One observant Austinite glimpsed our gorilla flaunting his muscles by the graffiti wall. Where will he show up next? Hint: he may be paying Capital Factory a visit later tonight.
Month: April 2014
What’s In Store for You When You Catch the Wave
In April, Angela Franz left her role as a CBRE Austin marketing manager to join RealMassive as the company’s first Customer Experience Manager (CXM) — bringing with her a deep understanding of the needs of marketing managers and brokers. Find out more…
RM: What does your role as Customer Experience Manager offer RealMassive customers, and what kinds of initiatives will you focus on to help them succeed?
AF: As anyone who has met the team at RealMassive knows, customer experience is the Big Kahuna. In support of that, I focus on creating delightful relationships with industry marketing managers. It’s my job to create wonderful experiences for my fellow marketing managers! That means helping them with data quality, ensuring their incredibly valuable voice is heard in RealMassive product meetings, and helping to shape the company around the needs of our customers. In many respects, the role of CXM positions me as the primary go-to for RealMassive’s commercial real estate customer set. It’s a role I am thrilled to assume as I am deeply connected to our customers’ pain points and I’m passionate about pleasing them.
RM: How did you get that specific title (Customer Experience Manager)?
AF: As a customer-driven company, RealMassive depends on our customers to help us build the best product and experience. Fortunately, I get to work closely with amazing colleagues like founders Joshua McClure and Craig Hancock, as well as CTO Jason Vertrees. It was important for me to know that this role was supported across the company and not just a singular responsibility.
RM: What are some of the pain-points in commercial real estate for marketing managers, and how is RealMassive helping?
AF: As a former CBRE marketing professional, I know our customer pain-points very well; I used to bleed them! While there are many I could speak to, lack of access to accurate and comprehensive availability data is by far the commercial real estate enemy No. 1. The fact that RealMassive is providing a database that allows for real-time updates is the biggest change to commercial real esate that the industry has seen in many years.
RM: Why did you choose to work for RealMassive?
AF: The industry is screaming for this change. In fact, when I saw “accurate, real-time availability data” references in the Austin Business Journal article covering RealMassive’s launch, I nearly fell over with joy. In my role at CBRE Group, my first question was: When can I access this database? It was something I wanted desperately.
RM: What are the biggest opportunities? What will commercial real estate (CRE) look like five years from now?
AF: Honestly, the future is now. In just a few months after our launch, as we start to process the data, CRE pros will have highly accurate insight into the future of supply and demand right at their fingertips. I’m excited about how much more efficient RealMassive will make both tenant reps and listing reps with these kinds of cloud-based tools. We’re all about faster, collaborative deal flow!
Science is the heart and soul of RealMassive. As we continue to invite the commercial real estate industry further along the path of embracing science and technology, we have strengthened that core with a new addition. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jason Vertrees to the team as our first Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Jason holds a Ph.D. in Structural and Computational Biology and Theoretical and Computational Biophysics. (Say that five times fast.) He is a scientist who has worked in a number of key roles in technology, product development and research. He was most recently employed at Schrodinger, a scientific leader in developing state-of-the-art chemical simulation software for use in pharmaceutical and biotech research.
Jason is highly respected in his field. He has held prestigious teaching positions, is a published author in notable scientific journals and he has been awarded multiple honors and grants. Suffice it to say, he’s a pretty smart guy and we know he will teach us a thing or two.
His primary focus will be leading RealMassive’s scientific and technological solution development teams as they work to empower RealMassive customers with real-time commercial real estate data and market insights. “Jason is one of the world’s leaders in solving customer problems through applied math, science, and leading-edge technology. We are chomping at the bit to see his innovative leadership bring unparalleled science and analytics to the commercial real estate industry,” said RealMassive Founder and CEO Joshua McClure. For more details, see our press release announcing the news.
