Q&A With Jim Simpson, CEO Of Newly Rebranded CRE Fintech Startup Dealboard

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Weeks ago, Crelow changed it’s name to Dealboard as a reflection of their evolving business model serving the commercial real estate industry.

With ~$3.5m in backing and a big as in billion dollar market ahead of them, we connected with cofounder and CEO Jim Simpson to catch up on where things are at in the evolution of things.

What is the value proposition for Dealboard?

Dealboard is a CRE association endorsed free matching service for tenants to commercial real estate space and professionals. There are two aspects to the service — a public and private:

Publicly – it’s free for business owners looking for office space less than 2,000 sq. ft. to post their needs and be matched landlord reps that have options available. If it’s more than that in size, then we connect them through ‘repmatcher’ to a tenant rep via NTCAR (Northern TX Commercial RE association) membership.

Privately – For a small subscription fee tenant rep brokers can use DealBoard to communicate with landlord reps around their clients needs such as a specific space, terms, or amenities they are looking for, they post those on the private pro DealBoard. All landlord reps with matching space in the system are then notified, which essentially connects the demand with supply side. The system works on desktop or mobile.

What is new and different between with DealBoard vs. the original Crelow?

We grew Crelow rapidly into six markets since launching in early 2015 but ended up pausing the system last year to regroup while also continuing to generate leads and ideas about what needed to be improved upon. Crelow was really about achieving validation of this new demand driven concept for this massive industry.

The aha moment for us was when we recognized that brokers could use the system themselves to exchange needs and leads information with one-another instantly, in addition to using it for new business generation from businesses seeking space directly.

We’ve become very focused on the speed and integrity of data via DealBoard because the information comes right from the tenant rep themself as they own their data and post needs instead of going into a typical listing service repository and potentially being inaccurate and/or outdated (as is often the case with CoStar and other listing services that rely on research).

Also we have added support for various space types such as: Industrial, retail, and others for the Pro service.

What is the Dallas connection?

Dallas has a progressive association who’s board or directors understand the advantages of a demand driven model. Dallas is the 4th largest market in the country.  Dealboard is an ideal solution for former Xceligent customers, which filed bankruptcy in December last year leaving a void in the marketplace.

That industry change lead to a big win for us in Dallas where we have an exclusive partnership with the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals (NTCAR).

There are 2500 members now in the market who have an account with us and it’s the fourth largest market in the nation but also the fastest-growing one. They’re a perfect launch partner for the new Dealboard!

What is your next market and overall addressable?

We’d like it to be Minneapolis, but it’s too early to tell…but you can think of the top 20 markets in the country and where the voids are left from Xceligent. Our strategy is go grow from association to association.

How do you charge for the service and/or generate revenue?

A subscription service for CRE professionals.

Are you currently generating revenue?

No.

Regarding the tenant needs matching, demand generation, how do you expect those business owners seeking space to know about Dealboard?

We’ve learned that six out of ten tenants go online first. Our primary way is to create a digital funnel for them to find us. We’re just ramping that up now, as we are all marketing guys by trade, have started Periscope in a previous chapter. We’re ready to use our blueprint.

How much investment capital have you received in total including the original company, Crelow?

$3.5 million

What is the current team size?

3 full time and a handful of contractors.

What is your big picture vision?

To connect the dots using technology to enable business owners to find their ideal space.

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