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October 2023

Sarah Cannella Discusses ESG on “Real Estate for Lunch” Podcast

Sarah Cannella

From “Real Estate for Lunch”

In this episode of the Real Estate for Breakfast podcast, Ice Miller partner Phil Coover interviews Sarah Cannella, Director of Property Management Operations for Hiffman National, which is the asset management arm of the privately owned, commercial real estate and management firm.

During their conversation, Phil and Sarah discuss how Hiffman is not a one-size-fits-all company and the intrinsic knowledge it takes to provide what the clients want and need to satisfy their stakeholders and investors. Sarah talks about the ability to be customizable, a perk of being privately owned, and how it has positioned Hiffman as a top alternative firm to the big national players. Hiffman is responsible for spaces in office, medical and industrial real estate — with the latter experiencing a surge in the Midwest since COVID.

They also discuss ESG, its history and the three pillars:

  • E for environmental

  • S for social

  • G for governance

Within each of the pillars, different strategies are constantly evolving and being determined in how companies are contributing to being a sustainable player in the nation, world, and ecosystem. ESG is a way for stakeholders, investors and partners to examine more than just the bottom line, and evaluate questions like:

  • “What impact are they leaving on the environment?” and,

  • “What impact are we leaving on society?”

The pair digs into how ESG is touching real estate efforts across the globe, and how Hiffman has made huge steps in talking to their clients about how to implement ESG standards and how many institutional money is requiring ESG processes for their investments, particularly from foreign investors.

Sarah talks about the growth of the company, first in the Midwest and then branching out to Philadelphia and the East Coast. Their initial growth was organic and then spread through client driven initiatives. Hiffman National delivers full range commercial real estate services nationwide and have planted their flag throughout America with offices in 27 states; however, the company is always examining what may be the best next location for expansion.

Sarah Cannella joined Hiffman in 2012 and is currently responsible for the oversight of the property management platform and operational initiatives, including transitioning assets, the Hiffman U property management training program, auditing, due diligence and technology platform directives. Sarah oversees four individuals who are solely dedicated to administering and evolving the Property Management platform. Prior to her role in operations, Sarah worked with the Hiffman Management Services group on behalf of investor clients on industrial, office and retail assets throughout the Chicagoland market.

Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, Hiffman is a full-service, privately owned commercial real estate brokerage and management company. Hiffman National is the company’s management platform serving markets across the nation. NAI Hiffman is the Chicago-based brokerage operation and representative for NAI Global, the world’s largest managed network of real estate service providers across the world.


About NAI Hiffman:

NAI Hiffman is one of the largest independent commercial real estate services firms in the US, with a primary focus on metropolitan Chicago, and part of the NAI Global network. We provide institutional and private leasing, property management, tenant representation, capital markets, project services, research, and marketing services for owners and occupiers of commercial real estate. To meet our clients’ growing needs outside of our exclusive NAI Hiffman territory, we launched Hiffman National, our dedicated property solutions division, which provides property management, project services, and property accounting services across the country. NAI Hiffman | Hiffman National is an award winning company headquartered in suburban Chicago, with more than 250 employees strategically located throughout North America.

About Hiffman National: 

Hiffman National is one of the US’s largest independent commercial real estate property management firms, providing institutional and private clients exceptional customized solutions for property management, project management, property accounting, lease administration, marketing, and research. The firm’s comprehensive property management platform and attentive approach to service contribute to successful life-long relationships and client satisfaction. As a nationally bestowed Top Workplace, and recognized CRE award winner, Hiffman National is headquartered in suburban Chicago, with more than 250 employees nationally and an additional six hub locations and 25 satellite offices across North America.

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