A self-professed “geek at heart,” Zac
Rosenberg noticed there were a lot of manual processes in place when it came to deal
evaluation. To remedy this, he developed a
code loop that would replicate those processes, but at a faster pace. The innovation
netted Greystone around $150 million in
additional loans within its first few months
of use in 2015.
Rosenberg is director of Greystone Labs,
a tech incubator aimed at creating solutions
to ease the lending process for clients and ultimately help drive business to the New York City-based firm’s originators. Leading the development of an analytics platform that serves up customized property
data, his mission for the past four years has been to drive the innovations that will change multifamily lending. Leveraging AI and machine
learning, Rosenberg helped Greystone Labs crack the code on how to
combine instant property insights and direct access to financing to
help property owners unlock value and maximize investments.
In short, Rosenberg’s efforts through Greystone Labs are transforming the way commercial loans are done, so far feeding $2.5 billion in
loans through the company’s automated and proprietary loan processing system. In recognition of his work, he was honored with FHA’s
Creative Genius Award in 2016. He is also a subcommittee member of
the Fannie Mae tech initiative.
While the development industry has a rep for being
behind the times in embracing technology, Michael
Greeby has continually challenged that assumption.
As part of that effort, he launched workshopMG
LLC, a startup specifically formed to work with entrepreneurial clients to create software and deliver services that streamline the process of retail leasing and
tenant space delivery.
Greeby launched workshopMG after spending two
decades working for contractors, engineers, developers and a real estate consultant. The CEO spearheaded
the creation of a three-pronged digital workflow system—Status Plan, a retail leasing and tenant delivery
web app; Digital Design Criteria Manual, a cloud-based information delivery platform focused on shopping centers; and the spark Merchant Information
System, a specialty leasing platform and CRM. The
digital platform allows brokers and developers to easily
use video, slide shows, interactive maps and plans.
So far clients have responded well, evidenced by
the many positive testimonials from users. Among
workshopMG’s users are North American Properties,
Columbia Development and the Atlanta Braves,
which used DDCM on the Battery, the retail component of their new stadium.
That one of the most active thought leaders in the burgeoning field of CRE tech has
an extensive background in media and public relations is of little surprise. Michael
Beckerman spent 25 years building Beckerman Public Relations into one of the largest
firms of its kind specializing in commercial real estate. He entered the CRE tech arena
with the 2012 launch of the News Funnel, a customized news platform. He soon followed that with the Content Funnel, a social media, blogging and marketing platform.
Today, CREtech is arguably the largest research, data and event platform in the field,
with one of the largest followings of industry professionals. As for Beckerman, he is one of
CRE tech’s most popular bloggers and is a frequent speaker at industry events hosted by
such groups as ICSC, the MIT Center tor Real Estate and NAIOP. Last year, CREtech and
its CEO teamed with ALM Real Estate’s RealShare Conference series (now rebranded as
GlobeSt.Events) on a major tech component at its largest annual event, the RealShare Apartments Conference.
It’s been five years since CEO Arie Barendrecht founded WiredScore, the international
rating standard for buildings’ internet connectivity. Since its launch, the company has certified over 1,700 properties, encompassing 450 million square feet of office space in 160-plus
markets globally. The firm has worked with some of CRE’s biggest landlords and certifies
such trophy assets as the Empire State Building in New York, the Shard in London and
Chicago’s Willis Tower.
The past 12 months have been a time of significant growth for Barendrecht and
WiredScore, which grew its global team and added new members to its board. It also
opened eight new cities—Chicago, Atlanta, Montreal, Glasgow, Birmingham (UK),
Marseille and Germany—and saw a 45% increase in Wired-certified buildings.
Additionally, it raised $9 million in Series A funding, allowing for further expansion
into new markets, including Dallas and Los Angeles, new product and new service areas.