A group of Gulf Coast technology entrepreneurs and a top commercial restate broker have teamed up to launch SpaceShifter.com, an online marketing platform to share commercial real estate information and present listings.
The site, officially launched earlier this month, offers information pertaining to industrial, office and retail properties, as well as commercial land, with an aim toward decreasing vacancies throughout the region.
Before forming the open-source site, SpaceShifter founders met with hundreds of economic development officials and commercial real estate industry representatives, from large brokerage firms to owners of small buildings.
SpaceShifter officials say the site was formed because several brokers and landlords became “disappointed at the lack of online marketing options available to the commercial real estate industry,” according to its website.
The free site also offers a premier membership for $399 a year, or $45 monthly. Money raised from the premium memberships will benefit trade groups as well as charities such as the Gold Shield Foundation, which provides assistance to the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which helps children stricken with cancer.
The site has 600 members so far, says Rick Narkiewicz, a senior managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, and the site's industry liaison.
“Our traffic has been fantastic so far, and we've gotten a lot of support from within the industry,” Narkiewicz says. “Ours is the most sophisticated, user-friendly system around.”
Although CoStar Group's Loopnet.com and other providers aggregate similar material, Narkiewicz says the SpaceShifter site differentiates itself by allowing users to post and search real estate information without charge.
SpaceShifter, currently focused exclusively on Hillsborough County properties, with hopes to eventually expand to other areas, also touts its user-friendly platform. “We plan to cover every vertical in the business,” Narkiewicz says. “We're going to change the model for how the industry operates.”