BLDUP Spotlight: Simeon Garratt, Co-Founder of Spark 02/13/23
The BLDUP Spotlight is a weekly feature where readers gain insight into developments around the city and get to know industry experts. For this week’s Spotlight, we spoke with Simeon Garratt, Co-Founder of Spark, a leading software platform designed for selling, marketing, and managing new development real estate. Built for real estate developers, project marketing agencies, and brokerages, Spark provides total control and insight over the sales process while generating intelligent data and reporting. Spark is helping to bridge the gap between real estate and technology and has been a key tool for sales teams working on some of the largest, luxury real estate developments across Canada & the US including The St. Regis Residences brand Central Park Tower.
BLDUP: The Construction/Real Estate industry can be slow to adopt new technologies, how has your firm worked to expand its presence beyond Vancouver into over 80 cities?
Simeon Garratt: Our industry has found tremendous success in doing things a certain way for a long time. However, times have changed and more and more companies are choosing to leverage technology and innovation to outperform their competitors or access new pools of buyers.
Spark is the result of recognizing the exponential value of offering one central platform specifically built for New Development. Originally created as an industry-specific CRM, Spark is transforming the way new multi-family real estate is sold and leased by offering a comprehensive suite of products that eliminates the need for multiple platforms.
BLDUP: What features of your platform differentiate Spark from other CRM, marketing, or data tools?
Simeon Garratt: We’re designed from the ground up for the real estate development industry. Instead of purchasing and toggling between multiple generic tools and investing time and money in customizing and maintaining them for your new development sales process - Spark has done that work for you. It is a turn-key solution, available from any device. We also bring our industry experience from the over 80 markets we currently work in, and deliver that experience through technology to our clients.
Whether it's condos, townhomes, or mixed-use developments, master planned communities, single family homes or apartments — Spark provides the platform required to sell, market, close and report on your entire portfolio of projects. Spark has a consultative and immersive approach that sets us apart from many competitors in the industry. A dedicated Customer Success Manager will work closely with you from prelaunch to completion to make sure you are optimizing everything the platform has to offer.
BLDUP: How has prioritizing partner success with ongoing engagement benefitted both clients and Spark?
Simeon Garratt: When our clients win, we win. In 2022, our customer churn rate was less than 1% and in June, one broker client in Colorado said that he was now disappointed when dealing with other companies based on the level of support he had come to expect from Spark.
We invest in our onboarding at the outset to ensure your team is trained on Spark and that the platform is configured to your specific New Dev sales process. That way, you are ready to hit the ground running and we are with you throughout the sales lifecycle of your project to ensure you’re using the system to its full potential.
BLDUP: How can Spark help CRE firms during what could be a downturn in the market?
Simeon Garratt: The best time to have stronger tools that help you sell more effectively is during a market downturn. 2023 is not the same real estate market as 2019-2021, and Developers can’t afford to leave money on the table when it comes to selling out their projects. Teams that rise to the top are going to be the ones that embrace every advantage to market and sell more efficiently.
Spark’s platform allows teams to stay on top of their sales process to make sure their inventory is being sold in a timely and profitable manner. In a downturn, sales teams that are tech enabled will be in prime position to weather any storm and come out on top when the market recovers.
BLDUP: Companies are often overwhelmed or do not understand how to fully utilize data to their advantage. How can developers & brokers use Spark to ensure they are using data effectively?
Simeon Garratt: Data is only valuable when you can use it to make informed decisions. The way that Spark structures a project's data, and the visibility customers have to data is a key differentiator. Developers can log in and make educated decisions based on multiple levels of relevant data.
We empower our clients to see the bigger picture, where all the pieces work intuitively together, enabling them to deploy insightful decision making. It’s the first time in this industry that developers can use one system to make key sales decisions.
BLDUP: Your firm recently raised a $6.5M Series A funding round and has expanded your team exponentially. What are your future plans for growth?
Simeon Garratt: This recent round of funding has enabled us to expand our product to encompass more features for our developer and brokerage clients. Last year over half of our new feature launches were tied to client requests and we will continue to find new areas of value that Spark can provide to our Developer and Brokerage clients. We are still in the early stages of growth and we have a large pipeline of features still in the process of being developed. The Series A was step one, and we are gearing up for a much larger expansion in the near future.
Spark is a software platform designed for selling, marketing and managing new development real estate. Built for real estate developers, project marketing agencies, and brokerages, Spark provides total control and insight over the sales process while generating intelligent data and reporting.
Our focus on user experience makes us simply the easiest and most efficient platform for project marketing and presale management.
We work with builders and developers around the world, providing a software solution that pushes the new development industry forward into a digital era.Spark >>