Industries Commercial Real Estate

Deals without brokers

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A change is coming In May that opens the door to online transactions for commercial real estate leases. And these deals don’t require a broker.

JLL, a global real estate firm formerly known as Jones Lang LaSalle, plans to launch HiRise next month, a platform for landlord and tenants interesting in leasing space in the Washington, D.C. area,

There are a couple of caveats: these are smaller spaces – of less than 5,000 square feet-- and tenants must have eventual plans to expand their U.S. locations.

HiRise, created by a team of experienced real estate pros at JLL, is significant, because it will provide a direct line between landlords and tenants to process a transaction online. The program will be an open marketplace, available to all of JLL's competitiors in the brokerage space.

JLL says in a press release that hirise is “designed to change how people access and lease commercial real estate. This revolutionary marketplace connects tenants with available office space and gives landlords a platform to monetize and fill vacant space. The entire process – from search to lease – is completed within the platform, marking the first time online transactional technology has been applied to the commercial real estate industry’s traditional brokerage model. “

In the U.S., according to JLL, more than 500,000 tenants occupy office spaces that are less than 5,000 square feet. In the Washington D.C. metro area, small tenants outnumber large tenants three to one; yet, more than 46 million square feet of small space remains vacant because traditional leasing policies cater to large tenants.

“The vacancy rates for small spaces in D.C. have increased 83 percent since 2009. We wanted to build a solution that lets landlords monetize that dormant space,” Dave Adams, HiRise co-founder, said in a statement.

Andy O’Brien and Alex Lassar are also on the team that created HiRise. “Whether you’re a founder of a high-growth startup or an established business, we know you don’t want to waste time searching for office space,”  O’Brien said in a statement. “That’s why we’ve made the process quick, simple and pain-free … This allows you to spend less time looking for office space and more time getting work done.”

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