The LeasingBetter™ RE Advisor FAQ
Q: Why did you build this app?
A: We believe that all businesses will eventually be digital businesses, so we wanted to develop a digital platform to stay relevant in the digital age. We soon realized that the greatest value would be for it not to be company specific but rather open it up to all tenant reps (think Yellow Cab app vs. Uber app). Our drivers:
- To automate the sales and marketing functions of tenant representation
- To take the time consuming manual processes that a broker does for free to gain business and make them easy and fast
- Give commercial tenants a way to come into the future with simple app access
Q: How will this help tenant reps to get more business?
A: You can invite users (your clients and prospects) into the app, and in the Settings they can designate you as their RE Advisor (or use of an Upgrade Code can do this automatically). They are then asked to grant permission to share their data with you. If they do that, you will get copied on all of their activities by email. If they search for rates in another city, do a SpacePlanner calculation, or upload a lease for analysis, you will get an email with the details. It puts you in the right place at the right time to reach out and ask them if you might help by getting them more detailed information.
Q: Why should I bother offering it to prospects instead of traditional prospecting?
A: Have you noticed that it is getting harder to reach prospects by cold calling or email? You are competing for their attention with a barrage of others. But guess what has their attention 50x per day? Their phone. This app allows them to have RE info at their fingertips, and seamlessly connects their needs to YOU whenever or wherever they have the need.
Q: What’s the point of a tenant making me their ‘designated RE Advisor’?
A: Followers are the new currency. Real estate is a relationship business because it is built on TRUST. Providing value first is a way to build trust. Further, that relationship is not necessarily in your local market anymore, so this is a way to expand your geographic reach.
Q: We already do marketing. Isn’t this just another marketing tool?
A: It is another marketing tool although unlike self-promotional marketing, this one provides some value for the tenant user. Your other marketing messages compete with all of the other RE firms’ marketing messages. The difference with the LeasingBetter™ app is that there is only space for one designated RE Advisor. Should that be you, or do you want to wait for someone else to offer it to your prospect?
Q: What does it cost?
A: We will always have a free version for both tenants and RE advisors.
Q: Why would you offer a free version? That’s not a very smart revenue model, is it?
A: Our primary objective is widespread adoption. We plan to offer paid versions with value added features that we think will appeal to both Tenants and RE advisors.
Q: Why would I ever pay for a premium version then?
A: Our Premier RE Advisor will offer a few value-added features. Most importantly you’ll get promo codes to share with client/prospect Users to grant them free access the Tenant Premier Plus level. Their acceptance of your code automatically designates you as their RE Advisor.
Q: Why would Tenant users allow the sharing of their confidential information with a RE Advisor?
A: Users may choose to allow permission (or not) for any advisor to see their information. There is an “Ask the Expert” feature that allows them to get advice from their designated advisor. Why not? It does not cost them anything and they can always stop it if they so desire.
Q: What is the revenue plan for your app?
A: This might not sound too exciting to a venture capital fund, but our revenue plan is not based on app revenue, it is based on brokerage revenue. We plan to use the app ourselves to generate real estate business (that was our original objective, after all), and we also think that it will generate a large amount of leads from “unconnected” Tenant users outside of our market and expertise that we can refer off to our LeasingBetter RE Advisor users. Our revenue plan is to generate user revenue quickly to reinvest in the app and improve it.
Q: Regarding the Lease Upload feature: How do we know that you’re not secretly trying to build a giant lease database that you will sell or try to sell the data back to us.
Q: Isn’t (INSERT BIG COMPANY) going to eat your lunch?
A: We felt that the business space user (the tenant) has been ignored, especially if they are not large enough to have a CRE department with multiple locations and a very large data management budget. We’re not providing any property listing information, so we think we’re occupying a space that is not too interesting to the big data providers.
Q: If it is not interesting to (INSERT BIG COMPANY), why is it interesting to you?
A: Rather than wait for someone to develop a plan to eliminate the tenant rep, we created one that just might help, in a very small way, to save the industry. Created by tenant reps, for tenants and tenant reps.
Q: Big deal. Do you think that you’re the first one to use AI for leases?
A: We’re not the first to scan them for abstracting, but we’re also not aware of any other apps that will scan them and serve up suggestions that could make the terms more favorable from the tenant’s perspective. We think we are the very first. Most of the “AI powered” platforms for tenants just offer AI “searching” of listings.
Q: Aren’t you practicing law by giving lease suggestions?
A: Of course not. We have multiple disclaimers advising that we are not giving legal advice, all sample language is offered as an example only, and that all lease language should be approved by the user’s own competent legal advisors.
