mobile-close copy

(Real Talk Series #22) LeasePilot with Gabriel Safar

Episode #: 076
(Real Talk Series #22) LeasePilot with Gabriel Safar

Guest: Gabriel Safar
Topics: LeasePilot, leasing


Chris Ressa 0:01
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris ReSSA. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.

Welcome to retail retold everyone. Today we have Gabrielle Safar. Gabrielle is the CEO and founder of LeasePilot, a unique software program that I’m excited for you to all learn about. Gabrielle Welcome to the show. Hi, Chris.

Gabriel Safar 0:38
Thanks for having me.

Ressa 0:39
So Gabrielle, why don’t you tell us a little bit about more about you, who you are, and what LeasePilot does?

Safar 0:47
Okay. Well, leasepilot is a lease drafting software platform that’s designed to radically speed up the process of going from an LOI to a signed lease. The other thing that leads pilot does is because we’re a digital system that builds your lease, we can make all of the information in your lease visible and easily accessible. So many of our customers who use MRI or yardie, or other types of solutions, when they draft a lease and leasepilot, we can push that information directly into their ERP system without the need to abstract anything, can also pull leases from systems like VTS Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. So when your leasing team starts drafting, they have all the proposal information and you eliminate the need to rekey information over and over and over again. My My background is I’m a real estate lawyer. And I spent the bulk of my adult life pounded out deals and drafting leases largely for retail. That’s where I cut my teeth. And leasepilot sort of came out of my personal experiences and frustrations.

Ressa 2:02
Interesting. You know, I think most people would think with a program like this, you, you know, would come from the tech background, not from the legal background nonetheless. Make sense? How would you How was the experience going from law to getting into tech?

Safar 2:22
That’s totally like different mindset. I think the group of people that are probably least qualified to move into a tech business, or lawyers.

Ressa 2:36
That might be that might be the quote that goes on social media, when we post the podcast, you’re more

Safar 2:43
than welcome to do it. And it’s not a criticism of lawyers. It’s the the way that people are trained and what they look for. So lawyers are trained to deal with edge cases, technology, people are trained to ignore edge cases. And so the whole concept of Agile software development,

Ressa 3:02
can you expand on that? I think that’s a great point. Can you expand on that? Yeah,

Safar 3:06
that’s exactly what I’m going to do is expand on that, you know, lawyers are about eliminating risk, they don’t often have the tools, they’re often the incentive structures that they have a lot require them to focus on areas where someone can get bitten. And it doesn’t require them to always make the cost benefit analysis, where you’re saying this is the probability of being bitten. And this is the cost of being bitten. And this is the outcome. With a technology company, you’re always thinking about, how can I move fast. And if you focus on the edge cases, the instance where like, there’s an element of risk, but the probability of that risk coming to fruition is low. You plow through it. And that’s part of how you learn. The problem is, and this isn’t a defense of lawyers, I am a lawyer, I immensely respect the profession. And everything that lawyers do in the retail industry, is that companies and their clients, they look at them as when something goes wrong. It’s the lawyers fault. And so inherently they have to be risk averse. And that’s a very, very different mindset, to building a technology company and doing things that are novel. Whenever you’re doing something that’s new, like you can’t anticipate every risk, because no one’s done it before. You can’t look at a model. You can’t work from a form. You just have to invent. And so what we say at least pilot is for us, we’re all about learning by doing. You need to do to learn and then you need to think about it and adjust and do again and That’s our mantra. And we hire a lot of lawyers. Our team that implements all of our customers are real estate lawyers and paralegals. And so we need to do a lot of re education.

Ressa 5:11
Interesting. And to expand even further, we’re talking about some clause that may be negotiated. I’ll give you one that gets negotiated a lot. In recent times, which started happening last couple of years was the casualty provision was really negotiated and leases pretty at length. And you might understand it might in places like Florida, where there’s more hurricanes and whatnot. But I think at scale, it’s been a provision that has ramped up the amount of negotiating and to your point, you know, the reality is the probably the likelihood of a casualty is low, in general, but should we be spending the amount of time working on that provision as industry professionals, given the risk of a tornado coming in, in Boston are probably unlikely?

