How Centralized CRE Data Helps Both Leasing Agents And Market Research Analysts
For 50 years, Merritt Properties has helped companies find homes for their businesses. As a full-service commercial real estate company that manages 16M SF of office and industrial properties across Maryland and Northern Virginia, Merritt depends on close collaboration and accessible, accurate data to keep tenants happy and generate new leads.
But with data sources across multiple spreadsheets and platforms, the company needed a centralized, accurate platform that could be used by both leasing agents and corporate users to access accurate, aggregated information and insights. To reach this goal, Merritt partnered with VTS to roll out its platform across the entire team.
Leasing agent Shaelyn Mullaney joined Merritt Properties shortly after the company transitioned to the VTS platform. Having direct access to data on the entire property portfolio helped her to get up to speed on the company's workflow and contribute to the team.
Mullaney spends much of her time out of the office meeting with potential tenants. The VTS mobile app gives her real-time access to data that can help close a deal and allows her to record information in the moment rather than when she is back at her desk.
“It's great for me because I'm out in the field taking prospects to different spaces every day,” Mullaney said. “I use VTS to track what the broker said, what the tenant wants to do with the space and what requirements they have.”
This helps Mullaney stay organized and keep better track of leads.
“We can have a conversation with somebody that may not be interested in something right away, but further down the line, we can go back and look at the conversation that we had or what their interests are and re-engage with them intelligently,” Mullaney said.
She can also relay that information to her fellow agents, creating a seamless exchange across multiple prospects, properties and opportunities.
“If I work with another leasing agent, we can team up on everything," Mullaney said. "We have a meeting once a week and, since I’m in a separate office, being able to pull something up on the screen and share with the rest of the leasing team helps a lot.”
Mullaney’s ability to enter activity on the platform helps market research analyst Jean Farnsworth accurately report on Merritt’s leasing activity and occupancy, ultimately providing the insights the company needs to make the most informed leasing decisions.
“Since leasing agents are responsible for inputting their activity into VTS, I’m confident everything’s in the platform,” Farnsworth said. “This has made everything run smoother, and the interteam communication on deals is much easier. That’s what I really love, working smarter, not harder.”
Prior to VTS, Farnsworth would spend hours consolidating spreadsheets and reports. Rather than spend five to six hours a week preparing a market report, she can now create one at the click of a button.
Immediate and accurate access to Merritt’s activity helps the company maintain its reputation as an expert at tenant relations. VTS gives the team a better sense of what is happening across the entire portfolio. With the right data in place, the renewal process is faster.
“Merritt is very serious about tenant retention,” Farnsworth said. “I know a lot of firms probably say that, but our renewal rate is very high, and having long-term relationships with our tenants is very important to us. We even have some tenants from the late 1970s that are still with us.”
When rolling out the platform, VTS and Merritt Properties worked closely together to ensure the platform addressed Merritt’s unique needs. This partnership has made the transition to a new technology seamless for Merritt.
“You are not just buying something and there you go," Farnsworth said. "It’s more organic. It’s a living organism and you grow and learn with each other. That is what has been great about VTS.”
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