Arcis Investments, a Florida-based private equity firm that invests in commercial real estate in the southeast, prides itself on being a little different than the competition. Since adopting VTS, the firm has been able to expand their competitive differentiation by responding to tenants faster and managing their properties in a much more sophisticated way.
Arcis Investments, a Florida-based private equity firm that invests in commercial real estate in the southeast, prides itself on being a little different than the competition. As Lisa Cadieux, Operations Manager at the firm explained, “We look for properties that needs a little TLC” and take a big-picture approach to the investment – all the way from acquisition to disposition, and all the steps in between.
While this approach has worked well for Arcis (the firm has grown multifold over its 14-year life), the strategy “required a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls,” explained Lisa. It’s particularly important because “we all wear a lot of hats and collaborate on pretty much everything. We all need to know the same information.” This challenge was amplified since Arcis has multiple offices. The information was inherently decentralized.
Lisa and her team came up with a lot of clever solutions to stay aligned. “We had our way to work through the barrage of emails.” She continued, “There were folders based on each prospect or naming conventions for each type of email. There was also the cardinal rule: never start a new email. Always keep it within the chain.”
Although business was going well, the processes still didn’t feel quite right. Not only was it hard to have a single, comprehensive view of the portfolio, the Arcis team “always felt a little more reactive than we would have liked,” said Lisa. “It was hard to make certain decisions quickly and confidently, especially when we had to scour our inboxes to get the necessary context on a deal.”
That all changed once they found VTS.
“VTS has totally changed the way we operate,” said Lisa.
“All of the information is centralized and accessible at a moment’s notice for anybody in the organization. There is no more waiting until Friday to know what’s going on - we can all see the latest status on a deal, when a tenant is expiring, basically whatever we want.”
Lisa explained that one of the biggest benefits of the visibility is “how we manage our occupancy.” The team can now “respond to tenants faster because we have all the information right there. That responsiveness is a powerful way to start any relationship. And we never have to be concerned about if we are missing an option or right or if we’re suggesting the right asking rent. It’s literally all right there. Those little efficiencies all impact the bottom line in a huge way.”
On the flip side, “if a tenant notifies us that they’re leaving,” said Lisa, “we can start the whole lease process much sooner. We don’t have to think about what spaces we need to be showing or if we’re missing a key notice date. It’s a meaningful factor to reduce our downtime.”
Lisa even admitted that VTS has helped them improve relationships with lenders. “If you are out to lunch, you can pull up the details on any asset. That looks really impressive to a lender, the idea that you’re so in tune with what’s going on in your property.”