Safar 6:17
Well, so in that context, leasepilot is agnostic as to what independent individual people negotiate. I was more referencing the training that people have and the thought process and how that’s different. In a technology company where we’re not negotiating leases, our customers negotiate their leases. And we provide a software

Ressa 6:40
I understand. Yeah, no, no, I understand. I think I meant that as the just the premise of risk that I was trying to say, that’s the, you know, attorneys are trying to eliminate risk and do that. Whereas the tech, the tech people are taking and saying the probability is low. Let’s, as you say, plow through and let’s and speed matters, that that’s what I was saying, not the negotiating piece, just the amount of time spent on that risk, versus other items. I feel blessed at DLC, we have a great balance of the team does a great job of managing the legal team does a great job of managing the risk, but also moving quickly. And so I feel blessed. How big of a company is least pilot? How many employees do you have?

Safar 7:27
We have 20 employees, okay, and an army of additional people that we don’t really have on our headcount, but they’re sort of full time, auxiliary staff.

Ressa 7:39
And our you focus just on retail real estate, are you in all forms of commercial real estate?

Safar 7:45
All forms of commercial real estate office industrial and retail? The bulk where we started the company is, you know, we were focusing on retail, and that was largely just because the ICSC as an organization is an efficient way to prospect and going to all the conferences and then my personal background as a lawyer was I spent a lot of time negotiating retail leasing and doing shopping center acquisitions, and dispositions and financings.

Ressa 8:13
Okay, so what is the program do more specifically, what is lease pilot do?

Safar 8:19
So anyone who spend time doing deals and doing leases, understands that there’s a market for space. And when they’re ever whenever there’s a deep, large market for space, you coalesce around certain terms that get negotiated and ideas that get negotiated. So for example, you can have a tenant fit out, you can have percentage rent, you can have free rent, it’s pretty predictable how those concepts are going to waterfall through a lease agreement. The specific words might be different in any given lease. But the concept is the same when you negotiate it. So at least pilot what we’ve done, which is really novel, is we have built a huge inventory of those concepts. And we’ve embedded that in a menu of drop down items, checkboxes, and we’ve developed a tool to wire those concepts to DLCs lease document, for example, or whomever’s lease agreement. And so our customers, they have their own forms, this pilot has no forms of our own. When you give us your lease, we upload it into our software. And then our software allows us to identify, well, here are the free rent options that you have, how many months of free rent, is it in the term or outside of the term? Is it just base rent, or additional rent? These are all predictable things that you can think about. And then we tie that to the lease agreement itself and your clause libraries. So when you start to Going off those buttons, your lease comes together. And it can save like radical amounts of drafting time. We see, for example, when you add a franchise provision into a lease, you need to change the interior sign language, you need to change the default provisions, because you have crossed defaults, you need to add notice provisions, there’s a franchise addendum that can happen in the middle of a lease negotiation, you start a deal with a tenant and you think it’s sort of wholly owned by corporate, it winds up being a franchise. And in the middle of a lease negotiation, you need to change 15 places and Elise, that can take 30 minutes, 40 minutes, you add that up because you add a guarantee into the lease 15 places and all these just changed to add a guarantee. Now you’re three hours of drafting time. For a lawyer or negotiator who’s drafting at least to free up three hours of drafting time, that can take a couple days, because they’re busy, they got stuff going on. If you through smart automation can press a button and all of your guarantee provisions in your form of guarantee for a corporate or a married couple or an individual just attached to your lease, you can turn that three hours into 15 minutes. And that 15 minutes you can free up any day. So the idea of reducing bottlenecks is how we’ve seen outcomes, which is, you know, from an LOI to first draft out, not unusual three to five business days, with leasepilot, that should be the same day. And we often see, you know, a 70 day to 90 day cycle. From an LOI to a signed lease, we have plenty of customers, especially in retail that go from 70 to 80 days, and they shave 35 days off of their cycle. I mean, that’s really, really impactful. So that’s how the automation works. The reality though, and what some people miss. And this is, again, one of the areas where technology and legal sort of buttheads is that, we understand that a lease can’t be fully automated. And we know that deals are always customized, because specific tenants have specific needs. And so the the, the tech community thinks that software can do everything. And at least pilot we don’t believe that. We believe software is really there to make people more efficient and effective. So if we can take away a lot of the sort of rote work about inserting a guarantee provision, and then we give tools within leasepilot to let people manipulate the text, because there’s a tight interaction between the automation and the text that allows people to customize their deal at the same time. And that’s where you really get the rich speed is that we allow lawyers and negotiators to spend their time thinking about how do I actually need to customize this transaction for this deal, rather than spending all of their time playing around with a guarantee provision and fitting it into a lease? Does that make sense?

