Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Morgan Beard
Life Before Occupier:
- Reactive to lease expiration dates rather than proactive.
- Reliant on stale data in spreadsheets and documents.
- Hours of time burnt reading lease documents.
Life After Occupier:
- Stickier with tech-savvy tenants.
- Lease data is a click or two away
- Clients are happier, and more data powered.
INDUSTRY: Brokerage | DEALS: More than $1 Billion in Office Deals | OCCUPIER USERS: 6+
Commercial real estate tends to be the last industry to adopt technology. One tenant-rep brokerage team in New York City is changing that narrative. Kirill Azovtsev, Executive Managing Director in Savills’ New York Office, and his colleague Allison Buck, Assistant Director, are leveraging PropTech solutions to better serve their clients. Savills is a tenant-rep brokerage, focused on helping their clients close more deals and make smarter decisions on their real estate portfolio.
For Kirill and Allison, incorporating Occupier’s lease management software into their tech stack was a clear step into the future of tenant-rep brokering. More and more clients want information at their fingertips. And, from the tenant’s perspective — real estate strategy starts with centralization of their lease portfolio data. Between economic uncertainty, the pandemic, and evolving commercial space needs, leaving critical lease data in spreadsheets is a risk for both tenant-rep brokers and their clients.
Better Servicing Clients with Modern Technology
Historically, tenant-rep brokers rely on spreadsheets, long email chains, and calendar notifications, as a means of client communication and collaboration. Today, commercial real estate clients need better tooling and automation to make strategic decisions about their lease portfolio.
According to Kirill Azovtsev, “technology has been a bedrock for expansion of our business and client base. The old mentality of a broker has changed. And, technology has enabled us to think bigger about our client’s business needs. Occupier has been instrumental in that process.”
Through technology adoption, tenants are starting to see the value of automation and cloud based lease management software. Real time data empowers strategic real estate decision making. “We are a younger team, and Occupier has given us a competitive edge with our clients,” says Azovtsev. “Because, Occupier helps tenants and brokers level up their day-to-day real estate operations.”
Centralization of Lease Data
Before Occupier, lease documents lived in a cloud folder and “reading leases took us hours at a time,” says Allison Buck. The potential risk for data inaccuracy or loss is high, making the broker look bad in front of their clients. “Critical data is instrumental to us. And, the lease abstraction service that Occupier provides is great. It centralizes that critical lease data so that we, the broker, and the client, can access that information in real time via a quick search,” says Kirill Azovtsev.
“Over the past few years, we’ve onboarded a number of clients onto Occupier, and the general feedback is not only that it’s easy to use but it makes real estate leaders look data driven and strategic,” says Allison Buck. With critical lease data only a click or two away, “ we can easily anticipate and strategize on potential negotiation points on a particular lease,” adds Azovtsev.
In addition, Heads of Real Estate can reconcile their rent payments in collaboration with their Finance & Accounting teams. Financial reporting is a pillar of lease management that impacts numerous stakeholders, and with “Occupier, evaluation of expansion, termination or downsizing options enables cross-team collaboration and strategizing of real estate space,” says Buck.
The Future of the Tenant-Rep
“Every industry is evolving significantly faster than commercial real estate. Ultimately, tenant-rep brokers are always the last group to adapt,” says Kirill Azovtsev. It’s 2023, and still “alot of our tenant-rep broker processes are archaic. And, if we can get brokers and clients aligned and collaborating in a tenant specific tech stack like Occupier then it’s better for the commercial real estate industry as a whole.”
“In addition, I’ll add that Occupier has been a great partner to us as Savills New York,” says Allison Buck. “Occupier has been a seamless addition to our client pitches with positive tenant-user feedback surrounding the ease of use, and intuitive nature of the Occupier techstack.” Our tenant users have been able to quickly get up-and-running with the lease management software that Occupier provides and it makes our clients day-to-day life easier,” according to Buck.
The future of the tenant-rep broker will be intertwined with technology that removes the friction and silos of our previous commercial real estate processes. According to Kirill Azovtsev, “through technology, we, as tenant brokers, can better serve our clients. Occupier is truly a tenant commercial real estate focused product, and there aren’t many competing products that we were considering. The Occupier team made it easy to switch away from spreadsheets and lease documents,” says Azovtsev. “Ultimately, the brokers who do not adopt technology will be left in the dust.”