Q: Do you really think that a tenant will pay for the app?
A: Well, yes, we think some of them will. But the really powerful strategy is that we will allow RE advisors to purchase “Tenant Premier” coupons at a sharp discount and offer them free to prospective clients. If the prospect accepts, the coupon will enter the RE advisor as the user’s designated rep by default and, with their permission of course, share their activity in the app with the advisor. Cialdini’s Law of Reciprocation in action.
Q: Why are you making tenants do the work to get ‘market intel’?
A: It’s designed for the exec that needs to open an office in another city and work up a budget on it at 7:30AM Sunday morning. We’re putting info in their pockets whenever they need it. They still need the broker for specific searches, but now the PHL broker can see that his prospect is checking prices in DEN and reach out and ask “Do you want me to run you a search in Denver?” instead of the broker reading about his client opening a new office in Denver in the Business Journal. And it’s not much “work”. They just select a few buttons and Presto!
Q: Why would you help some other broker to get leads and make money?
A: We’re not doing the work for anyone, we’re giving them the platform. We intend to use it ourselves. If we collectively join together and each pay a small amount to sustain and upgrade the app, it could be really useful for all of us. Or we can wait for some software giant to do it for us. Which solution do you think we’ll all like better?
Q: How are you going to keep the ‘Market Intel” accurate and up to date? It looks wrong for my market.
A: There is a concept known as Swarm Intelligence that says “none of us is smarter than all of us”. We intend to poll RE Advisor users quarterly and ask their opinions on rates and trends and average them into our ‘Market Intel’. Yes, it is a type of crowdsourcing. We’re just getting started, so expect to improve accuracy as we add more users. We’re currently using comparables to determine market, although plan to move to a better RE Advisor opinion soon.
Q: Why would anyone pay to give you all of their deal data? So you can sell it back to them?
A: There is no deal data and we don’t want deal data. And relax, there is a free version so nobody is obligated to pay for anything. We intend to do surveys that are simply gathering brokers opinions on rates and trends and then share that with everyone, for free.
Q: Others have tried this, why do you think this one will succeed?
A: No others have ever tried to serve the single user tenant with these tools to evaluate a lease to our knowledge. There are a few web-based listing searches, but none to help determine if a space is the right size, right terms, in line with the market, when they should be taking action, and connecting them via chat to a professional RE advisor whenever needed. You’re welcome.
Q: How can you take referrals across North America if you are not licensed in every state and province?
A: First, we are licensed wherever we practice, or we partner with people who are. Next every state is different, some have reciprocal agreements, some don’t require licensing for referrals if you don’t physically operate in their state, some have a few administrative hoops to jump through. We have some very smart attorneys that we’ll use to keep us in compliance. We are humbled and appreciative of everyone who has expressed concern for our legal and financial hurdles, but we think we’ve got it covered, thank you.
Q: What makes you think that the average tenant or broker will be tech savvy enough to install and use the app?
A: The average tenant or broker probably isn’t tech savvy enough, so it’s not for them. Do you want to be ‘average’ or ‘cutting edge’? You can bet that many of the founders and CEO’s of the fast growth tech firms can use it while playing Fortnite and eating a sandwich. They are a very big part of the future of business, and we’d like to be a part of that future as well.
Q: What if all of your competitors start using the platform?
A: We’ve been a boutique commercial tenant rep/buyer broker firm for over 40 years. We’ve learned along the way that other tenant reps are not our competition, they are our network. We want to make our network larger and stronger, not smaller and weaker. The uneducated and under-represented tenant is our real competition. Let’s show them important things that they ‘don’t know that they don’t know’. Let’s give them a few tools that might reveal, ‘perhaps my landlord is not giving me a fair shake’. Power to the Tenant.
Q: Wait, are you charging me a “referral fee” anytime someone that I invited to the app sends me a request?
A: Absolutely not. Your prospects and clients belong to you and we don’t take any fee or even track the activity between you and them. We also do not look for a fee if you refer any business between your firm and any other LeasingBetter member. We may look for a fee if we send you a referral from a Tenant user who does not have any RE Advisor designated (ie. an “orphan” user that downloads the app organically off of the web or our advertising promos).
Q: What’s the deal with all of the LeasingBetter resources that you have created such as Playbooks, Guides, and videos?
A: You are welcome to add your own branding and offers to our informative documents. They are meant to be a resource for all RE Advisor members who adopt the LeasingBetter Best Practices. We also encourage you to create or repurpose your own content and submit it to us for posting to the LeasingBetter Group on LinkedIn and to share with other RE Advisor members. We’re trying to create a community of both commercial tenants and the professionals who support them and welcome you to belong and participate with us.