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Scheduled to debut October 1, TenantNet.com will be yet another real estate Web site to enter cyberspace. It follows on the heels of TenantCity and ahead of Zethus, which should go on-line next year. TenantNet is a product of Julien J. Studley Inc. and is capitalized at about $1 million. Some of its competitors are spending more, in the case of Zethus, a Goldman Sachs Group product, about 50 times as much.

Another major difference is the focus of the Studley site. Alison Lewis, senior vice president of on-line business development at the firm, says it is designed to provide information, advice and services for tenants looking for 5,000 sf of space or less. The site will also target dot-com companies, providing them with the interactive tools that will make it easy to for them to help themselves up to the point where they need a broker.

Other newly launched sites cater mainly to owners and brokers. At present, Studley has no plans to expand the site to serve those seeking larger amounts of space.

Unlike some of its competitors, financing and closings will not be executed on the site initially, although that will be possible in the future. When deals can be transacted on-line, won’t that take the broker out of the leasing process, GlobeSt.com asked. “No, I don’t think of this process as do-it-yourself and never talk to a broker,” she says. “I think it will be more collaborative. It’s like we haven’t given up the phone even though we have e-mail.”

Still, with the expected proliferation of real estate sites, won’t brokers be marginalized? She says that their roles may change but they won’t be eliminated. A lot of the things brokers do such as market research and ancillary services can be taken care of on-line. “What I think brokers will focus on is financial analysis and negotiating,” she predicts. “I don’t believe the Internet will be a negotiating tool.”

And there’s a lot of opportunity on the Web. In areas such as listings, the players are already on the field and ready to battle it out, but brokerage is different, the field is wide open, “because it’s not easy, it’s not standardized,” she says. “It doesn’t fit into a nice little formula. There’s still a lot to be figured out.”

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