New technology bets on brokers’ loose lips

TRD New York /
Apr.April 09, 2012 11:00 AM

A new company seeks to profit from one little-mentioned but well known aspect of the commercial real estate industry: broker gossip. CompStak, started by Michael Mandel, 29, a former Grubb & Ellis broker, and Vadim Belobrovka, 33, a software engineer, aims to put brokers’ bragging to work. The system, which is still being tested, but will launch in about three months, will offer brokers more comparables than available in Any Other Place, according to the Journal, in exchange for brokers’ proprietary information.

The comps that CompStak accumulates includes deals that brokers are not supposed to discuss due to confidentiality agreements, setting it apart from other market services. Eventually, the pair expects a number of different clients — even hedge funds and private equity firms — to pay “five or six figures,” to gain access to the information.

The name is very similar to CompStat, the New York City Police Department’s system for accountability.

“The reality is that everyone has been exchanging this information,” Mandel said. However, the company could feel blowback from the big commercial brokerages, the Journal noted, who have traditionally had a stranglehold on market information. So far, CompStak has details on about 6,000 deals, the Journal said. [WSJ]

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