A startup founded by a former pro surfer is aiming to be the Big Kahuna in the fast-growing real estate technology industry. View the Space, a cloud-based leasing and portfolio management company established by Nick Romito, expects to have 1 billion square feet of the world’s office space on its platform before the year is out.
View the Space now hosts 850 million square feet of office space on behalf of landlords and brokerages, including 110 million square feet in New York City—about a quarter of the city’s entire office space.
It allows users to oversee all aspects of the leasing process, including tracking rent rolls, existing leases and encumbrances, analyzing the leasing performance of a portfolio of buildings, and reporting to higher-ups.
“You pretty much have the entire building in the palm of your hand,” Romito told The Real Deal.
Some of the city’s top landlords such as SL Green Realty, Vornado Realty Trust and Paramount Group are plugged in, as are major brokerages such as CBRE Group and JLL.
“It allows us to be more thorough and more calculated,” said CBRE vice-chairman Paul Amrich, who represents more than nine million square feet of Manhattan office space. “When someone on my team does a showing, they can update the data while it’s fresh on their mind.”
Since its launch in 2011, View the Space has raised about $9 million from investors including California-based Trinity Ventures, Behance’s Alex Krug and Khosla Ventures’ Benjamin Ling. The 44-employee company projects revenue in 2014 will come in around the mid-to-upper single millions. It recently moved to a 7,500-square-foot space at 142 West 36th Street.
Romito, a former broker at Murray Hill Properties, started View the Space as a firm that offered online video tours of Manhattan office space. But the firm soon branched into the more scalable – and lucrative — world of managing lease portfolios.
Co-founder and former JLL broker Ryan Masiello said that it was this ability to continuously iterate and evolve that has allowed View the Space to stand out and grab such a large market share. The startup’s closest local competitor, the Joshua Kushner-backed Hightower, has about 25 million square feet of New York City office space on its platform.
“Depending on whether you are a core fund, a value-add fund, or a brokerage, the things you care about with leasing data are very different,” Masiello said. It’s been meeting these multiple needs and priorities by bringing its clients together to brainstorm the next stages of the product.
Case in point: Paramount, which controls about 10 million square feet in New York City, wanted to be able to see a building’s stacking plan – a chart showing the arrangement of existing tenants in a building – on its dashboard. “We conveyed to them how critical that was for us,” said Ted Koltis, Paramount’s senior vice-president of leasing.
View the Space is now working to develop an interactive stacking plan that continuously updates data on vacancy, cash flows, encumbrances and other data points that, in Romito’s words, “have been hidden in lease abstracts and spreadsheet for the last 25 years.”
Koltis also said that the firm made it easier for him to track how his buildings, managed by various different brokerages, were doing. “Each agent will report things slightly differently,” he said, “but it all gets streamlined into one consistent platform.”