For his part, Steele explained what prompted the product’s creation in the first place: “We started the company really with the goal of making data and access to that data for CRE investors much easier,” he told MPA of the company he co-founded in 2018. “I couldn’t believe when I looked at the industry and saw how hard it was for this class to use data.”
The successful financial buttresses the need, he suggested. Steele noted that complex data extraction and management within CRE has been a neglected vertical market despite being one of the largest asset classes. Inaccessible, incomplete, and inaccurate data leave investors, building owners, and stakeholders disadvantaged in a rapidly evolving market, he added.
“The data that we focus on capturing today is leasing and tenant data – all the information we talk about being trapped in the long lease agreements,” Steele said. “We have a set of tools on top of that database that allows our customers to use that data for reporting, analysis, for a variety of things to help them make decisions about how to manage these assets, which can get very complex as they get larger.”
He contrasted the traditional methods of lease abstractions to the ease his firm’s product allows: “The market largely is serviced through what I would kind of, in jest, call a service industrial complex,” he Steele said. “So there’s very large service organizations that do all this work manually. Our customers today are primarily contracting with third parties or doing the work themselves of lease abstraction – which is basically a fancy way of saying they have people who are summarizing the underlying leases that try to capture all the points and they typically generate a report and that report is used to either help make decisions, allow people to input data in other systems like a billing system or a CRM system or something.”