, RDM has signed an agreement with VTS to link its services.
“This is a seismic shift in the marketplace,” he added. The news of the merger was first reported earlier Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.
For executives at VTS and Hightower, there are more immediate concerns than the future of CRE tech. Hightower’s founder Brandon Weber will serve as chief product officer of the combined firm. But now redundant staff will have to be cut and technologies and offices combined. VTS leased the floor below its current office, doubling its footprint to 32,000 square feet. Hightower’s employees will begin moving in in about six weeks.
“There are tough organizational decisions that need to be made and they cut both ways,” Weber said. But he added that the technologies behind the two platforms are “startlingly similar,” which should make integration easier. Clients of the two firms include most of the household names in commercial real estate, including SL Green Realty, RXR Realty, JLL, CBRE, Cushman Wakefield, Two Trees Management and the Durst Organization.
But despite the obvious advantages of the merger, it also combines two firms that waged a fierce rivalry in the fight for customers and for status as the market leader. And for Weber, it comes with the cost of giving up the name Hightower and his title as CEO.
“These are two of the top guys. They have egos. It’s going to be tough for anyone,” said Aarons. “But making hundreds of millions of dollars each is not the end of the world. They’re not stupid.”
Tags: Nick Romito, Tech, VTS
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