December 21, 2019

Adapt or Die: Brokerage in the Proptech Revolution

Hi, my name is Kurt Chisholm and I am the Founder and CEO of LeaseUp, a platform providing sales and marketing tools to help commercial real estate brokers complete transactions faster and more efficiently.

During my time as a commercial real estate broker, the single biggest pain point in my day to day was an inability to efficiently share my market research with clients. As tenants are becoming younger and more tech friendly they are increasingly looking for a faster and more efficient ways to find their next office space, yet brokers today share their market knowledge via the same PDF Surveys they’ve been using for the last 20 years. This has created a massive rift in the industry, between the wants and needs of tenants, and the abilities of the real estate community to provide.

But for how long can the brokerage community continue to rely on this antiquated process? How long until a solution comes along that can automate space search between tenants and landlords, and make it so easy that both parties would prefer it that way? When that happens, the broker of today will have little value to companies looking for office space. If brokers don’t adopt a new way of completing lease transactions they run the risk of becoming obsolete.

To survive, the broker of tomorrow needs to shift their value to clients, from one of market knowledge to a more holistic, full service advisory role. Brokers of tomorrow must focus on speed, efficiency, and most of all providing a great experience to clients. When a client can find a space online just as quickly as a broker, it is the avenue providing a greater experience that will win out.

So how does one increase their emphasis on client experience? Well, brokerage firms have traditionally expended immense capital toward maintaining market knowledge. Data is becoming democratized, diminishing this value add daily. Brokers must reallocate these resources toward customer experience management (CXM). This begins with investing in new technologies focused specifically on the client interaction.

The first step? Ditch the PDF and bring the survey process online. Sorry, but emailing your clients PDF surveys doesn’t count as a “great client experience” anymore. Digitizing this process would provide the intuitive online experience modern tenants are desperate for. Having this process online would allow brokers to complete the survey process faster and speed up the time to lease, not to mention harness previously inaccessible insights into their dealflow, allowing them to learn from their deals to enhance future client interactions and hone their value add to adapt to the changing needs of clients.

LeaseUp is solving this problem and more for commercial real estate brokers. Brokers using our platform will be able to leverage cutting edge technology to modernize their business and continue to adapt to the changing dynamics of the industry at the hands of the PropTech revolution. Adapt or die. Stay tuned…

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