Market Overview

Start-Up in Baltimore Helps Small Businesses Look for Office Space


A team of tech and real estate professionals has carved a niche for their venture in the online real estate technology segment after solving one of the most common problems of start-ups today: finding an office space.

The venture, founded by Alex Kopicki and Jeff Jacobson, is called retrievRE, according to a report on The Baltimore Sun. retrievRE is a website that consolidates rental office spaces and arranges them based on their location on a map. Kopicki and Jacobson launched it last year.

retrievRe was able to gather listings around 2,300 listings in a matter of months, but it didn’t fully take off. The business model “didn’t convince investors,” the report revealed. 

"We were providing a better shopping experience, but we weren't providing a better transactional experience," Kopicki told The Baltimore Sun. “We said, 'It's easy to marry the two. Why don't we provide a great shopping and transactional experience?'”

The two came up with a new website called Kinglet and revised their business model. The website went live Tuesday and would host office spaces that lease “available desks” on a monthly basis. Clients inquiring on the site are promised a reply within 48 hours or less, the report revealed.

Kinglet is seen to have about 1,000 desks listed within two months. It earns its revenues by charging occupying businesses a ten percent service fee.

Kinglet’s target clients are small companies with less than four employees, companies with “desks to spare” and landlords of “hard-to-lease” small office spaces.

“We're not doing anything really trailblazing,” Kopicki told the newspaper. “But it's important to understand that there's a huge void in commercial real estate and we see it as a really huge opportunity to meet the needs of small businesses,” he explained.

Citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the report noted that Maryland has 93,760 companies in 2011, 48,000 of which consisting of four or fewer employees.

It also noted data from Colliers International in Baltimore that Baltimore City’s central business district has 300,000 square feet of vacant office spaces to sublet in August. This represents 16 percent of 1.8 million square feet of the business district’s total inventory.

An alternative to having office spaces merely listed on similar property sites like Kinglet is using virtual tour technologies to showcase their features to potential clients. Realbiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ) develops proprietary video marketing software that agents and their brokers can use to promote their virtual tour listings online. The company offers a Virtual Tour Program that allows real estate sellers to create virtual tours and presentations that are optimized for mobile viewing and could be syndicated through social media for only $29.95 a month.

The program is equipped with a video search engine optimization (VSEO) tool that automatically generate meta tags and descriptions for virtual tours and listings agents have uploaded to the platform so that they would be found easily by consumers online.

The program also has tools for creating QR codes, e-flyers, and seller reports as bonus features.

To learn more about Realbiz Media and its products, contact sales@realbizmediagroup.comor call 1.888.REAL.BIZ (888.732.5249).

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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