Commercial Real Estate Marketing Is (Finally) Moving Online Thanks to VTS Market – Commercial Observer
It is impossible to know which of the changes COVID-19 has caused to the way we live will be permanent.
In the business world, however, the pandemic has shed a clear light on pre-existing inefficiencies or shortcomings – especially in processes carried out without the help of technology. In such cases, changes made to enable remote working and keep companies in business create a roadmap for a new way of working that streamlines day-to-day processes and continually creates new business practices by bringing them online.
Office rental and space marketing is one area where this type of revolutionary change is currently being seen thanks to a new platform called VTS Market.
VTS, the leading leasing and asset management platform in the commercial real estate industry, presented the VTS market in June. Many of CRE’s best-known owners, including Brookfield Properties, Tishman Speyer, RXR, Empire State Realty Trust, and Oxford Properties Group, are already on board.
The launch of the product on launch was so quick and comprehensive that it is fair to say that the VTS market represents a fundamental shift in the way office space is marketed, and ultimately brings office rental into the 21st century.
VTS Market is the first integrated online marketing platform in the commercial real estate industry, with which landlords and their agency teams can market and rent out available space remotely for the first time. The platform eliminates the need for tenant agent brokers to tour hundreds of physical office locations when space is shown, as it offers over 250 data points on each property, plus professionally recorded video and 3D renderings that show the potential tenant as good as on place physical location. Instead, realtors can virtually share these spaces and make an informed shortlist of places to visit in person before making a final decision. VTS built the VTS market with the input of leading brokers including Peter Riguardi, Chairman and President of the New York Tri-State Region, JLL, and Robert Alexander, Chairman of the NY Tri-State Region, CBRE.
While the benefits of COVID-19 are evident, the leasing industry has already focused on a more visual and virtual representation of the space throughout the leasing process. There is every reason to believe that the move to online marketing of spaces enabled by VTS Market will stay in place long after the life-changing effects of COVID-19 are behind us.
A recent VTS survey of nearly 250 office workers found that 70 percent of US renters and 82 percent in New York City would feel uncomfortable viewing office space in person. Eighty percent of respondents said they would prefer to take a virtual tour of a room to qualify it before viewing the room in person.
“The VTS platform enables office tenants to manage all of their tenants, including their entire leasing pipeline,” said Nick Romito, CEO and co-founder of VTS, which manages more than 12 billion square feet of commercial office space, including over 60 percent national Class A office space and 65 percent of the Manhattan market. “Because our market share is so extensive, we decided to take the entire inventory and create a platform on which owners can publicly market to brokers of tenant representatives and their customers. It’s the first first-party marketing platform in our industry, which means the inventory listed there comes directly from the owners or representatives of these buildings. “
The accessibility and integration of so much valuable data gives every landlord or tenant who uses VTS Market an automatic competitive advantage.
“On the owner side, all of the existing platforms they’re trying to market don’t offer ROI. Whether an owner is spending $ 300,000 on a building website or $ 20,000 on a brokerage event, an owner has no way of telling you if those have been converted into any type of business, ”Romito said. “With this platform, you can see every single lead in real time, and because you track all of your deals in our system, you can understand how things are changing. So you can see that so many brokers virtually traveled the space and converted X leases over the course of that time. This has never happened before. ”
The automation of the process and the optimized online presentation also lead to massive time and money savings for the landlord.
“Without VTS Market, the process for an owner to go to market is extremely manual and completely offline,” said Romito. “You need to hold meetings to determine how to market the space – what are they doing, what brochures do they use, who will be notified by email? With VTS Market, all of this is automated. As soon as a rental agreement is about to expire, you will receive a notification and then automate your data. We have automated the entire go-to-market process for them, which will probably save them a month of time to get a place in the market. And that saves a lot of money in the end. “
Tenant brokers can use VTS Market free of charge and search offices by size, price, room condition (regardless of whether a room is prefabricated) and submarket. You will then have access to photos, videos, and / or 3D renderings of the room, as well as information on office size and capacity, facilities, a detailed history of the building, local transportation and restaurants nearby.
VTS Market also offers virtual test adaptations that allow potential tenants to experience what a raw room can look like from their computer or phone.
By optimizing the data from the larger VTS database, the brokers will ensure that the information they are sending their customers about an area is correct.
“Tenant agent brokers often cannot trust information about a room because it is polled and therefore incomplete,” said Romito. “Our data comes from the owners themselves or from VTS who enter the room.”
In fact, the VTS market is specifically designed for brokers by tenant representatives and provides them with specific tools to attract businesses.
“We have developed many ways for tenant workers to take up space in our database and make it almost like a search tool,” said Romito. “You can share it with several people. You can create digital tour books with the company logo. It really helps them catalog space and then send it to their customers in a really modern way. “
VTS Market is perfectly designed to help landlords and tenant agents weather the COVID crisis with business intact and to be a resource that will only grow in importance and widespread use when the COVID threat is out of focus disappears.
“The world has changed – revolution is still a long-term development,” said Romito. “The days when tenants visit 50 sites in person before making a decision are over. You will be looking for ways to automate at least a substantial part of this process. This is the only way to do it. “