After constantly running into each other at conferences and trade shows, the once rival CEOs of VTS and Hightower, Nick Romito and Brandon Weber, have joined together in a landmark merger of two of the industry's top cloud-based leasing and portfolio management platforms. A mutual admiration for each other's companies and the realization they could run faster toward their product vision together helped catalyze the merger.
“We want to write the book on successful private mergers with an emphasis on the customer experience,” says Romito, who will serve as CEO of the merged firm that will operate under the VTS name. “Brandon and I strongly believed that we were doing the market a disservice by not coming together, and that together VTS and Hightower could become more than the sum of its parts.”
Advancements in commercial real estate technology are coming at a rapid pace with multiple platforms and startup companies each offering specialized technology. As the industry increasingly moves from spreadsheets and email services to cloud-based computing and big data, the new VTS is positioned to offer innovative and unified services that will simplify the process of managing deal activities, identifying trends, and quantifying portfolio performance for commercial real estate professionals.
“We feel this is a true inflexion point for the commercial real estate industry,” says Weber, who will serve as chief product officer. “Driven by the institutional asset class, it must become a data-driven and data-powered industry, and that's happening right now, independent of VTS.”
In avoiding duplicative services and building upon existing platforms, the goal of VTS is to make it easier for professionals to leverage technology to win more business and provide better client service. “It's about using the best available tools and technology to deliver superior customer value and informed decision making,” Weber says. “Technology is foundational in all other industries, as it will be with commercial real estate.”
Romito and Weber foresee monumental changes in how business is done with the adoption of more technology platforms such as VTS. “Embracing new technology that offers a variety of services on a single platform will be the way commercial real estate professionals learn to operate in our space, and we are already seeing it today,” Romito says. “Organizations that educate real estate professionals, like CCIM Institute, will help drive that paradigm shift.”