Mike Czestochowski is CBRE’s Newest Vice Chairman
December 17, 2021 3 Minute Read
Mike Czestochowski has achieved the title of Vice Chairman. Czestochowski, co-founder of CBRE’s Land Services Group, is only the 10th CBRE sales professional in Canada to earn the prestigious title, and the first in the Toronto North office.
Czestochowski began his real estate career in 1984 and joined CBRE in 1993. He’s been involved in many high-profile transactions over the last 37 years, including government mandates and clients from Fortune 500 companies. He’s also increasingly focused on philanthropic causes and makes a point of giving back to the community he calls home.
We spoke to Czestochowski about his new title, the keys to his success, and what advice he has for young people getting started in the commercial real estate business.
What does the Vice Chairman title mean to you?
It’s a title that signifies how well my team is doing. I share this credit with my partner, Lauren White, and my team – they help with all the heavy lifting and we work really well together. It’s been hard work, but incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. I like coming to work everyday, it’s been 37 years. I don’t know how to do anything else and I wouldn’t do anything else, I love this business.
What is the key to your success?
Relationships. Brutally honest, brutally straightforward, fantastic relationships with clients who are there year in, year out and give you repeat business. Some people will say it’s numbers of calls, but nobody trusts you to sell a hundred-million-dollar property unless there’s a good relationship there with absolute trust.
How has the business changed over the course of your career?
When I started, we didn’t have cellphones. If you didn’t catch the developer in the morning when they were in the office, you’d have to go to the site and try to find them. We didn’t have computers on our desks. We used to go to the registry office in person and sit there and go through the books to check sales. Today, you can push a button and get that information.
The industry was a lot smaller 37 years ago, and times were different. If you didn’t have your shoes polished and weren’t wearing a suit, they’d send you home. Now, things happen at a much faster speed. The amount and quality of information that’s available is extraordinary. I think the service that we give clients progressively gets better and faster. The sophistication of the work we do far exceeds what it was even 10 years ago.
What deal has been the most impactful on your career?
In the last couple of years, the sale of the Celestica Campus at Don Mills and Eglinton stands out as one that was significant to us. But every year there are a handful of deals that are complicated, hard to get done, and big. You have to spend a lot of time and really know what you’re doing. But they’re even more rewarding when they get done.
An important part of this business is to not get too up or too down about any one deal. Some deals are going to go through, some won’t. You’re going to win some pitches and you’re going to lose some. So, don’t get too excited or too down about any one deal. Just try to keep an even keel.
You’re also very focused on philanthropy. What inspires you to give back to your community?
Giving back is a big part of our business. We’re very fortunate to do what we’re doing and have these opportunities.
I was on the board of the Markham Aquatic Club for five years, the last two or three as Vice President. Being on the board was like running a little company.
I’m on the board at Markham Stouffville Hospital because my son was born prematurely, and they helped him. My wife had breast cancer and they helped her. I had my own health issues and they helped me. So, I wanted to give back to the hospital. It’s a big part of the community and I’ve been on the board for years now. I’m happy to do it.
What advice do you have for young people getting started in the commercial real estate business?
Don’t get into this business if you want it as a job. It has to be a career. At the beginning of your career, it has to be more important than anything else. It has to be first. Passion for the business and clients is essential. You have to want it more than anything else. Young people coming into CBRE— you’ve got the largest and the best platform. Take advantage of it.
Global construction software development company Trackunit has signed a five-year lease for a 21,000 sq. ft. space at The Cube, a brick-and-beam office building on Talbot St. in downtown London, ON.
Stay In The Know
Subscribe today and join hundreds of professionals who get the latest blogs delivered straight to their inbox.