Stefan Martinovic and Ed Switzer launched their real estate data software Create a few weeks ago in D.C. By the end of this year, they hope to expand it to at least 10 more markets. We tracked down Ed for more scoop on the interface that could transform the way the real estate industry does business.
What was the inspiration behind Create?
Stefan has a background in finance and my background is in environmental and urban planning. We found ourselves both involved in the real estate industry but also interested in understanding each others roles within it. I wanted to learn more about the economics of projects and Stefan wanted to (believe it or not) process and integrate zoning principles into his financial modeling. At this time we also realized the industry was under-served with regard to technology tools, so we put our heads together and developed Create.
Who is the intended user?
We envision our core users as being the real estate developers. To be a good developer you need to have a handle on all the different aspects of a real estate project ranging from engineering to financial analysis. Create captures these aspects and provides a single, intuitive platform to evaluate deals, track progress, and collaborate with specialists. That said, there is much value for specialists, such as architects, engineers, and contractors, to use Create in collaboration with developers.
What data can users access through Create?
Currently we’ve integrated a lot of public data from the District of Columbia’s public records. We’ve also integrated in some market and transit data through licensing agreements. Our plan is to continue aggregating data sources until we’ve established a baseline to layer over the analytic components.
How will the software change the real estate industry?
Our hope is that our software provides a platform for the public and private sectors to work together to bring projects online that maximize value for both sides. This means, bringing clarity to development process to understand what types projects the public wants (in hopes of expediting approval) but also meets the investment demands of the private sector. In the long run, we hope that by doing this there will be an increase the number high-quality, investment-grade projects will result in high-quality neighborhoods.
What other industries will it affect?
The real estate industry, itself, is pretty big and contains many subsets, such as construction, architecture, engineering, and financial services. We feel that Create provides value to all of these subsets. The industry is also unique in that is has both professionals (developers, etc.) and non-professionals (homeowners) that stand to benefit from a tool like Create.
What kind of feedback are you getting from your earliest users?
The most common response from our users has been that we provide a whole lot of data in a single interface. From our end, that means constantly improving the user experience to allow them to unlock the value in that data, whether it be through webinars or in-app tours. Some of things we are working on that are a direct result of feedback are:
Providing links to source documents
Improved search functionality
Do you plan to expand to other cities? How soon?
Yes, absolutely. We will most likely be in DC until the middle of the year and then look to expand to about 10 cities by the end of 2015. Our immediate concern is building out the breadth of features that make the system useful, while creating a data intake system that is scalable across many geographies.
What is the price structure?
We are currently offering a free trial but eventually will have two pricing structures once premium features are added: monthly and yearly. Monthly will cost $150/user and yearly will cost $1000/user. The product that is currently available on www.create.io will remain free. Our goal is to make the product accessible across an entire team and become the industry standard for execution of development projects.
Click here to sign up for your own free Create trial!