Matt Heinz, senior director of marketing for HouseValues, has a penchant for marketing and isn’t afraid to show how much he likes his job. Heinz joined HouseValues in 2002 and is responsible for managing the company’s strategic marketing direction and brand development initiatives.

Heinz has more than 10 years of consumer and business-to-business marketing experience with technology, real estate and retail products. He previously spent five years at Microsoft where he was responsible for driving marketing and business development efforts for MSN.

Before Microsoft, Heinz led a team of marketing professionals at Weber Shandwick, a global PR firm, and held marketing positions with The Boeing Co., The Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Attorney General’s office.

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington.

Heinz will speak during Real Estate Connect in New York City, Jan. 11-13, 2006.

Here are his answers to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

Panel or session at Connect: Internet Lead Generation Boot Camp.

What kind of house did you grow up in and where?

I grew up in a tri-level house in Castro Valley, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area. I lived there from the age of one until I left for college.

What style of home do you live in today and when did you buy it?

My wife and I live in a tri-level home bought in 2001, and we’re remodeling into a full two-story home. We lucked out with our location four years ago, and have found a place we can make our “dream home.”

Describe your dream home:

It has lots of space to entertain friends and family, a killer home theater room, and a big yard for my wife’s garden.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

Passion and focus must co-exist to make both individuals and companies successful. No matter who you are, being passionate about your job will make your work better, and will energize those around you. But focused passion makes it far easier to hit the ball out of the park in whatever you’re trying to accomplish.

What’s the strangest thing you ever packed in a suitcase?

A potato ricer, for my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year. It drew some interesting second glances from the security team manning the X-ray machines.

Who is your hero?

It’s hard to narrow it down to one. I like to learn from people who are passionate about what they do, compassionate with those around them, and are able to successfully balance career and family.

What was your first job?

Courtesy clerk for a mom-and-pop grocery store back home. It was my first real exposure to how important customer service is to a company, and how the very little things can create intense loyalty.

What would your second career choice be after real estate?

I’ve always been very interested in directing a non-profit down the road someday. I love what I do now, but there will come a time when I need to dedicate more of my time to giving back.

Which daily newspaper do you read and which section do you read first?

I read the Wall Street Journal and Seattle Times regularly, moving between several sections, including news, sports, business and real estate. I also frequent several blogs daily that feed me with news, insights and ideas on a number of topics, including real estate, marketing, brand strategy and baseball.

Where did you spend your last vacation?

This summer I spent four days in Cooperstown, N.Y., visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time. I was there for Induction Weekend with approximately 35,000 other fans. It was like Disneyland for baseball fans, an amazing experience.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

The best part of my day is when I get to talk to an excited customer, whose life has been changed in a big way thanks to the work our company is doing. It is so fulfilling to know the kind of impact we can have on the personal and professional lives of our customers.

What are your favorite technology devices or software applications?

I have an Audiovox 5600 Smartphone attached to my hip. It’s like a Blackberry, only better. I’ve also become very interested in social networking services, such as blogs, that allow for a far different distribution of content to a wide range of targeted audiences, and create vast new opportunities to build relationships with prospects and customers. 

What kind of music do you listen to?

My iPod is stocked with a wide variety of genres: classical, bluegrass, rock and roll, blues, a little hip hop. I enjoy discovering new types of music, new artists and new takes on old formats.

What worries keep you awake at night?

I can’t help but think about the additional things we could be doing to make our customers more successful. Successful businesses are laser-focused on their customers – what they need, what will make them more successful, and what they’ll likely need in the future to continue achieving that success. If we don’t provide our customers what they need to achieve their goals, someone else will. Great companies talk to their customers daily, and know exactly what they need. There’s always more we can do to listen harder, and innovate faster for them.


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