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Find office space online

New online service helps companies seeking smaller, shorter-term and unique office space

HiRise connects tenants and landlords from searching to signing—and paying the rent, too.

By Glenn LaFollette | Glenn.LaFollette@am.jll.com | @PRGlenns

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In the nation’s capital sits 46 million square feet of empty office space. And every foot represents an opportunity to connect landlords and tenants, say two entrepreneurs who are launching HiRise, a new online, transactional marketplace for commercial real estate.

Andy O’Brien and David Adams believe their new venture will serve an office market that has long been overlooked by traditional leasing measures.

"The commercial real estate industry hasn’t kept up with the changing needs of real estate consumers," said O’Brien, a Senior Vice President and JLL who specializes in tenant representation. "More than 500,000 tenants in the United States occupy office spaces that are less than 5,000-square feet."

Organizations need to become more efficient in delivering real estate services, Adams added. "There is a brave new world of tech-augmented transactions throughout the industry. HiRise is where we think that conversation starts."

HiRise: "The first online transactional marketplace where a tenant can actually search for commercial real estate, and do the process all the way from search to occupancy, including signing a lease and paying the rent."

The service has already caught the attention of CNBC. In a TV interview with CNBC’s Diane Olik, O’Brien called HiRise, "the first online transactional marketplace where a tenant can actually search for commercial real estate, and do the process all the way from search to occupancy, including signing a lease and paying the rent."

HiRise, an online platform supported by JLL, aims to serve the underserved market by allowing tenants to choose the space needed by the seat or suite via an online marketplace that puts choice in the space consumer’s hand. The service (www.gohirise.com) launches in Washington, D.C. this summer, followed by a planned national expansion.

"The vacancy rates for small spaces in D.C. have increased 83 percent since 2009, and HiRise lets landlords monetize that dormant space. We’ll help them adjust to the needs of today’s tenants, including smaller spaces, expedited leasing process and flexible terms."

David Adams, JLL Mid-Atlantic Investor services lead

"D.C. is the perfect place to launch an innovation like HiRise," said Adams, who leads JLL’s Investor Services platform in the Mid-Atlantic region. "The vacancy rates for small spaces in D.C. have increased 83 percent since 2009, and HiRise lets landlords monetize that dormant space. We’ll help them adjust to the needs of today’s tenants, including smaller spaces, expedited leasing process and flexible terms."

The battle for space could largely be determined by Millennials who will shift to the driver’s seat of the workforce over the next five years, according to JLL’s United States Skyline Review. That could mean more companies looking for smaller, short-term and more unique workspaces. Adams said HiRise is ideally suited to respond to the need for flexibility, choice and speed.

"The owners have always been willing to do deals with this portion of the market," Adams said. “The trouble is they haven’t been able to achieve the flexibility and transparency demand in today’s marketplace. HiRise will create a steady pipeline of tenants, reduce downtime and increase revenue for landlords who will respond by making more space available under this new paradigm.

"It addresses an untapped need – to provide access to commercial real estate online. We help landlords respond to today’s market demands and tenants can spend less time looking for office space and more time getting to work."


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