The Future of LA Real Estate
Talk about March Madness—we've busted the brackets for Bisnow's Future of Real Estate: Design, Innovation & Tech Summit this Tuesday, March 31. Instead of panels, our all-star speakers will give 10-minute talks on the trends transforming the industry. And instead of being a morning event, it'll start at 4pm at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, followed by cocktails.
One of our speakers will be Nick Romito, founder and CEO of the tech-based leasing and asset management platform VTS. The company, formerly known as View The Space, recently received a $3.3M strategic investment from Blackstone. The deal exemplifies the way the world's largest and smartest commercial real estate investors are “betting big” on how tech will help shape the future of the industry, Nick told us yesterday. Blackstone wanted to evaluate the market and tested VTS against a competing product over an eight-month period. VTS won by a landslide!
Blackstone's office assets, including the Equity Office portfolio, are now being rolled out onto VTS' platform. In just a few years, the company's grown from a tech startup to where 1.3B SF of space is being managed in VTS, which lets owners and brokers track deal activity in real time, identify market trends, and quantify portfolio performance from their desktop or mobile device. And that's before adding in Blackstone. Over the next two months, the private equity investment firm and a couple other customers will bring an additional 600M SF, Nick says. At our event, he'll discuss "The Leasing Revolution."
Another speaker will be Tangram CEO Joe Lozowski (with wife Sonya and daughters Isabel and Alexandra), who will discuss the impact of technology on the workplace." Joe, who heads up the third-largest Steelcase dealer in North America, tells us that furniture is no longer just a place to put tech. Where and how we work has changed and our workplaces need to adapt, he says. Just about all the furniture in a modern office building has either power or data affiliated with it, and collaboration is more important than ever to achieve the outcomes we expect from our offices. Much of the research into how people work comes from the furniture industry, Joe says.
At many Bisnow events, our panelists sit in style in Steelcase chairs supplied by Tangram. The company makes proprietary products, too, through Tangram Studio, which employs a team of industrial designers to create custom furniture based on the specs of the architect and end user. Joe views the role his company plays as a connector between the culture of an organization, the tech and the physical attributes of the space, all working together to help make the org more effective.
Realty Mogul CEO Jilliene Helman will be another speaker. The company is a peer-to-peer real estate marketplace for accredited investors to pool money online and buy shares of pre-vetted investment properties. Jilliene, who was one of our LA Power Women picks last year, will talk about "Financing in the Future: How Crowdfunding and P2P Lending are Changing Capital Markets." She tells us Realty Mogul's doing a lot more lending these days. It's got four debt products, including a residential "fix and flip" for rehabbers of distressed properties and a commercial bridge loan.
More than 15,000 investors have invested through Realty Mogul since its founding in 2012, buying shares in over 200 properties including apartment buildings, shopping centers, self-storage facilities and mobile home parks. So far, the company's returned more than $7M back to investors. According to Jilliene, the company's growing exponentially and is looking to expand its team, including opening a new office in Irvine.
Also not to be missed during our event are keynote interviews with two industry legends: Rexford Industrial chairman Richard Ziman and Rising Realty Partners CEO Nelson Rising. Join us on Tuesday for Future of Real Estate: Design, Innovation & Tech Summit. It starts at 4pm, with cocktails and networking from 6pm to 7pm, at the PDC, 8687 Melrose Ave in WeHo. Sign up here!