Ressa 13:10
Make sense? How long did it take you to make the tech

Safar 13:19
a long time? That’s that’s a loaded question. Because it’s always evolving. And it’s always growing and becoming

Ressa 13:27
better concept to launch

Safar 13:30
concept to launch? Probably.

Ressa 13:36
Two years, two years.

Safar 13:38
Yeah, we started with. We started with a bunch of beta customers all in retail. But the real trick with leasepilot, and what’s totally novel about what we do is if you think about it, there’s no other system that allows you to customize a deal, while using software to automate parts of the deal at the same time. And so we needed to invent our own sort of text editing capabilities, to give you the feel of word. However, because leasepilot is a fully digital solution, we’re able to track 1500 data segments in a lease. For us a lease is a set of database values. Totally different approach than using a Microsoft Word document, which is a bunch of letters strung together. And so what we’re really doing is we’re using a database to negotiate a lease, and why that’s so important is if you’re an MRI customer, and you finish a lease and leasepilot, I can just put the lease right into MRI, and it’s not an abstract of the lease. It is the lease. And so there are no errors in the transmission. We have customers that we’re spending four hours abstracting leases, getting it into MRI, and only getting in a fraction of the different pieces of information that could be tracked. And we’ve completely turned that process into a Zero Time, it just goes from the lease, leasepilot talks to MRI opens a lease record in MRI. And then the data is populated in MRI.

Ressa 15:11
And on a scale of one to 10, when you originally had concept in brain, what was your level of? Let’s call it tech knowledge.

Safar 15:24
zero to negative one. Okay, I’m not technical. Okay. And that’s sort of one of the things, I think that’s an advantage. Because it’s gotta be really easy for, for me to use it, or be willing to use a piece of software. That was like old school, the way I drafted as a lawyer, I had a binder of old leases that I did. And if I wanted my fallback language, I take a scissor. And I would cut out the language and staple it to the drafted lease, and then give it to a secretary and have them type it in.

Ressa 16:01
Got it understood, and that you obviously started saying, Hey, I have this concept, you went to some tech people? And how challenging was it for them to get to incorporate all that was in your brain?

Safar 16:17
That’s a that’s a really good question. That takes a lot of time, and a really knowledgeable group of people who understand their craft. And that’s the whole business of product development, and user design experts. So the user design teams, and that’s what we hired to start as a lawyer, what me and my co founder did is we said, let’s just, we believe that what we do right now is really inefficient, and needs to be fixed. And so with our own capital, we hired a user design firm. And at nights while we were working, we’d be meeting with them, and sort of sharing our thoughts about how to turn what we were experiencing into software. They were trained, and there’s a whole field called user experience, designing and UI, where they have a set of techniques and activities that they engage in, to tease that out of you. And to turn them into wireframes. And a wireframe is just a simple draw drawing that’s meant to represent the functionality of software, so people can see something rather than listen to me talk. And so that team was really effective over the course of six months, when we were meeting with them from 9pm to, you know, one in the morning, or if it was, you know, after work at seven to 11. You know, that’s what we would do, which was super tough, because at the time, I was still a practicing attorney, and your clients don’t turn off because you’re trying to create a new business.

Ressa 18:11
Understood? And when did you get the comfort level? And to say, All right, here I go, I’m gonna stop practicing law. And I’m gonna get into this way. What was the point in time where you’ve cut the cord?

