About a decade ago, Nick Romito, CEO of leasing and asset management platform VTS, saw an opportunity and acted.
While leading the asset management firm Titan Advisors in 2009, Romito realized a void in the industry: a technology platform that would help centralize leasing activity, analytics and marketing
“I just couldn’t believe that a resource like that didn’t exist,” said Romito. “We’re talking about an industry that has been driven by Excel sheets and back-of-napkin deals for decades. I decided to take a risk and, together with a lifelong friend of mine, Ryan Masiello, invested my life savings in what is now known as VTS.”
Romito began his career in commercial real estate over a decade ago as a tenant rep and landlord broker at Murray Hill Properties. There, he expanded the U.S. presence of international companies while assisting in growing the firm’s eight million square foot office portfolio. He went on to oversee a three million square foot office portfolio at AM Properties before becoming founder and CEO of Titan Advisors in 2009.
Now he works both in the industry and for it, striving to streamline myriad aspects of the commercial sector for landlords and brokers.
The goal of VTS is to be a driving force in changing the way that landlords, brokers and investors operate within the space, transforming the $15 trillion CRE market into a technologically sophisticated industry driven by data-led decision making.
The company has a diverse client roster that includes global leaders such as Beacon Capital Partners, Blackstone, LaSalle Investment Management, Hines, Boston Properties, JLL and CBRE.
According to Romito, their quest is working — with VTS, customers reduce deal cycle time by 41 percent and double deal conversion rates.
“In the beginning – and still to this day – we really set out with the goal of making the market more efficient, helping professionals operate smarter and faster,” said Romito.
“We’ve given them time back in their day to focus on their business, or whatever else they choose, rather than worrying about data entry and compiling information manually.”
Recently, under Romito’s leadership, VTS announced its plans for a VTS marketplace, the first-ever end-to-end commercial real estate transaction platform for landlords and brokers powered by more than 10 billion square feet of real-time data.
Launching in multiple markets this year, the goal of VTS marketplace is to enable landlords and agency brokers using the platform to run the entire leasing process online using real-time market data to price their available space and lease negotiations.
Tenant Reps will be able to service their clients in an entirely new way with the ability to search for space both on the market, as well as off-market via VTS’ “future supply” data.
“We view the VTS marketplace as a huge win for the industry,” added Romito. “The time and value spent working to get a tenant is going to shrink dramatically and tenant reps will soon be able to search and transact online, all while having visibility into what is coming online in the future. We’ll be releasing more information on what’s next for marketplace at our annual user conference, Accelerate, which is coming up this May.”
VTS’ marketplace came only months after Nick and VTS announced plans to launch VTS MarketView – the industry’s first-ever real-time benchmarking and market analytics tool. With MarketView, VTS users will soon be able to compare their performance versus market benchmarks for critical metrics.
“VTS MarketView will make it easy for customers to make real-time leasing and investment decisions based on the most accurate and up-to-date benchmarks available in commercial real estate,” said Romito. “This goes far beyond market reports, the data and insights will be embedded in their workflow and presented in context to drive better decisions.”
The VTS platform has grown to host over 10 billion square feet, with one in every three commercial office buildings in the country managed on VTS and boasting more than 34,000 users. In 2018, JLL selected VTS as its exclusive leasing and asset management software across the Americas.
“I think our growth is reflective of the demand for this type of product and innovation in CRE,” said Romito.
“There’s clearly an appetite for the type of service we’re providing and the support we give to make sure all users get value from the first day of using the platform – from the largest players in the most dynamic international markets in the world, to smaller landlords and family-owned companies in middle markets across the country.”