Commercial real estate is seeing the benefits of including tech into many processes, but there’s one place that it has some catching up to do: listings. While many owners now post their available space over the internet, according to Turner Levison, senior account executive with Yardi, the process is often fragmented, requires duplicative data entry and potentially misses out on the true efficiency and bottom line benefits of online listings.
“Owners can create a central repository for property listing data that connects with everywhere you would want that ad to be listed,” says Levison. He’s referring to an integrated system, which can tie into the property data for an entire portfolio and with one update inform the leasing agent when a space becomes available across multiple databases, rather than reaching each site individually.
Levison notes, “They are only making this update in one marketing hub — they click one button and now everything is updated. By being proactive and efficient, users can shave months of marketing time that the space would normally remain unoccupied.”
Leases that in the past may have been too small or too short can now become a source of new income. Levison points to retailer Macerich, who recently announced QuikSpace, powered by Yardi’s ERP and CommercialEdge Marketing platform.
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“Yardi’s CommercialEdge was essential to powering QuikSpace, Macerich’s new digital platform for frictionless, short-term retail leasing. Yardi provided a highly user-friendly way for us to showcase our available space online, which supports our business goals of converting more prospects into tenants for our portfolio of market-leading retail and mixed-use properties.” Aaron M. Spector, assistant vice president, Specialty Leasing, Macerich
An important goal of the project is to make short-term leasing of retail space more likely, “as easy and user-friendly as booking a vacation home, hotel room or apartment,” per the retailer’s announcement.
Automating listings allows brokers and owners to efficiently put these spaces on the market. Tenants who need these small or short-term space may not need much. They may not tour the space in person. Some may find the listing for the space by search engine. These small, entrepreneurial tenants can also keep spaces active while long-term tenants consider their budgets and wait for the ‘right moment’ to sign a lease.
“It’s a win-win-win for the owner, the retailer and the broker,” says Levison. Space that was not creating any revenue for the owner now creates revenue. And retailers that may only need the space for a short time, like a holiday pop-up store, are able to find a space tailored to their needs for the duration they are interested in.
It’s leveraging the power of the connected solutions for promoting listings, Levison notes, and leans into other new marketing methods like virtual tours that have become the norm. “Potential occupants want to be farther along in the process before they engage with a broker,” Levison says. “They want to start on Google. The more you can organize all these new marketing assets in one place and click on that publish button and have it updated across all these new places, it makes the property that much more available.”