Safar 18:25
That’s another good question. It really wasn’t comfort level level, it was discomfort level, there was a certain point where the tension between those nights like putting software together and trying to manage my relationships at work became so fraught, and so intense, there’ll be like, I just, I was managing clients. And so I had a lot of responsibility. And then a certain point, just it became too much, it became too much to spend time with the engineers, and the product designers and then also be working with clients. And then other people in the firm, were relying on me to sort of drive deals forward. And so as I came to a point where I said, I just can’t do it all. I value the relationships that I have with people. And I can’t put them in a situation where they feel like I’m dropping the ball. And I ruined my reputation for being someone who’s sort of responsive, and responsible. I’d also spoken to customers, or prospective customers to get some feedback that said, you know, I don’t come from a tech background. I’m a real estate guy. Even when I was a lawyer, I was first a real estate person. My family is in the real estate business. My brother’s a developer. My wife’s an architect. So my angle on real estate was being a lawyer, but I was first and foremost a real estate person. And because of that background, I just had a conviction that this would work. And so I could take a certain level of risk. that maybe some entrepreneur that just wants to start a company they can’t take, because they don’t have that background in that industry. That’s not the path that I took to start a tech company, the path that I took was that I had deep, deep experience with a particular area of economic activity. And to me, it just didn’t make sense what we were doing, like I think about myself as when I was outside lawyer, no matter what I did, I mean, think about this for a second, Chris. I’m a highly educated person that I thought was smart. And no matter what I did, every single one of my clients said I was too slow. No matter how efficient I tried to be, every single one of my clients said I was too expensive. And then at the end of the day, what that what was my work product, 120 pages of words. And that would give someone that 120 pages of words, and I didn’t care about them, all they cared about the lease was done, I’m going to give this to an admin, and they’re going to rip apart your lease and abstract it into three pages, and I’m going to put it into a system. So I was like, whoa, I’m this hyper educated, you know, inefficient, slow, expensive resource that’s producing some irrelevant product that nobody wants. Like, this makes no sense whatsoever. Like, we can do more with a profession as thoughtful and useful as, as the legal profession, you know, we can do way better. And that’s what gave me the comfort to like, leave the practice of law in a law firm was just like, knowing that all lawyers have way more to offer than than what we’re allowed to offer, given the tools at our disposal. That was a long answer.

Ressa 21:49
There’s a great answer as I as I get to. I’m just curious, did you take any VC money yet?

Safar 21:57
Yeah, we have. You have. They’re not a VC. It’s, it’s a hedge fund is a funny story. If I pause on it for a second. Yeah, it was two books that had a huge influence on me leaving the practice of law and starting the company. One of them was a book called The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen of now I should read it. No, that’s our hedge fund that invested in us. It’s Clayton. It’s clay Christensen’s hedge fund. Wow. So. So it was the book that influenced us. And then later, we were introduced to the hedge fund, and they became our institutional investor. Wow. Yeah, that was just amazing for me, as a person to be so influenced by a set of ideas, and to build this business with that in mind. And then to have like, the guy who wrote the book on it literally be like, Yeah, that makes perfect sense that fits right within that model of disruptive innovation. And we’re gonna back you that that is the high point.

Ressa 23:03
Yeah, that’s validating for sure. And did you get funding pre revenue or post revenue,

Safar 23:12
post revenue? Well, we, those are all post revenue, we funded ourselves for a significant period of time. But what we did, which was interesting, is we sold our first customer without having anything, it was on nothing but the wireframes. And an idea, and the ability to communicate that conviction that we had, and we had one retail landlord, that just the greatest group of people. And they said, Yeah, we’ll take a flyer on you guys. And so they signed up. And once they signed up for it, that’s when we started raising friends and family money. And then we hired a very substantial engineering firm to do the work for us and build it in our direction. Got it? And

Ressa 24:10
and as I know, these platforms do what do you see as next? For you guys? Do you see this? Do you see this now? Purchase and Sale agreements, loan agreements? Are you going to focus on leases, is it what do you see next? Is it just going deeper into more landlords? What do you see next?

