Our Story

It all began with one core belief: that home is where the heart is, and everyone deserves a place to call home.

Like many fast-growing cities in the U.S., Austin faces a major housing crisis and a severe scarcity of buildable land. We founded Heartwood to be a part of the solution—by turning invaluable land into land that we can develop into beautiful, durable housing for all Austin residents, not just a select few.

While our team is small, we feel this gives us an edge. We are nimble, driven, and have invaluable relationships with our consultants—and we have an intimate, local knowledge of the Austin housing market and the city’s development process. Where some might see a scrap of hairy land, we see an opportunity to keep building and adding homes to the neighborhoods in our city. We build a variety of home types, from townhomes to single-family homes, and 50% of our developments are affordable housing. We’re invested in Austin, and we’re here to stay.

Meet the Team

Chris Affinito


Chris Affinito is the president and founder of Heartwood Real Estate Group, which develops and builds uniquely designed homes and communities in Central Austin. With over 10 years of experience in a variety of real estate and development sectors, including acquisitions, land planning, structured finance, valuation and sales, Chris brings in-depth expertise to his leadership role. Chris has nurtured and managed several thriving communities of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and more, across Central Austin, providing more unique and sustainable living options for Austinites.

Chris began his career as an economic and valuation services associate at KPMG LLP, where he appraised commercial real estate. He left to work for Vision Real Estate Partners, a New Jersey based commercial real estate developer, where he was responsible for sourcing new acquisitions and raising capital. In this role, Chris was directly involved in over $500 million of office, retail and industrial real estate. In 2014, he made the move from New Jersey to Austin, entering a completely new and growing real estate market. Chris grew up in New Jersey and received his bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from Villanova University in the greater Philadelphia area.

Mackenzie McCauley


As Director of Operations, Mackenzie wears many hats in order to keep Heartwood organized and running smoothly. She oversees projects from cradle to grave, starting from acquisitions and pre-development, to design and pre-construction, and all the way through the marketing and sales of Heartwood’s projects. Mackenzie has a colorful background in real estate, beginning in a boutique surf town in Costa Rica managing luxury rentals after college. She then managed multiple portfolios ranging from luxury high-rise buildings in San Francisco to small-scale buildings in the Berkeley and Oakland area before pivoting to the development side of the industry.

At Heartwood, Mackenzie is excited for the opportunity to continually learn more about the development of not just homes, but neighborhoods and cities—the places where people call home, share memories, grow up, grow old, and go to work every day. For Mackenzie, it’s incredibly motivating and exciting to play an active role in Austin’s growth by developing homes for people of every class. When she isn’t working to build the Austin community, Mackenzie loves taking her dog hiking and swimming around town, paddleboarding with friends, dragging her boyfriend to way too many concerts, and enjoying a good book by the pool—along with quick trips to Costa Rica for a little surf break of course!

Michael Bradshaw

VP of Construction

As VP of Construction, Michael Bradshaw oversees all construction, sets up vendors, and bids out plans. His job demands constant analysis of costs and timeframes throughout the building process to keep all projects running smoothly, on time, and according to budget. Michael got his start in residential construction in 2006, and he has since worked his way up the construction ladder from the warranty department all the way to Director of Construction in 2018.

In his new position as VP of Construction, Michael looks forward to building and working on new and challenging projects, learning more about developing land, and supporting the Heartwood mission. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family as well as golfing, fishing, and spending time on the lake.

Emma Martinez

Development Administrator

Emma Martinez is the Development Administrator of Heartwood Real Estate Group, a role that sees her manage varying responsibilities including contract administration, real estate transactions, coordinating contract to close, and managing Human Resources for Heartwood. Emma has been in the real estate industry for 20 years, and she has a passion for helping people achieve homeownership and start building wealth.

Emma has a strong interest in houses and architecture, as well as in planning the best use for a piece of property or raw land that will enhance the area’s sense of place and community. In her current role, Emma hopes to hone her collaboration skills and see Heartwood emerge as one of Austin’s most prominent real estate developers. In her free time, Emma enjoys hiking around Austin greenbelts, long strolls through neighborhoods, traveling, and staying connected with God, family, and friends.

Our Values


We develop homes with integrity and durability.

Giving Back

We’re invested in giving back to our community by improving the neighborhoods around us.


We seek to challenge the system by working collaboratively with our team.


We stay curious and drive innovation in everything we do.


If you’re passionate about building a better Austin community and have an interest in real estate development, we’d love to meet you! Check out our open positions below.

Open Positions

No open positions at this time. Check back soon!