This is How Cushman & Wakefield – Tampa Stays Organized Despite Managing More Than 75 Deals at a Time
‘There’s no way we could keep track of everything we’re doing without Rethink.’
The Cushman & Wakefield – Tampa Self Storage and Capital Markets Advisory Group works in a fast-paced environment.
“We’re working on more than 75 deals at a time between proposals, listings, and deals we have under contract” said Chloe Strada, head of the strategic advisory program for the firm’s Self-Storage Group.
“There’s no way we could keep track of everything we’re doing without Rethink, there’s just no way.”
Fortunately, Rethink — the client relationship management (CRM) and PropTech solution purpose-built for commercial real estate — empowers Chloe and her team to stay organized, despite the overwhelming volume.
“There’s no way we could keep track of everything we’re doing without Rethink,” Chloe said. “There’s just no way.”
Because Rethink stores key dealmaking data in a single location, it empowers Chloe and her team to more easily uncover strategic market insights.
“It’s our job to be market experts,” Chloe said. “Because we’re tracking our deals from the time they’re a proposal to the closing, we’ve been able to see what our list price to close price ratios are, which types of deals are sitting on the market for long periods, and how cap rates change.”
Cushman & Wakefield – Tampa then uses these insights to help clients and prospects successfully navigate their market.
“We track every part of our deals in Rethink, so if someone has a question, nine times out of 10, the answer is in Rethink.”
“Sometimes, people have unrealistic pricing expectations,” Chloe explained. “When we can come to them and back up our recommendations or underwriting with proof from our own deals — rather than some third-party self-storage report — it improves our credibility.”
Rethink also gives brokers and staff easy access to the information they need to keep deals moving forward.
“We track every part of our deals in Rethink, so if someone has a question, nine times out of 10, the answer is in Rethink,” Chloe said. “It’s really a central hub for all of that critical information.”
For example, Rethink’s dashboards empower the team to quickly analyze how they’re progressing toward firmwide goals.
“We have a dashboard we pull up every week during our Monday morning meetings,” Chloe said. “It allows us to track the status of our deals, and it gives us a really great snapshot of where we’re at for the year.”
That increased visibility allows agents and employees to see exactly what they need to accomplish as the year progresses.
“Having that reminder that we need to hit X number, or we’re not going to hit our goals has been very helpful,” Chloe said. “It ensures we’re all accountable and prevents things from falling through the cracks.”
“We used to run through all of our deals in Excel. I can’t imagine doing that now. Rethink has made it so much easier.”
In the past, they evaluated progress using spreadsheets … with less-than-stellar results.
“We used to run through all of our deals in Excel during our Monday morning meetings,” Chloe said. “I can’t imagine doing that now. Rethink has made it so much easier.”
So, what made using Excel so challenging?
“There wasn’t as much accountability, we weren’t tracking everything we should have been, and remembering to keep your spreadsheet updated was difficult,” Chloe explained. “We were also always keeping track of things in four different places. You’d have some information in Excel, some in your calendar, some in Word … now, I realize that’s a huge waste of time.”
In addition to wasting time, it made reporting unnecessarily difficult.
“It’s impossible to pull data that’s useful when you have so many sources of information,” Chloe said. “It’s a pain to try and consolidate that.”
Using Rethink, however, they can quickly and easily see critical deal data and make important decisions based on forward-looking analyses.
“It allows us to see our gross fees for the year and what months were hot, which isn’t always easy to know because when a deal closes, it starts many months before that. If there are four months left in the year and we get a deal today, that might not close until next year,” Chloe said.
But despite Rethink’s powerful capabilities, its design is intuitive enough for even non-tech-savvy users to operate.
“We really wanted something that was user-friendly because we have a wide range of people on our team, and not everyone is advanced with computers,” Chloe said. “But I have no IT background, and I’ve found it really easy to go into the back end and customize things. It’s also very easy for us to manipulate and organize large amounts of information, which helps us keep a cleaner and more accurate database, predict market trends, and see how things have changed over the years.”
Part of what makes Rethink so easy to use is its configurability. Instead of forcing users to adopt new workflows that match the system’s setup, users can adjust Rethink to support their current processes.
“Rethink’s client success team has been great. They’re very responsive whenever we have any questions.”
“Self storage is very unique. For example, the way it’s underwritten is different than the way you’d underwrite an apartment building or office space,” Chloe said. “We customized the fields that track financial information to accommodate that. Without that capability, this kind of tool wouldn’t be effective for us.”
And anytime Chloe and her team need help to get the most out of Rethink, they know they can quickly get the support they need.
“Rethink’s Client Success team has been great,” Chloe said. “Everyone’s really helpful and easy to work with. They’re very responsive whenever we have any questions.”
Overall, Chloe summed up her experience with Rethink in five simple words: “It just makes life easier.”
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