Safar 24:30
Yeah, we have a lot of work to do on transforming the way that leases are drafted and negotiated. So we have no plans outside of that in the near term. And what we’re going to focus more and more on as doubling down on the things that we do well, our goal is to make the process of drafting leases, fast, flexible and efficient. And to do that, there are a number of tools that we’re providing We’ve started with our core platform, which is best way to sort of understand this is to see the demo. But with the set of automation options that we have, that you can access by drop down and by radio buttons, and then manipulating the lease itself. And what we’re now building is a series of dashboards for our customers. So teams have visibility into the leasing process. So you can understand, you know, where are we at any given point in time between draft one and draft? Two? How long did that take? What provisions of the lease are most negotiated? And then we’re continuing to work on being able to aggregate that information inside of the lease. So teams and owners can use that thoughtfully, an example. Think about how much insurance information isn’t a lease. And it’s anal stuff that nobody wants to even think about outside of a negotiation between the lawyers like, Are there waivers of subrogation? In a lease, that matters a lot for risk shifting from the landlord’s insurance agent to the tenants insurance agent, if we’re capturing all of that information about insurance, and we give that to you, Chris, for example, in a model, you can understand how much risk has been shifted from your insurer, to your tenants insurance. And that can allow you to go to your underwriter and say look at I’m overpaying for my insurance. I’d like to get a discount because we’ve contractually shifted away 75% of our risk. And here, by the way, it was a report that comes directly from our leases. Those are the types of things that we’re working on right now. Or we’re doing a due diligence report, for example, you’re refinancing a portfolio and your lender, what do they do? They hire a lawyer that you pay for to read all the leases? Like why do they need to read a leases? Well, there’s a lot of information in the lease that’s not included in an abstract. Do the leases automatically subordinate to future mortgagees? What are the different mortgagee provisions? How do all those things work? Well, at least pilot since we’re building your lease from structured data, we know all of that. And so we can put together a report for a lender that has all of the information that they would want to know. And so after you do, Elise, three years later, Chris says, we’re doing a loan with JP Morgan, send a report of all of our leases, we can send a report, with all the things that JP Morgan wants to know, if you sign your leases on DocuSign, were able to actually tie the final lease, that’s authenticated to the report. And JP Morgan can prove that and can know with confidence that not only do I have the information I have, that’s the information that the tenant signed, I don’t need to look at the lease. And now you can save a ton of time on lease due diligence, that’s a product we call instant diligence. Those are the types of things that we’re trying to do for the real estate industry is to make it more efficient, because at the end of the day, the lease itself is the source of truth. We’re all in the business of leasing space. And so that lease is the underlying asset for the entire real estate industry. And today, it’s a closed box, it’s very hard to understand what’s in that lease. And so as we continue to evolve as a company, we want to provide more and more tools to our customers like DLC, so that you can have access to that information in your lease that you don’t always have access to because it’s just too hard to get

Ressa 28:48
very interesting. I’m interested to see how you answer. And if you answer it differently, I don’t I don’t mean to challenge you, but I’m going to Who do you think your biggest competitors are?

Safar 29:01
Clearly the status quo that is our biggest competitor is inertia. At the end of the day, what we find is that in many instances, justifiably and rightly, teams feel like they’re very efficient on their own without software. And so they say like, I’m efficient, we don’t need lease pilot. I recently wrote a blog post called it’s all in my head risk to business continuity lurking in your manual processes. And so, to that group, what I would say is sure, you might be hyper efficient, because you have a group of people that have been managing a process for an extended people period of time. The risk is that it highly manual process where information is is all stored in people’s head isn’t flexible. It’s not agile, and it’s not redundant. And when there’s change in the environment, and you need to deal with rapid change, it’s not very flexible. But that’s our biggest source of competition is that people feel like something like leads pilots not necessary, because it’s all in their head. And they have the ability to do like, pull the language and move it around that quickly.

Ressa 30:27
There’s a value and a cost to undocumented knowledge in people’s heads for companies. So there is that. How about from a tech side? Who are the competitors from the tech side, in your opinion,

