In the same way that Uber revolutionized the transportation industry, Crelow is hoping to do the same for commercial real estate, especially in the case of small tenants. Crelow offers a revolutionary kind of ‘matchmaking service’ for would-be tenants catering towards the traditionally underserved smaller tenant market.
How it Works
As mentioned above, Crelow is a lot like a kind of matchmaking service for commercial real estate hunters. Instead of forcing prospective tenants to search through hundreds of listings in the hope of finding a suitable property, Crelow helps them to find an empty space that meets their specific needs, which means they no longer have to accept too large a space simply because that’s all there is available. Crelow doesn’t even have any listings in fact, and rents for available spaces aren’t even listed on the app. The available market is only established once the prospective tenant provides detailed information about their company and what they’re looking for. In that way Crelow is a lot like a dating site, as it effectively forces the tenant to ‘break the ice’, so to speak.
Instead of listings, Tenants provide their information and then this is posted onto a public deal board for landlords. Landlords can then select a tenant based on what they see, and initiate a negotiation with them, as opposed to tenants contacting the landlord first.
Crelow’s platform is specifically targeted at small tenants too, which according to the company fills an important niche because such tenants account for 80 percent of all commercial real estate deals. Indeed, the company cites data which shows that 80 percent of all commercial real estate tenants require spaces of 5,000 square feet or less, whereas the majority of brokerages tend to focus on spaces with more than this. This means that many small companies struggle to find a suitable space for their needs.
Crelow’s business model is such that it only generates revenue when a lease is signed, and the landlord agrees to give tenants a rebate. These rebates are typically the commission that the broker would have received for representing a tenant, and Crelow collects just twenty percent of this rebate as its fee, making it considerably cheaper for landlords.
Having first launched in Minneapolis, Crelow is expanding rapidly and now serves Denver, Houston, Phoenix and Seattle-Tacoma markets as well. In its most recent development, Crelow has just added a new market in the San Francisco Bay area, which is a fairly unique commercial real estate market, thanks to so many tech companies being based there. While this market has traditionally focused on large office spaces, there are still many smaller tenants who have remained underserved in the region—something that Crelow hopes to change.