Technology and commercial real estate have danced together for many years, but they weren't partners. “2018, for me, is the year of PropTech,” says Camille Renshaw, CCIM.
Renshaw aims to play a big part in the merger of tech and commercial real estate. She's co-founder of Brokers+Engineers, a tech-driven brokerage firm and trading platform for net lease real estate, which launched in December 2017.
Net lease is ripe for tech transformation, Renshaw says, noting that the U.S. market is estimated at $6.5 trillion. “It's a vast marketplace, and there's a core market in need of understanding the market-specific data analytics. For example, looking at why these things trade, what they should trade at - that's really untapped. Net lease is unique; its characteristics create different metrics for valuation.”
One of Brokers+Engineers' initial products will focus on predictive pricing. The company is “in the midst of creating the largest data set for net lease that's in existence” and has created an algorithm that develops pricing for clients.
Brokers+Engineers' second product is aimed at brokers accomplishing 1031 exchanges. A few years ago, Renshaw completed a large 1031 deal that included 30 principals with equal voting rights. To aid future 1031 exchanges, her team members developed a process that scanned the market for all available deals; they then manually sorted through them.
Brokers+Engineers turned this process into a product that leverages artificial intelligence, so the company can use one broker instead of five and presents options to the client in a clean interface dashboard, rather than a spreadsheet.
Despite the emphasis on technology, “for our clients, a lot won't change,” Renshaw says. “They're going to interface directly with senior brokers.
“Our mission statement is to help virtually anyone intelligently trade net lease. People who maybe didn't play in the market before will now have greater access and understanding of what the net lease market is. And the more people who play in our sector, the more liquid it will be.”
Renshaw also will continue her efforts to attract more women to commercial real estate. “We are hugely invested in what women are doing in the field,” she says. “It's a great time for women to enter the field - there are so many opportunities. People are beginning to understand that companies have a higher chance of success if they have truly diverse boards and truly diverse executive teams.”