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Ever heard of RealUp? Possibly not: the founders are only launching the commercial real estate beta site on May 17. But some CRE pros are already taking notice. The yet-to-be live site has forged partnerships with Massey Knakal, a New York City company that specializes in the sale of investment and user properties; TCN Worldwide, a commercial real estate firm offering transaction, management and consulting services; and the Hart Corp., which specializes in buying and selling manufacturing plants, distribution sites, and warehouse facilities.

So what’s the new site all about? GlobeSt.com asked RealUp president Brian Randy Funk to share his insight and explain how the site can potentially benefit the CRE industry. Funk, who has been with RealUp since its inception, oversees the company’s day-to-day operations. He was formerly employed with LandNet Corp. in Loveland, CO, where he was instrumental in the development and operation of the LandVoyage.com mapping and imagery website.

GlobeSt.com: What are the goals or objectives of RealUp?

Funk: Ultimately, our goal is to be the number one commercial real estate website. We plan to do this by creating a community of commercial real estate professionals and by providing free tools such as recent sales comparables. We will connect buyers and sellers of commercial property through our unique pay-per-results listing model, similar to Google Adwords, which offers guaranteed results.

GlobeSt.com: Is it nationally or regionally focused?

Funk: RealUp is nationally focused and eventually plan to expand internationally. We have already signed partners with offices across the country. At the same time, we plan to offer local information including demographics and recent sales data.

GlobeSt.com: What differentiates it from its competition?

Funk: Cost. From surveys we have conducted, the top complaint about our competition is cost. RealUp offers free memberships. We have free property information, including free recent sales comparables and free demographics reports. There is no charge to search for properties; in fact, you don’t even need to be a member to search. Property listings are charged on a pay-per-results pricing model, just like Google Adwords, which guarantees results. If no one views your property listing, then you don’t pay a thing. Plus, users can set their own budget in order to pay as much or as little for each property. As an added bonus, all new members who sign up during our initial beta launch period will receive unlimited free listings for the first three months.

GlobeSt.com: Who developed the concept and why?

Funk: Our chairman and founder, Bill Brown, has a background in commercial real estate and owns several properties. He experienced firsthand the high cost of the competition and realized that there had to be a better way. It has been my job to develop the concept and put together a team in order to create a revolutionary experience for commercial brokers and owners. We quickly realized that the current competition not only charged too much, but that the pricing model does not make sense. With the competitions model of charging a flat fee for each listing or for a subscription, there is no guarantee that anyone will even look at your listing. Our solution is a pay-per-results listing model where there is only a charge when someone views the listing. This pricing model has been the standard for search engine advertising for years now.

We also knew that we needed to provide research tools and real estate information at a better value. Recent sale comparables have always been available to the public. In the old days, it may have required a trip to the country recorder’s office. More recently, the data has been available online but has been prohibitively expensive. RealUp changes all that with recent sales comps provided free to all our members. This is the same data that our competition has, except without the high price. This is similar to what Zillow.com has done with the residential real estate market. We also offer demographics reports, financing calculators, lending quotes, mapping tools, professional directory–all free.

Additionally, RealUp is a subsidiary of TerraServer, a leader in online aerial and satellite imagery. With more than 10 years of experience running a successful website, we have the technical capabilities and resources to create such an ambitious new company.

GlobeSt.com: Can you tell me about your partnerships?

Funk: We have announced several partnerships with commercial real estate brokerages. These partners include Massey Knakal, the largest building sale brokerage in New York; TCN Worldwide, which is one of the top brands in the industry and has firms and offices across the globe; and Hart Corp. which is a brokerage which specializes in industrial properties. There are few other signed partners, which we have yet to announce, and we are discussing contracts with several other large brokerages.

We have also partnered with Capital Development as our commercial lending partner, which will offer free quotes and loan pre-approval to our members. Additionally, we have a multi-year agreement with MDA DataQuick, our provider of recent sales comparables.

GlobeSt.com: What else do you want commercial real estate professionals to know about the site?

Funk: RealUp wants to create the ultimate community for commercial real estate professional.

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