When most people think of Montana, their first impression is not usually of the hustle and bustle of a technological powerhouse.
In fact, as the state with the third lowest population density and more than 2 cows for every Montana human resident, you might not expect much tech to come out of the mountainous region at all.
However, Biproxi, the virtual commercial real estate platform based out of Bozeman, is changing the way investors and brokers think about the industry.
With workers around Montana, Biproxi is modernizing commercial real estate systems for the fragmented middle market with an engaging format that finds real estate moguls everything they need.
Fortunately, the Biproxi process is full of opportunity and completely free of cows.
The Biproxi Story
Founded by Gordon Smith, Ember Erickson, and Tabitha Satterfield, Biproxi is the merging of four components: software as a service, sales and marketing, tech, and private equity and real estate.
While Gordon and Tabitha met as colleagues at Ten-X, Ember came from the tech and marketing sphere.
With their different backgrounds, they all agree that commercial real estate is tremendously under-served technologically.
In discussing the Biproxi business model, Tabitha notes that people who have worked in long-term commercial real estate tend to believe in traditional methods to sell property, despite the changing times and industry.
“If I’m a broker, and I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and I have my rolodex of buyers, I’m very big on networking to get the job done.” However, like the rest of the world, the services and demands are changing.
Investors now want to shop in real time for properties that might be thousands of miles away. “Technology allows that accessibility. I don’t necessarily have to be in the market that I like, but I can look at trends instead.”
Biproxi is embracing technology and all it has to offer the commercial real estate space, and is creating an easier, more modern sales process.
In the industry focused on what always has been, Biproxi has gained several big time investors who believe in the results and potential of their product. Since its founding only a few years ago, Biproxi has earned the backing of big names such as the National Association of Realtors, RPM Ventures, and Greycroft Venture Capital and Investments.
Gordon Smith, Ember Erickson, and Tabitha Satterfield understand that the times and industry are changing, and recognize that’s a good thing. They are using technology to create a more innovative, interactive, and accessible commercial real estate platform.
“Biproxi is on a mission to fundamentally change the way commercial real estate is bought and sold. By building a single marketplace built on transparency and access to data, we make investment sales simpler, less expensive and faster than ever before.”
The Biproxi Process
Biproxi has created two tracks for investors and brokers to navigate through the platform. As an investor of a middle market agency, their first step in the Biproxi process is to create a profile that establishes themselves and their credibilities.
On the platform, investors might note their current and previous properties and even what they had in mind for their project. Co-founder Ember Erickson argues that it’s important that investors get to differentiate themselves so that brokers know they aren’t “tire-kickers”, who might mislead brokers of their intentions to buy.
“So what we do is give the investor the chance to paint a picture of who they are, what their experience is, and their credentials, and then we populate that information in the broker’s dashboard.”
On the broker side of the transaction, they upload their own property information such as the building, the tenets, the improvements, etc,.
Because they can see the investor information on their profile according to their criteria, they might have all the information they need to find someone real and shortlist potential qualified investors.
From there, the broker can decide to send their financials to the investor with the confidence that everyone is working towards a common goal.
Both parties benefit because the credible investors can highlight their experience while the brokers can find the investors that they are looking for with each property.
With potential brokers and investors matched, both parties have access to a suite of transaction tools such as a letter of intent or a private event. A Biproxi exclusive, private events are a self service auction tool for brokers to host their own events. “If a broker has multiple really good offers on this property, we allow them to run a live auction to maximize proceeds.”
Biproxi also is the only platform that doesn’t take a cut of the broker’s profits.
This Montana company is doing things completely differently than their competitors. Biproxi is specializing their process to the preferences of the brokers and investors, and their services are years beyond those of their competitors who offer more of a free-for-all approach for property listings. “We’re using matching technology as opposed to the spray and pray method for sales.”
The Montana Disturbance
Though Montana is not known for big tech nor a bustling population, Biproxi is inspiring some major changes to the mid market commercial real estate space.
With customized profiles for brokers and investors and a transactional tool suite, buyers and sellers can access the services they need: quickly and efficiently.
As one of the oldest industries in history, commercial real estate has always been slow to change. However, Biproxi is bringing the process into the current decade and beyond.