Safar 30:41
there’s a couple of different sources of competition. So there’s a number of different automation companies and document automation companies. So they have hotdocs. A big one is DocuSign has a product called Spring cm. Those are clearly competitors. And then on the back end, when it comes to information and data, you have a whole set of AI tools that try to releases and turn that information into structured data that they can push into different ERP systems. Lease pilot does both of those things in a very different way than both of those solutions. So a system like spring cm, uses Microsoft Word, and you answer a questionnaire, you don’t see your lease, you also don’t have access to any pre built lease functionality, because they do a lot more than just leasing. All we do is leasing. And then you produce a Word document. Once you produce a Word document, you no longer have access to your claws, libraries, and ongoing items. So take for example, you prepare lease, you answer a questionnaire using Spring cm or hotdocs, then you generate that first draft of a lease in Microsoft Word. And the hardest draft is always the second draft, by far. And so now you’re on the second draft and you realize I gotta add a guarantee. What do you do with spring cm or those other solutions? Nothing, you’re in Microsoft Word, you can’t use the automation anymore. Lease pilot is different. Because it’s a lifecycle tool, we can include your clause book, and when you’re on a second draft, and you see that the tenant is a franchise, you can click a button and all your franchise language comes in. That’s really, really powerful. The other thing you can do in lease pilot is you can take a Word document and upload it into lease pilot, and then you can just accept, reject and understand what your tenant did. And then you pull it into the software and interacts with your clause library. And you can control that. So that’s how we’re different there. The way that we’re different on the information front, on the abstracting side, is we don’t use any AI, we don’t need to use artificial intelligence with just intelligent. And so what that means is that we’re building your lease from structured information. The artificial intelligence is all about taking something that’s a group of words that don’t necessarily have meaning to a computer, and then turning that into a structure that a computer can understand. And software doesn’t do a great job of that. Since we lease pilot, we build your lease in our app, we don’t need some whiz bang artificial intelligence system to turn that into structured information. It’s structured information from inception. So there’s nothing too abstract, there’s nothing to convert, it’s all reports. A full lease is just a report that’s pulled from our database. When you look at the entire lease at I can slice that into any way that you want. If you want an abstract, I can give you an abstract on the first draft of the lease. And you can give that to someone who wants to review that abstract during the negotiation process rather than reviewing the whole lease because it’s all structured information. That makes sense.

Ressa 34:06
Sure. Here’s the challenge from someone who’s as a CEO is buying software. I think your competition is all software programs. It is the property management software program, MRI, it is the construction management software it is Microsoft Dynamics Salesforce, and here’s why. Because as a and you’ve you’ve navigated the waters well, but as a as a company I can I get pitched software programs on a you know, it must be I either get an email a phone call amount of webinar weekly. Here’s what I’ve realized. They’re all great. They all solve like some interesting problem. The problem is that there’s no way even forget about the cost, you couldn’t pay for them all, to onboard, implement, and actually execute and use the all the software’s, at once, so on an annualized basis, you have to think about, like, what are the key priorities and the friction points that you’d really like to solve for, because you can, you know, open Google, and there’s a software program that solves your problem. But as a, you know, as an executive looking at how do we help the organization, if we were to onboard seven new software systems, you know, the whole year, we would do no business, we would be onboarding software systems and trying to figure out and getting buy in from people to use the software and change process and procedure. So you can’t do that. And it is, I would tell you, the, for anyone who’s selling software out there, that to me is the biggest piece it’s not. I’ve rarely met a someone selling a software, who hasn’t identified a problem. What no one’s ever done is said, What are the biggest technology needs of the organizations? And where do I fit into that stack. Because to me, that is that is something that anyone selling software, because every company has technological needs software needs, it’s a function of not a function of Salesforce versus VTS versus Microsoft CRM, it’s that cost benefit analysis compared to all the other software initiatives that are in the organization. And I am surprised that that’s not a subject talked about more. But it is when I think about any software company, their competition is all software companies, because as a company, if you had, even if you had all the money to buy them more, it doesn’t solve the problem of onboarding them, and making it user friendly for everybody in the organization, and having an and having it be effective versus destructive. And so, I would say that’s the thing that I find most interesting about software’s because, you know, all the tech is great for business, right? Whether it’s in our industry or other, it’s, it’s helping, I think that it’s hard to onboard them all. So I leave you with that. Gabrielle.

