114: Pivotal Partnerships, with Heather Ewing

Welcome to the Managing CRE Risk podcast with Jeremy Goodrich. Today, we have Heather Ewing, a seasoned CRE broker, on the show out of Madison, Wisconsin. Heather works primarily in retail and restaurant and she shares how to attract the best tenants and find the best deals in the triple net world. We also talk about how to properly structure leases and how the retail space is in the current market. You don’t want to miss out on this episode!

Learn more about Heather and her journey at shineinsurance.com/managing-commercial-real-estate-risk!

“I bet on people’s wins, not losses. I want people to be successful.”


Heather has lived in Madison, Wisconsin for over 45 years, so she deeply understands the real estate scene. At the beginning of our conversation, she explains how the market works and why it’s an excellent place to invest in. Even though Madison is a tertiary market, it has a big university and it’s also the state capital city which brings in a lot of retailers and restaurants. 

Heather explains how to successfully mitigate the risk in the retail market as a new investor.

  • Align yourself with a great lender. SBA loans have a much better interest rate.
  • Find a good broker with a niche in retail.
  • Look into different grants in your state or nationwide that can help with your business.
  • Focus on how you structure the lease. A good broker relationship can help you figure out what the market rate is as this is usually not public knowledge.

“A lot of times you can gain the market knowledge by getting out, hitting the streets, and asking questions.”


Heather shares some mistakes she sees people make in the triple net space. Many new investors don’t get an attorney who is familiar with CRE to negotiate the lease, which can cause many problems in the long term. Another common mistake is not working with service providers who are niched in the investor’s specific asset class.

At the end of the conversation, Heather talks about a couple of entry points for new investors who want to come into the retail space.

  • Go to different events in the area you are interested in and network with experts.
  • Be active on LinkedIn and social media and make connections with brokers.

About Our Guest, Heather Ewing

Heather Ewing combined her expertise in Retail Brokerage in downtown Madison and Dane County with her creative capabilities to provide a unique and unparalleled service to Tenants, Owners, Developers and Commercial Investments. Utilizing this experience, Value-Added options for Clients and her role in $151M+ New and Redeveloped Mixed-Use.

Ewing utilizes her 40+ years of living in the Madison area to provide site selection beyond demographics adding the layering of areas history of various eclectic neighborhoods and suburbs and the shopping trends. Clients are guided through the entire brokerage process receiving referrals for attorneys, lenders, etc. as needed. Additionally, this extends into Developments, sharing methods for effective and efficient leasing, building suggestions, and various value-add marketing and branding options.

Mentioned in the show:

  1. www.abstractcommercialrealestate.com
  2. Her LinkedIn
  3. Her Phone Number: (608)-239-4781
  4. Shineinsurance.com
  5. www.shineinsurance.com/managing-commercial-real-estate-risk
  6. Jeremy’s LinkedIn

Need an instant insurance ballpark for your next Multifamily deal?! Answer 9 simple questions and we’ll give you a sense of what insurance should be. Visit us here for everything you need to know: https://www.shineinsurance.com/ballpark/ 

Special thanks to Heather Ewing for taking the time to share so many great insights with us

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Until the next time, We truly appreciate you listening.

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