HOUSTON—Launched in 2013 by a cross-section of technology and professional services leaders in commercial real estate, Pavonis Group has formed RealNex, a software and data solutions company. The platform has been seeded with the acquisition of three CRE tech organizations, and is being led by Jeffrey Finn, a Pavonis Group partner who was CEO of NAI Global until its 2012 acquisition by C-III Capital Partners.
With partners coming from disciplines as varied as CRE-related software—including managing partner Mark Kingston, who had been president of Argus Software—and academia as well as commercial brokerage, “We had a pretty well-rounded point of view with regard to the industry, and all said the same thing: there was an inefficiency with regard to collaboration, information sharing and the adoption of technology,” Finn tells GlobeSt.com. Thus was born Pavonis, with the idea of creating “an all-star team that could attack the problem at a much higher level and with much greater scale.”
From Finn’s perspective, the alliance made sense as a way of continuing and expanding upon the emphasis on tech that NAI was known for when he was at the helm. The RealNex platform at its launch includes Property Line, a property listing and marketing system for commercial brokers; REIWise, a real estate analysis software company that offers a proprietary “Propose to Close” solution; and Real Estate Assistant, a project, property and client tracking customer relationship management system.
He offers a scenario that illustrates how the components of RealNex work together. A broker using the REA CRM system contacts a client, “who says ‘I’m ready to sell my building now.’ With RealNex, they’ll be able to press a button which will link to the REIWise application, create a proposal” and from there prepare an offering memorandum and then move on to Property Line “to go to market in a public listing system. So it really adds value across the continuum of that offering.”
Prior to the acquisitions that serve as the basis of the RealNex rollout, Pavonis made strategic investments in other tech-oriented firms that operate across a multitude of industries, such as video production start-up StoryVine. The idea here, says Finn, is synergy between the RealNex platform and these other providers’ capabilities.
“These companies have broader-based applications across other industries, and it didn’t make as much sense for us to acquire them” outright, he says. Rather, the intent was “to invest in them, to become a board member of these companies and to work with them to bring their platforms into the real estate sector, and provide a value-add to the RealNex family of tools.”
StoryVine, for example, enables brokers to create video campaigns, while ProHatch—another firm with which Pavonis has forged a strategic alliance—taps into crowdfunding as a means of sourcing capital. Within the Pavonis platform, there is the Pavonis Property Immersion eXperiences division, an umbrella for the various immersive 3D technologies Pavonis is developing for clients. There will be more strategic alliances with outside organizations, adds Finn, as well as more acquisitions to build out the RealNex platform.