Safar 37:31
I couldn’t agree with you more. And one of the things that we do in our sales process is try to understand what are the priorities of the company, it’s not my job to go and tell you what you should care about, okay, you have your strategic priorities as a company. And so my goal, as a salesperson, when I’m working with prospective customers, is to understand what are your priorities as an organization, and does lease pilot help you achieve your pre existing priorities, that’s where I get excited is when I see an opportunity to say to see to a customer, you know, here’s a goal that you have for yourself. And here’s how I can help you achieve that. When we go and talk to publicly traded companies, for example, I read every single one of their 10 Ks, and listen to all of their earnings reports. And the reason I do that is I try to hear and listen like what are their objectives as an organization? And does lease pilot fit into those objectives? And can we help them achieve pre existing objectives? I couldn’t agree with you more, Chris. It’s an important point, software has no value, in and of itself, none whatsoever. It’s just cost time and money. And distraction. Onboarding is a huge, huge distraction. So there needs to be a preexisting objective, that that software vendor helps. So pause on one thing that you said though, one of the things that we see at least pilot that’s really important to us, is we know organizations have a lot of software, and they get overwhelmed with all of this different software, BTS, Microsoft Dynamics, MRI, how does this all work together? Our goal is to take lines off of that system diagram. And it’s to make that system diagram easier and simpler. And the reason for that is a lot of complexity and the way that these sort of software systems that real estate companies use is created because the lease isn’t digital, like at the end of the day. What does MRI using? It’s all information from the lease. What it does Salesforce and what does a system like? Vt TSD or Microsoft Dynamics, they’re somehow touching information that’s in a lease. And so what happens the complexity is created is you have these digital systems butting up against this analog system, which is just a bunch of letters strung together in an agreement. Our goal is to make the technology easier to use. That’s why we don’t say, oh, you should run your abstracts from lease pilot, you say no, draft your lease and lease pilot, and we’re going to ship the information to MRI. And you can do what you want an MRI. And so lease pilot is trying to be a conduit. And it’s trying to be a digital conduit to make your other digital assets more productive and efficient, because they don’t need to but up against the system and a process, which is analog and fundamentally incompatible with those other systems that you use.

Ressa 40:49
Well, listen, this was great. We’re running short on time. I want to get to the last part of the show. It’s called retail wisdom.

Safar 40:58
Are you ready? I’m ready.

Ressa 41:01
All right. I got three questions for you. Gabrielle. Here they are. One. What is your best piece of commercial real estate advice?

Safar 41:08
Best piece of commercial real estate? That’s a great, you know, be able to stick with it. Be Able, my dad always says in the real estate business. The reason people lose money in real estate, it’s because you can’t hang on to it long enough.

Ressa 41:26
Interesting. No one said that one. I liked that one. Question two. Are you ready? What extinct retailer Do you wish would come back from the dead?

Safar 41:37
That’s a That’s a tough one. But extinct retailer. I can’t tell you I can’t tell you one.

Ressa 41:48
Come on. You’re in the retail real estate business. You got to tell me one.

Safar 41:55
Let’s do the third one. I’ll come back to that one.

Ressa 41:57
All right. The third one. One of the hottest product products out there right now. Is the nugget couch. Are you familiar? This thing is one of the most desired things I’ve ever seen out there. Are you familiar? I’m not familiar with the nugget you will be after you after this. You’ll google it and it’ll every social media thing that you go on will have the nugget pop up it is people are crazed for this thing. It’s configurable play couch. So as you can imagine in a COVID environment with kids home, parents are searching for this. But it is literally constantly sold out. It is really hard to get it in people are doing anything and everything to get the nugget it is sold out right now. It is a coming soon. But what does the nugget retail for on nugget on their website.

Safar 42:59
I was supposed to totally get this. Yeah. Okay. To grant.

Ressa 43:06
Oh, man, you’re you’re you might be the furthest off from any player of this game ever. It is $229. Couch, it is the take check it out. And it is a play cash. So check it out.

Safar 43:23
I’m obviously shopping at the wrong places for furniture. It’s not

Ressa 43:26
that type of furniture. But you got to check this out. Okay.

Safar 43:31
So the retailer that I thought of one, you kind of restaurant is retailer, sure in this context. So rocks diner, there’s an amazing greasy spoon in our town. And they closed due to the pandemic. So I wish they were back. It’s just a great place to have breakfast.

Ressa 43:50
Awesome. Well, listen, Gabrielle, this was fantastic. I really appreciate the time. Where can people reach out to you?

Safar 43:58
Yep, they can reach me at g And they can always go to excuse me not G Safar at least And they can always reach me through the website at WWW dot lease.

Ressa 44:18
Awesome. Well, listen, man, this was great. I really appreciate it. Thanks for coming on. Thank you. Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold at DLC This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

Read Transcript

Never Miss an Episode!

Join the newsletter and get access to bonus content and exclusive updates


Newest DLC white paper


access exclusive retail reports