Imagine if you could get every commercial broker in your region together in one room to trade lease comps—accurate, plentiful, and free.
That was the idea that led New York commercial broker Michael Mandel in 2012 to found CompStak, theBrokerList’s newest Marketplace partner. CompStak, a free, crowdsourced database where brokers exchange lease comps, is now active in 11 markets nationwide.
While CompStak members usually trade comps one-for-one, members of theBrokerList who are commercial brokers can now get 10 complimentary lease comps when you sign up.
— Kristian Lee (@commercialmns) April 23, 2014
A crowdsourcing solution.
“Trading lease comps was like a game,” says Danny Shachar, CompStak Director of Operations and Marketing. “It meant always calling other brokers—very inefficient. It was difficult to get the comps you needed in your database.”
“Our founders said, ‘Why not build a central database that would be free for brokers, researchers and appraisers?’”
How? Crowdsourcing—defined by Wikipedia as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community.” Entrepreneurs have used online crowdsourcing for everything from fundraising to advertising to software testing.
Now CompStak has brought crowdsourcing to commercial real estate comps.
Accuracy and growth.
According to Shachar, CompStak members number in the hundreds in each of their 11 markets, with many regional databases containing more than 15,000 comps. But volume is meaningless without accuracy. How does CompStak ensure its anonymously contributed comps are accurate?
Shachar points to five factors:
- Relationships with members that develop trust over time.
- Review of all data before it’s uploaded
- Multiple comps for the same deal, verifying the data
- Automatic flags for data that seems wrong
- Community quality monitoring, as members can earn credits for more comps by flagging missing or incorrect data.
“And our overall accuracy keeps improving as we grow,” says Shachar.
Bringing brokers together.
We’re thrilled to have CompStak join our Marketplace Partners—their mission of bringing brokers together for the greater good of the industry is identical to ours.
We’d love to see every member of theBrokerList contribute comps to their regional database, providing all of us with the data we so desperately need when advising our clients. And don’t forget the 10 complimentary lease comps when you sign up!
Interested? In addition to New York and Chicago, CompStak is also thriving in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Bay Area, San Diego, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Minneapolis/St.Paul and Atlanta. If you have any questions, please visit their website contact Danny Shachar at (646) 926-6707 or [email protected].
“We believe commercial real estate should be more transparent and efficient,” says Shachar. We want to modernize the business by offering tools that don’t cost brokers anything. We don’t think of ourselves as disrupting the industry—just improving it and making it more efficient.”