How AscendixRE Helped to Get the Leases Signed Faster for Trademark Property Co.

Ascendix helped Trademark Property migrate from VTS to AscendixRE CRM (a custom version of Salesforce built for commercial real estate brokers) and customize it to meet the growing needs of leasing, tenant services, property management, and asset management departments. Trademark continues to see the value in AscendixRE and our development services, and we keep expanding their CRM capabilities.

Background

Our client Trademark Property Co.  – is a Texas-based full-service real estate company reimaging the commercial, retail, multifamily, and mixed-use property development & management market since 1992.

Trademark offers its clients a comprehensive range of services such as Asset Services, Acquisitions & Structured Investments, Capital Markets, Ground Up Development and Redevelopment, Property Management, and Leasing.

For 30 years, they’ve invested $4.5B and developed or redeveloped 21M square feet of commercial mixed-use projects.

Doug Harmonson, a VP of Research & Technology at Trademark Property. He joined Trademark in 1999. And since starting Trademark’s research department in 2003, he has played an essential role in creating several proprietary research tools for Trademark and delivering research services both for in-house use and for Trademark’s partners.

Doug shared with us his thoughts on the value that AscendixRE and Ascendix team brought to Trademark and future changes they will implement to increase tenant representatives’ effectiveness.

Doug Harmonson
VP of Research & Technology, Trademark
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Location
Fort Worth, Texas
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Industry
Real Estate
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Number of Employees
140+

Cut Down the Time on Closing the Deal with AscendixRE

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How Ascendix Team Helped Trademark Property

Project Challenges

In 2019, Trademark understood they had significant communication issues within their leasing departments and needed help improving deal information tracking. Unfortunately, their current CRM system – VTS – couldn’t overcome these challenges due to being relatively rigid and limited in customization options.

Another significant reason Trademark decided to change their CRM system was that each shopping center and individual broker in the company had a list of tenants they worked with.

So, there was no way to track and aggregate these tenants in a deal portfolio for their team and the leasing team management. That’s why this real estate firm referred to Ascendix to discuss all the improvements that could be made to change this situation.

How Ascendix Team Helped Trademark Property

Scope of Work Ascendix Delivered to Trademark

  • Migration from VTS to AscendixRE CRM 
  • Generation of a Deal Sheet that captures information right in the system and puts it into an Excel or PDF format 
  • Automation of Lease mappings for new fields 
  • Formstack Documents configuration 
  • Creation of different documents for Excel and PDF for new leases vs. renewals formats 
  • Implementation of a complex approval process functionality with separate approval processes for each approver 
  • Creation of custom fields and page layouts 
  • Enablement of constant reminders once the item is approved. 
  • Adding fields for each stage to track the start/end time for that particular stage. 
  • Creation of custom reports that would show the duration in each stage 
  • Getting visibility into Deals, Spaces, Budgets, and Leases for their specific Properties 
  • Implementation of a Customer Community Plus site that would allow clients to log in and see only the information they should 
  • Setting up of sharing sets to control what records users could see 
  • Integration with Outlook, Box, Sharepoint, Formstack, accounting systems, and construction management software. 
How We Turned AscendixRE into an All-Inclusive CRM for Tenant Representatives

How We Turned AscendixRE into an All-Inclusive CRM for Tenant Representatives

For Trademark, we customized most forms and objects within the original AscendixRE version to meet their specific needs for deals, properties, budgets, and leases.

Besides that, our team set up an automatic calculation of how much a deal will be worth. Also, thanks to these calculations, Doug and his colleagues can foresee any rent bumps or increases.

For example, now they can calculate that there may be five rent bumps over a 5-year or 10-year lease. The CRM calculates everything automatically and then auto-populates the appropriate fields.

How We Turned AscendixRE into an All-Inclusive CRM for Tenant Representatives
AscendixRE CRM Customization for Tenant Representatives

Also, Ascendix enabled Trademark Property teams to build Deal Sheets by pulling the data out of the deals, leases, and budgets. It allowed them to export these Deal Sheets as a PDF or an Excel file and then route those again through AscendixRE for approval.

The key benefit of these Deal Sheets is that they show all the critical deal points to everyone interested in the deal. So, they can look at it and quickly see the pieces of information.

The tenant services department at Trademark is using AscendixRE to pull information out of the deal object to build invoices. So now they can create and e-mail invoices straight from the CRM.

AscendixRE CRM Customization for Tenant Representatives
How AscendixRE Made Lease Tracking Easier for Trademark

How AscendixRE Made Lease Tracking Easier for Trademark

Right after AscendixRE implementation, the tenant services and the leasing teams noticed that functionality available in the CRM instantly made all aspects of processes more efficient. And this validated that AscendixRE was truly meant for them.

