Industry, Tech Expertise Defines Saxony Real Estate

The Advantage of a Firm Built by and for CRE Professionals

Saxony Partners’ Real Estate practice is built by real estate professionals, for real estate professionals.

This has been both the tagline and one of the principal value propositions for our real estate practice for nearly a decade – but what does it mean for our clients?

“The more you understand the business, the more apt you are to deliver specific solutions,” said Derek Thornhill, Vice President of Saxony Real Estate. “Without a clear understanding of the business and the problems you need to solve, you won’t be able to deliver.”

We sat down with Thornhill recently to dive deeper into the unique value that Saxony delivers to clients – the merging of industry expertise and deep technological capability.

Our team has first-hand experience in commercial real estate.

Collectively, the real estate team at Saxony Partners has accumulated more than 100 years of experience working in the industry – from the largest commercial real estate firms in the world, to local multifamily shops.

“Having people on our team who have worked hands-on in the real estate industry gives us more perspective on how it all works internally,” Thornhill said. “We can accomplish goals and make recommendations that really resonate with our clients.”

Among the benefits this affords those clients: we can immediately jump into problem-solving mode.

“Firms don’t have to waste their time teaching us industry terms and processes,” Thornhill said. “We begin every new project fully prepared and ready to jump in.”

We know common real estate industry pain points.

Can you relate to any (or all) of the following issues: headcount and AUM increasing in tandem, difficulty integrating operating partner and third-party data, data that you need but cannot find, and reporting that doesn’t always add up?

A benefit of our real estate industry expertise is that our team has first-hand experience solving all of those business challenges, and more.

“Many of us have been on the receiving end of an email with OP data that’s not in the right format,” Thornhill said. “We’ve been there trying to pull together monthly and quarterly reporting, digging around for data you need but can’t find. We’ve had to integrate data from Argus, Chatham, and other third-party sources.

“So, when you talk about those challenges – we fundamentally understand where you’re coming from. And we can offer solutions that get to the heart of the problem.”

We know real estate software.

Our people have hands-on experience with proprietary real estate software solutions – like Yardi.

Iris Esguerra, who recently joined Saxony’s burgeoning Yardi practice, brought with her more than 20 years of direct experience with the software.

“I know what it’s like to be the client,” Esguerra said. “I know how nerve wracking it is when you’re implementing new software, being overwhelmed with getting staff sold and trained on new initiatives, and going live on a budget against a deadline. I am able to take my past experiences and ease a client’s mind while ensuring business goals are met.”

Iris is just one of several members of the Yardi team with direct experience as a user of the software.

Commercial real estate insiders are well aware that (1) technology will play a key role in the future of the industry, and that heretofore (2) the industry has been slow to adapt to new tech trends.

Here’s another key differentiator for Saxony’s Real Estate practice – in addition to our real estate industry expertise, we have a deep bench of technological expertise that can help you develop a comprehensive technology roadmap and data strategy. No other firm marries industry knowledge and technical capability to the extent of Saxony Partners.

“It’s a lot more common to have tech experts parachute into a real estate client with no concept of the business side or how real estate firms would truly use their technology day-to-day,” Thornhill said. “At Saxony, we can diagnose problems pretty quickly and determine the solution needed to solve business challenges in a practical way.”

In many cases, the technology solution to many of the aforementioned real estate business challenges begins with getting data out of spreadsheets and into a single source of truth.

“We drive technology decisions toward centralizing data,” Thornhill said. “You’ve got to get that data out of Excel and into a true database. Once you have that central platform, then you can address all of the other components: your accounting system, your debt tracking, and business processes within the company. The integration is the key to eliminating errors and redundancies.”