NAI Martens’ COO on Buildout’s acquisition of Rethink: ‘The best news I’ve gotten all week’
When Andy Braun, Chief Operations Officer at NAI Martens, heard Buildout was acquiring Rethink, he knew the implications were staggering.
“This is literally the best news I’ve gotten all week,” he said.
The acquisition brought commercial real estate’s leading marketing and dealmaking platforms under one roof, paving the way for an integrated, end-to-end solution.
“You’re taking two heavyweights in the industry and combining them,” Andy explained. “Having these systems integrate so we can manage everything from marketing through the pipeline to closing in one place will be incredible.”
Andy knows better than most the potential these combined companies have. As a user of both platforms, he’s already seen how each solution automates time-consuming, cumbersome tasks, empowering him and his team to focus on more meaningful work.
Here’s a look at how Buildout and Rethink help NAI Martens today—and why that has them excited about the future:
More compelling, customer-driven marketing
Before implementing Buildout, NAI Martens’ marketing team manually built flyers, property websites, and other marketing collateral. As the firm grew, they needed a quicker way to manage those tasks.
Buildout was the perfect solution.
“We didn’t really look at any other systems because there wasn’t anything else like Buildout. I still don’t think there’s anything like Buildout out there,” Andy said. “Just speaking for our market, Buildout changed what a lot of firms are doing marketing-wise.”
For NAI Martens, that change started with empowering brokers and interns to easily create basic collateral, so the marketing team can focus on more impactful tasks.
“I show them Buildout, and 10 or 15 minutes later, they can go and build their own flyers,” Andy said. “It’s nice because they can’t mess anything up. You can’t break a Buildout flyer.”
With the extra time Buildout saves, Andy and the marketing team can focus on delivering a better client experience.
“It’s great how quickly we can go from getting the listing to having a property out there on the market,” Andy said. “With so much competition out there, it’s really important that we can highlight to our customers how fast their property will go to market.
“And sometimes, during the listing proposal, we’ll say, ‘Hey. We’ve already got a personalized website for your property. It’s up on the internet right now. We’re starting today. Here’s what your flyers look like, and here’s what the website looks like,’” Andy continued. “That speed really helps us set ourselves apart and bring value to our clients.”
The time-savings also empowers NAI Martens to focus on more compelling marketing activities.
“We can differentiate ourselves from the competition,” Andy said. “Buildout automated the basic stuff, so we have time to do things that set us apart—like drone videos and research reports.”
Reducing complexity and creating value for clients
Once Buildout streamlined their marketing processes, NAI Martens turned their attention to dealmaking, where data scattered in multiple locations was causing an unnecessary headache.
“We had a database here, a database there, and another database there,” Andy explained. “We knew we needed to get all our information in one spot so we could easily find everything we needed to know about a property.”
Rethink stood out as the best option because of the wide range of capabilities it offers.
“I was looking for a solution that could do it all—track property data, manage our pipeline, get comparables, and manage our workflows,” Andy said. “The fact that Rethink could handle all of that and was built specifically for commercial real estate was what sold me.”
And now that Rethink is managing those complex activities, NAI Martens is no longer bogged down with cumbersome, time-consuming tasks.
“Rethink automates repetitive work that chews up your time,” Andy explained. “That makes life easier and frees up time to focus elsewhere.”
For example, his team automated listing expiration reminders that go out to brokers.
“When a listing agreement was expiring, someone used to have to send out an email asking the broker if we could do a renewal,” Andy said. “Now, we have Rethink set up so it’s reminding brokers automatically.”
NAI Martens also saves time by storing critical data in a single, centralized database.
“Every quarter, we review 15 reports,” Andy said. “We used to have to pull that information from over here and over there. Now, it’s all in Rethink. I can tell my bosses, ‘You’ll have the first-quarter reports on April 1.’”
And that extra time allows them to further improve the client experience.
“We can spend more time on client outreach and figure out new ways to bring value to our clients,” Andy said. “Instead of getting caught up in the day-to-day operations, we can focus on working with and talking to our clients—making sure we’re staying in front of them and creating value.”
The people behind the technology
While the Buildout and Rethink platforms have both delivered impressive results at NAI Martens, technology isn’t the only thing Andy raves about.
“The support on both sides has always been fantastic. I send a question or a request, and Bam! They get me up and rolling,” he said. “The people behind both teams are great, and now that they’re working together for one company, I’m excited to see what they can do.”
Looking to the future
Having seen the benefits of Buildout and Rethink first-hand, NAI Martens understands the potential of combining both platforms in an integrated, end-to-end solution.
“Having everything in one place, where we don’t have to jump around in different systems will continue to take repetitive tasks off our plates and make the software do the work for us,” Andy said. “It will go a long way toward helping us focus on and accomplish our bigger strategic initiatives.
“Overall, we’re just excited about seeing where this thing goes.”