When Trademark started using Ascendix, they solved issues by tracking new deals they were working on. Moreover, the Ascendix team created a different instance within AscendixRE for users and departments that relate more to new business and not so much to leasing.

With AscendixRE, brokers can track deals they’re working on, possible acquisitions, or new business deals.

AscendixRE CRM for Faster Lease Tracking

Beyond that, their leasing department now uses Ascendix to go from tracking all the work the leasing does to getting an executed lease. And their tenant services department now can follow the way from the executed leases to tenant opening in one application – AscendixRE.

It makes the information available to virtually everyone in the Trademark. And now, they can see where a particular deal is at any given time.

AscendixRE initiated a natural evolution between leasing, tenant services, property management, and asset management to take what they were doing to the point when they had an executed lease.

Moreover, the rent calculations created in the CRM became a beneficial, essential, and time-saving feature.

We use AscendixRE to track all of the work the leasing does to get an executed lease, and tenant services take it from the executed lease and can go all the way to tenant opening in one application - AscendixRE CRM. So, we're successfully using this CRM that makes all aspects of processes more efficient and, more importantly, really for us.

Doug Harmonson, VP of Research & Technology at Trademark Property
Why Trademark Chose AscendixRE Among Other CRM Vendors

Why Trademark Chose AscendixRE Among Other CRM Vendors

There were four decisive factors why Trademark chose Ascendix among other commercial real estate CRM vendors:

  • Texas-based office
  • Scalability of the platform
  • Favorable pricing
  • A portfolio of completed projects for CRE firms

The fact that Ascendix is primarily a Dallas-based CRM consultancy played a crucial role in selecting a CRM provider because it was essential to Trademark to have a technology partner that could come to their office if needed.

More importantly for them was to find the platform that would offer the same level of versatility and flexibility as the Salesforce platform but would be tailored to real estate firms.

Why Trademark Chose AscendixRE Among Other CRM Vendors
Why Trademark Property Decided to Migrate from VTS to AscendixRE

AscendixRE delivers this at scale, with Salesforce gear under the surface and decades of real estate experience under our belt.

And what was compelling about AscendixRE for Trademark is that it already had the templates in place. So all they had to do, for the most part, was to modify them.

But if agents choose to go with a full-blown version of Salesforce, compared to VTS, they can be stuck with its functionality and start with essentially nothing. So, often they build everything from scratch.

AscendixRE was an in-between that gave Trademark’s agents fields, forms, and objects that had already been predefined and prebuilt. So they had to take those and modify these objects to meet their needs.

Why Trademark Property Decided to Migrate from VTS to AscendixRE

What was really compelling about AscendixRE is that it had the templates in place. If you go with a full-blown version of Salesforce, you're stuck with what you have. If you go with Salesforce, you're starting with nothing essentially and have to build everything from scratch. AscendixRE was really a very good kind of in-between that gave us fields, forms, and objects that were already predefined and prebuilt. All we had to do was to modify them to meet our needs. And, of course, we could do that very well.

Doug Harmonson, VP of Research & Technology at Trademark Property
Project Challenges Trademark Challenges

The AscendixRE pricing was highly competitive relative to other tools Trademark was looking at and already included a license of a full-blown version of Salesforce.

And finally, we had a credible portfolio of clients’ case studies that showcased what we could do for various commercial real estate segments with proof of concept.

The Results of The AscendixRE Implementation and Customization

Trademark noticed that the time it takes from the initial phases of discussing signing a lease to getting it signed gradually decreases.

Moreover, AscendixRE helped to pin down the areas where was a bottleneck and understand why there was an issue to create a proper change management strategy.

Project Challenges Trademark Challenges
The Results of The AscendixRE Implementation and Customization

AscendixRE continues to make Trademark’s agents not only more efficient and better communicating, but it’s cutting the amount of time it takes us to get leases executed.

What Impressed Trademark the Most about Ascendix Team

Trademark has primarily worked with our Salesforce consultant, Marissa Mills. And here’s what Doug says about her and our team: “Marissa is incredible. She has a great attitude and is always willing to help, jump in, and try to find answers.

In addition, she knows Salesforce and the other third-party add-ons we can use in Salesforce. And leveraging her knowledge has been invaluable for us.

The Results of The AscendixRE Implementation and Customization
What Impressed Trademark the Most about Ascendix Team

Marissa’s efficient and very responsive. Of course, sometimes she’s busy on other projects, and we understand. And it’s always nice to have somebody responding to us immediately or within a couple of hours.

Overall, Ascendix consultants are great teachers. They show how to do something in person or over a team call or video.

They never make us feel condescending or dumb. Marissa is always looking for a way to help solve whatever problem or answer whatever question we come up with.

I would love to work with her and hope to continue to work with her, and I would love to hire her if I had an opening for somebody like her.”

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