Let the deals begin!
New commercial real estate web site links tenants directly to office space
MINNEAPOLIS – Introducing Crelow.com, a new high tech, online matchmaking service that connects tenants with their ideal office space directly, which enables them to find a better fit, faster. It promises to change the commercial real estate game one market at a time.
“The commercial real estate market has operated in the same way for years,” says Jim Simpson, CEO and founder of Crelow. “Like many other industries, technology is changing things and this is a great way for tenants looking for office space to make their needs known to everyone in the market without relying on tenant brokers who might only bring them a handful of options.”
Here’s how it works: a tenant prospect logs in and selects the essentials of the desired office space, including details such as location, square footage, parking needs, proximity to retail and coffee shops, kitchens, conference rooms, LEED certification, whether pets are allowed and more. The tenant describes their company culture and specifies what’s required, what’s desired and the price they are willing to pay. Those details are then conveyed to the entire commercial real estate market in a call for bids, without going through a tenant broker.
From there, property owners and their representatives submit bids directly to the tenant, whose identity remains confidential. Once the tenant expresses interest in a bid, Crelow introduces the two parties and lets them do the rest.
“This should speed up the entire process for the tenant, which often takes a year or more,” says Patrick Hagen, Crelow chief customer officer and co-founder. “Our goal is to empower tenants to find the perfect office space by gathering bids directly from all the owner reps in the market. By removing a middleman, we also dramatically reduce the brokerage commissions on the deal,” says Hagen.
More than 150 of the top leasing representatives and property owners in Minneapolis/St. Paul attended a launch party to experience the site and the industry’s first-ever public Deal Board. Through Crelow, owner representatives can now see anonymous bid requests from real tenants looking for office space across the Twin Cities. Within hours of Crelow’s launch, 19 tenants searching for more than 90,000 square feet of space were already on the Deal Board, and leasing representatives and property owners started submitting anonymous bids.
Only after a lease is signed does Crelow receive a small fee, paid directly by the property owner. Simpson estimates that property owners will save 30 to 40 percent on brokerage commissions, which can be passed along to the tenant.
Simpson was formerly co-owner and president of Periscope, the first fully integrated marketing communications agency in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and one of the largest independent advertising and digital marketing agencies in the U.S. Simpson brings along 20-year colleagues Hagen, Klay DeVries, product manager, and Matt Christianson, chief technology officer. Crelow’s management team has extensive experience in the fields of software development, marketing, commercial real estate, business incubation and growth.
The Crelow team plans to expand into other types of commercial space, and to other cities throughout the country in 2015. For more information, please visit www.crelow.com.