Building a Better Rethink
Rethink was born from a convergence of technology and commercial real estate (CRE)—two passions of founder Vijay Mehra—but it has grown to be much more.
Vijay discovered his interest in real estate while backpacking in Asia in his early 20s. During his adventure, a tsunami hit, and he dedicated his time to helping rebuild homes, storefronts, and neighborhoods that had been destroyed. Through these philanthropic efforts, he realized that real estate was a pervasive thread that tied together communities. He tucked that knowledge away and returned to the U.S. to earn a living.
He started as a business analyst, and later became a project manager, for a New York City-based technology consulting firm that specialized in customer relationship management (CRM) software—specifically Salesforce.com implementations. The work proved to be a good fit, taking advantage of his background in electrical engineering and mathematics.
His next career move brought him back to his burgeoning interest in real estate. As an investment analyst at a real estate financial firm, he delved into details of commercial real estate investing. He learned a great deal, but also discovered a need: the real estate industry wasn’t taking advantage of the latest technologies to improve efficiency. Many brokers worked with spreadsheets or even paper files. His background in CRM software sparked the idea that would become Rethink.
“I knew there was a better way,” Vijay says.
Vijay created the first version of the software in 2008. Built on Salesforce.com’s CRM software, the tool focused on helping brokers and others in real estate manage their contacts digitally. In addition to being one of the first CRMs designed specifically for real estate, Rethink was an early adopter of Salesforce.com’s AppExchange marketplace and was showcased in the store, helping propel it to early success.
As the company grew, Vijay and his team emphasized the technology, iterating based on client feedback and improving on what worked. The product became stronger and more refined.
In 2017, with a solid foundation built, the time came for Rethink to evolve. Beyond being a technology, the team realized the platform needed to focus on the most important aspect of real estate: the human part.
“Commercial real estate is built on interaction between people: Brokers are deal makers, networkers, social creatures. We decided to make Rethink a hub for the way the CRE industry interacts,” Vijay says.
Vijay believed that for too long the CRE tech industry focused on the tech part instead of the bigger picture of real estate. Now the goal is a single solution that integrates all aspects of commercial real estate to create an all-in-one ecosystem. Rethink’s latest version allows real estate professionals to see their entire business, from prospect to closed deal, in a way that makes sense to them.
“We live in a technology driven world, and the more that we can help brokers, dealmakers, developers, and anyone in commercial real estate drive their business through one platform, the more success they will have,” Vijay says.
To help achieve that end, Rethink revamped its model to focus on the client experience. Each client has a point person from the Rethink team who is there to help with training and navigating the system for the best results. And the Rethink team is always listening—and folding the feedback they hear back into the product.
The key to making his vision for Rethink successful lies in the people who work with him. “We have a team of super dedicated people who have amazing attitudes,” Vijay says. “It makes coming to the office fun. And our clients share in that experience.”
Through it all, the intersection of real estate and technology—and how to improve on it—remains Vijay’s driving force.
“I eat, breathe, and live this all day long. I’m committed to helping shape the future of commercial real estate. “