Better serving small to medium business owners
It is no secret that the commercial real estate industry has very few threats to the decades old way of doing business, but a soon-to-launch startup seeks to disrupt the industry to make it more consumer friendly, rather than forcing small businesses to waste time driving all over town in hopes they’ll be able to guess what NNN, GLA, Breakpoint, or CAM stand for or even mean.
There are budding commercial real estate lease sites that are shaking up the industry, but TheSquareFoot will launch to the public on June 13th as a fully web-based one-stop marketplace for commercial real estate leasing that connects prospective tenants with the full complement of providers they need for finding an office, giving relative pricing (that non-real estate professionals can actually understand), and setting up a new office, store, warehouse, or even restaurant. The company says “this begins with landlords and tenant brokers and continues with furniture vendors, IT providers, commercial movers, and a variety of other service and product providers.”
Click here for a demo of TheSquareFoot (note: this is a very private beta dummy site made available to AGBeat users, the team is still working on bugs as all beta products do, and not all features are available, but this will give you an idea of the site’s look and functions).
The company seeks to serve small and medium business (SMB) owners, entrepreneurs and the like for free to the user, as 75 percent of all commercial leases are less than 5,000 square feet, and AGBeat would add that this demographic is commonly neglected as most brokers focus on bigger fish. This is exactly why the need is prevalent and we predict TheSquareFoot will see massive revenue in their first year or get acquired quickly.
“Our approach to leasing transactions strengthens the tenant’s proposition in the leasing process while providing valuable pre-educated leads to the supply side, creating a situation where ALL parties benefit,” the company says. TheSquareFoot also provides additional value add to landlords to help them lease and market their available listings.
“The goal of our site is to make the process more digestible for the prospective tenant, and we have no vested interest in the leasing transaction,” the team adds.
Additional ways to help SMBs
Last fall, TheSquareFoot launched a prototype product and are now in private beta, set to launch first in Houston on June 13th at RealComm in Vegas, with aspirations to expand through Texas within the next 18 months.
The company already has ten of the top 15 office and retail landlords in Houston signed up, and offer commercial real estate info on their blog, and have launched Leasopedia.com to help educate prospective tenants with more than just a glossary which is the industry standard.
What is most impressive is that all three founders are in their twenties, two of whom are University of Texas at Austin graduates and one who is working on his MBA at Columbia. Justin Lee has a background in commercial real estate leasing development in Texas, Jonathan Wasserstrum spent four years in real estate finance for Jones Lang LaSalle before beginning his MBA at Columbia, and Aron Susman was a CPA at Deloitte and a VP, Head of Business Development for a healthcare technology company.
The team is energetic, enthusiastic, and knows personally the pain points small business owners go through to simply set up shop, so their passion for educating and helping shines through in all they do as they remove the commercial real estate iron curtain. Keep an eye on this company.