Managing, buying, and selling commercial real estate is a fairly primitive process. Crexi founder Mike DeGiorgio remembers one experience in 2014 when he was required to fax and mail details about an urgent transaction to the leasing office, a move that made him think he was back in the era of Pogs and MTV’s Real World Season 1.
“There simply was no great industry solution for researching markets, finding comps, transacting, connecting with key stakeholders, purchasing or investing in properties, renting or leasing space, getting a loan, finding partners to purchase properties with, marketing yourself or the properties you own, sell, or lease etc,” he said. “I started thinking about technology solutions for the commercial real estate industry to solve many of these inefficiencies in the CRE space. I could not figure out why it hadn’t been done and set out to build CREXi to help industry stakeholders be more efficient and to make the industry more liquid, transparent, and easier to access.”
Crexi – the CRE stands for “commercial real estate” – has been around since 2015 but recently announced an $11 million Series A as well as some interesting user numbers. Key investors include Jackson Square Ventures, Manifest Investment Partners, Lerer Hippeau, Freestyle Capital, TenOneTen Ventures, and Founder Collective. The company has managed over 100,000 “properties brought to market” on its platform and they have 200,000 users per month. They see more than 6,000 properties listed on the site each month.
The service is a suite of tools that streamlines the entire CRE processing.
“We give brokers the ability to find, manage and qualify leads, market their properties with customizable emails, and communicate with interested parties through in-app messaging. Additionally, our features help brokers interact with the industry and its stakeholders; solicit, make, accept, counter, and negotiate offers; run competitive bidding processes; run escrow and closing processes; research markets and sold properties etc,” said DeGiorgio.
While CRE isn’t very sexy, it’s clear that the industry can use all the help it can get. Considering Crexi manages $450 billion in property value, it’s also clear that this is a lucrative market ripe for disruption.
“We are the first platform to take the entire commercial real estate transaction process online with a simple to use and intuitive interface,” said DeGiorgio. “We collaborate with brokers and principals to blend technology with the fundamentals of CRE transactions, addressing the shifting needs of industry professionals to maximize revenue and minimize time spent on administrative tasks.”
Now he just has to get everyone to throw away their postal scales and fax machines and he help CRE enter the era of Honey Boo Boo and leave the era of the Olsen Twins.