NEW YORK CITY—Adhering to the adage “meet them where they are,” JLL has created a microsite (an individual web page within a site) for technology firms to evaluate their space needs. The firm “wanted to breakdown the real estate process for our tech audience who may or may not be familiar with real estate vernacular, leasing verbiage, neighborhoods and competitor locations,” it said in a statement.
The site—called the square, and available at www.jll.com/thesquare—includes features for companies to evaluate their growth stage and what that means for space needs; the cost of a move and much more. GlobeSt.com sat down with the firm’s director of New York research, Tristan Ashby, to discuss the move.
GlobeSt.com: Why have you introduced this offering?
Tristan Ashby: We’re trying to meet the technology community on its terms. All of the site’s features are there to provide these companies with information to put them in a better position when it comes to lease negotiations. It allows people who are more comfortable online to see reports and related information.
Also, another goal of the site is it offers a tool to some of the smaller firms who might think JLL wouldn’t be interested in working with them. It allows us to tell small firms that we want their business.
GlobeSt.com: Why now?
Ashby: Technology really has been driving this market since the crisis. This changes the interface, allowing companies in that space to pilot the process. That world already is more transparent today.
GlobeSt.com: Are you concerned at all that this move ‘commoditizes’ the work of a broker?
Ashby: This is the world we live in now, so we need to get over it. This is the world we live in now and—as a company and an industry—we need to move forward and innovate, to think differently. Our approach is to be open and give people access to the data they need, and then come in and talk to us.
For tech firms, determining their space needs is all about flexibility. For example, some of them don’t want to sign a 10- or 20-year commitment, and others aren’t sure of the right area to be in. Squared allows them to determine their top priorities.