

Eva Destunis, Avison Young

Eva Destunis

Editors’ Note

Eva Destunis has 21 years of commercial real estate experience. She began her real estate career with Cushman & Wakefield where she was part of one of the most successful industrial brokerage teams in the Toronto Northeast market. Destunis joined Avison Young in 2013 to assist the firm in building the company’s industrial services platform in the Toronto North market.

Company Brief

Avison Young (avisonyoung.com) is a leading commercial real estate services firm, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, that provides investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial, multi-family and hospitality properties.

How do you define what makes Avison Young special?

Our Avison Young culture is what makes the company special. I believe our principal-based structure makes our culture unique and adds to Avison Young’s success.

Being a principal-led company fosters an overall team-oriented and collaborative approach because as shareholders, we are all working toward the greater good and overall success of the firm.

Avison Young’s working environment is very positive and full of great synergies. We are helping each other succeed whether we are directly involved in a transaction or not.

Would you provide an overview of your role at Avison Young?

My role at a very basic level is to generate business for the firm, but as a principal my role expands beyond sales. I am a mentor to young women in the firm locally and in the United States and Europe. I lead by example daily, in particular to our young people – I am always available for guidance and support. I am helping to build a successful office not only through business success but by helping to attract quality employees.

What are the keys to being successful in commercial real estate?

Key to success in commercial real estate is to start building relationships from day one, which can only happen by going out and meeting people. Clients that I met 20 years ago, I continue to do business with today. Discipline is also key to one’s success. A plan is needed and one needs to work that plan – waking up each day, being positive, driven and motivated.

Have you been happy with the growth of Avison Young’s industrial services platform?

Avison Young’s industrial services platform is newer than some of our competitors’ platforms, which is a great thing. It provides a fresh and updated outlook on the services and is constantly evolving as we grow. Personally, the platform has supported me in my success and growth.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Avison Young and made you feel it was the right fit?

I was most excited for the opportunity to join an office where I would be a part of its growth and success, specifically on the industrial services side. The opportunity to become a principal appealed to me, along with the fact that Avison Young is privately owned. Fast forward to 2017 and the fit is even better than I had ever hoped for.

What advice would you give to young people interested in a career in commercial real estate?

If you are serious about a career in commercial real estate, a commitment of three to five years is necessary. Completing the basics from day one is essential. Create a plan and strategy for working your plan. The plan must include goals along with the path of how to achieve these goals. Revisit your plan several times a year and modify it. Lastly, have a mentor because guidance and wisdom are invaluable.