Company: Avison Young
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Property Type: Office Specialist
Year Built with SIOR: 2014
OVERVIEW - Why He’s the Real Deal
Few people can say they started their professional journey in commercial real estate as a freshman…in high school. Fewer still can say that their personal resume holds such accomplishments as 2x All American triathlon competitor and over 100 races under their belt. But principal broker at Avison Young, Justin Cazana, SIOR, can. When it comes to running the race to industry leader, Justin runs to win. He’s more than just an SIOR.
HIGHLIGHTS - Get to Know Justin
SIOR Report: What’s the first job you ever had?
Justin Cazana, SIOR: My first real estate job was at age 15 cleaning out vacant warehouses. That was when I decided I wanted to be a broker and not in property management. My first real job that was not in real estate was working at a bike shop, and was a year after my summer cleaning out warehouses.
SR: What unique skill do you have that others might not know about?
JC: Pound for pound, I can consume more chocolate that maybe any other man in the world.
SR: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done? And/or describe a time you went out of your comfort zone.
JC: My #1 hobby is endurance events—like long gravel bike races and marathons—so I tend to live “out of my comfort zone.” The latest/strangest event like this was racing my bike 120 miles through the Salmon-Challis National Forest of Idaho. It was incredibly fun but incredibly challenging.
SR: What is the weirdest way you’ve been injured?
JC: It’s a very odd injury for most people but for marathoners, losing toenails is a fairly regular part of training and racing. While it’s not really an injury it is very uncomfortable and makes for really ugly toes.
SR: What inspires you?
JC: The hunt—I love digging in and finding the details to better help in the hunt. The constant search for the next deal gets me up in the morning. Unfortunately it also keeps me up at night.
SR: Describe your perfect day.
JC: A perfect day is in the mountains with friends and family. Hiking, camping, on the bike…the mountains always put a smile on my face.
SR: Who is someone who changed your life and why or how?
JC: My wife Kristin (just celebrated our 25th anniversary) is just a gift to me. She leans into her faith and is the stable force for everyone she touches.
SR: I am frightened by…
JC: An empty pipeline.
SR: If you could have a personal motto, what would it be?
JC: “The Pursuit is Happiness.” I saw this on a t-shirt last year and is probably why I enjoy brokerage so much. The pursuit is the fun part for me. I love it.
SR: Name three things you would bring with you on a desert island.
JC: Mountain bike, endless supply of podcasts, and my favorite pillow.
SR: What life skill do you wish you had cultivated or were better at?
JC: Developing more patience as deals are put together. Patience is not in my nature and deal flow on a lot of projects is absolutely maddening.
SR: What problem or situation did TV / movies make you think would be common, but when you grew up you found out it wasn’t?
JC: You know, I thought “Evil Stepmothers” would be more prevalent in our lives.