Speaker Spotlight: Vanessa Anderson, Vice President of Operations, Truss
Attending the CREtech New York Conference on October 16-17, 2019?
Don't miss Vanessa Anderson, Vice President of Operations at Truss on the Innovation Stage at CREtech New York for her session, "What Do Tenants Really Want? A Lot." Learn insights seen from the 15,000 actual tenants using the Truss platform. What trends and amenities will really attract your next tenants.
What were you doing prior to your current role and why did you decide to enter the commercial real estate tech industry?
Vanessa Anderson: Prior to Truss, I was leading the M&A and Strategic Partnership departments at Uptake, an Industrial IoT start-up. That being said, I had started my career on the investment teams at GEM Realty Capital and Landmark Partners, but was continuously drawn to the progressive and disruptive nature of start-ups, leading to my career shift into tech.
When I learned about Truss via its Series A fundraise announcement, I immediately saw the potential for the company to disrupt commercial leasing and I felt that it was an opportunity to return to the commercial real estate industry in a tech-centric role. I reached out to the cofounders via LinkedIn with a proposition to help aid with process efficiencies, tackle big problems, and scale teams. The founders took me up on that offer, tasking me with the optimization and scaling of Truss’s listing database, which continues to be my primary focus today.
Describe your role at your company and what your day-to-day looks like?
VA: As Vice President of Operations, my main focus has been creating and maintaining a modernized, automated, and comprehensive commercial real estate listing database. My team is constantly evolving as we continuously experiment with and implement new and innovative data collection and data ingestion techniques in the challenging CRE data environment. I collaborate with Truss’s talented development team on a daily basis to continue to iterate on our database structure and data model, ensuring that Truss offers the most unique and robust leasing data in the industry. I also oversee our Customer Success team, ensuring that our customers have a easy and seamless experience when using the Truss platform.
What are you most excited about that your company is currently doing in the commercial real estate tech sector?
VA: Truss has developed a unique listing and transactional commercial leasing marketplace, TrussCRE. Built by brokers for brokers, it’s designed to streamline leasing transactions by fully automating the search-to-lease process. Truss recognized that there was a need for cutting-edge technology tools that make brokers more productive and competitive. It is now in use by several CRE firms including CBRE, JLL, and Cushman & Wakefield.
What is the most important trend you are paying attention to today in commercial real estate tech?
VA: It’s no secret that the commercial real estate industry historically has been slow to adopt new technologies – CRE has been plagued with inefficiencies for a millennium especially if you are a broker. From access to reliable data to an array of dated software solutions, brokers historically have had to master a number of disparate data services and software applications to do their
The good news is that recently developed technologies are eliminating some of the inefficiencies by centralizing like features and functionality in user-friendly interfaces – these platforms will certainly help the industry evolve. One only has to read about the emergence of several new PropTech firms to realize that commercial real estate is about to undergo a fundamental change for the better.
What startups are you particularly excited about?
VA: On the commercial side of things, there are a several innovative companies that I think are bringing exciting efficiencies to the industry. A few of my favorites and their primary focus are detailed below:
• CompStak – lease and sales comps
• Buildout – property marketing
• Reonomy (reonomy.com) – building ownership information
• Breather – space-as-a-service
• Sonder – decentralized hotelier
I also like to follow the residential side of the market closely, as I think there has been faster adoption of technology and thus more rapid innovation. There are some great parallels between the two sides of the market and I think we will see some of these trends in residential play out in CRE. My favorites include:
• HouseCanary – residential valuation tools and data analytics
• Opendoor – streamlining residential sales process
• Bungalow – co-living
• LendingHome – hard money lending
The 2019 CREtech NYC Conference will be held on October 16th and 17th at Dock 72 in Brooklyn and is expected to attract 2,000 professionals from around the world. Global commercial real estate executives will attend the event to network, uncover new investment opportunities, and acquire leading-edge products and services to enable digital transformation for the largest industry in the world.
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