Next week, Texans for Economic Progress is hosting a panel titled “Digital Agents: How Tech is Disrupting Real Estate” at Capital Factory from 6-8 p.m. Register now to hear from RealMassive Founder and CEO, Joshua McClure, as he addresses hot-button issues for commercial real estate and technology professionals, alongside Austin City Council Member Chris Riley. We are looking forward to timely and smart conversations vitally important to two of Austin’s biggest economic sectors. Plus, there will be free beer.
For more details, read the announcement here.
RealMassive has set a gorilla free on the streets of Austin, and he has been showing up everywhere from office buildings to bars. Have you seen him?
Rather than just run a static ad in a local newspaper or buy a billboard (although we’re doing both), we decided to run a “gorilla marketing” campaign. We lined the streets of Austin with 250 signs encouraging people to look for our gorilla. So, this literally involves running a gorilla around town. But we’re not just trying to pull a publicity stunt – this is our market launch signature. When you see 10 six foot tall gorillas stroll into a Houston hotel, you’ll know RealMassive is launching the Houston commercial real estate search market! The goal is to strike a chord and delightfully shock people — the same way that adding the Internet to commercial real estate is delightfully changing the way commercial real estate is marketed. And a gorilla drinking beer is delightfully shocking – just ask the bartenders that served our first round at Uncle Billie’s near Austin’s Zilker Park!
We chose the gorilla for a couple of reasons. Obviously, it is a play on “guerilla marketing.” We loved watching King Kong vanquish Godzilla. We also happened to have a few gorilla costumes sitting around, which made it easy to execute from a logistics perspective. This is about high impact, low-cost marketing. It’s also about innovation and letting the dinosaurs know their era is coming to a fast and final end.
The campaign also turns photographing commercial real estate spaces into a game. Rather than just taking photos of the insides of buildings, we are shooting interiors with a gorilla in the background. Imagine a photo of the Frost Building with a gorilla walking through the door, or a shot of the construction site at 311 Bowie Street with a gorilla in a construction hat. We’re sharing these photos with property owners to post on their sites to help drive engagement and add a level of fun to office space hunting.
The gorilla is not the star of the show in these snaps, so he doesn’t take over the listing. He is just the guy walking his dog on the sidewalk or the really hairy legs of someone reading the newspaper in the lobby. Tenants and property owners can go on an Easter egg hunt to find the gorilla in the shot. It’s the “Where’s Waldo” game applied to the 21st century in property listings on RealMassive.
We also chose the gorilla for symbolic reasons. Gorillas are endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. And they’re one of our closest relatives.
So far, we’ve got two gorillas on the loose, but we may end up with a whole group running through the streets one day. If you see one, snap a pic, and share, “Have you seen the gorilla on the loose?” #lostgorilla
Whether you are a newcomer to real estate or an industry veteran, I think we can all agree that real estate has its own language. Most companies tune into the commercial real estate market only once every few years when their lease is set to expire. Getting up-to-speed on market conditions, not to mention learning the latest lingo, can be a steep learning curve. RealMassive now offers a quick reference guide to understanding the latest commercial real estate speak which can be found at http://realmassive.com/about/glossary-of-commercial-real-estate-terms/.
Even if you have your real estate dictionary handy, commercial real estate players like to mix things up even further by creating new terms to describe the latest trends and dynamics in the industry. You may remember hearing about “blend-and-extend” the last time you negotiated a lease. That phrase was the hot ticket a few years ago when tenants were jumping on the bandwagon to extend their lease terms in exchange for a reduced or blended rental rate.
The new favorite over the past couple of years is rightsizing. Just for fun, we hit up Google for “rightsizing and office space” – 130,000 hits. The latest new term you can use to impress your friends – densification. This newbie is being used to reference the trend of companies leasing less space per employee. The point here is that real estate, like any other industry, is home to its own unique vernacular of industry terms, jargon and buzzwords. And, yes, at times, that does get confusing.
It is easy for tenants to get lost in that alphabet soup. We hope the RealMassive commercial real estate glossary is a real resource for tenants, brokers and landlords and will help get us all using the same language.