Connecting Real Estate Developers with Consultants – Interview with Savannah de Savary of IndustryHub
I had the pleasure of interviewing Savannah de Savary, Founder and CEO of IndustryHub. The company’s discovery platform enables real estate developers to find top architects, interior designers, engineers and other consultants.
What made you start up IndustryHub?
I was working as a developer at a NYC based development firm and when it came to sourcing innovative new consultants for our projects, I found myself growing increasingly frustrated by the old standards of word-of-mouth. There was no trusted shortcut for this time consuming process and considering just how much the success of a project rests on working with the right people; from the architect and structural engineer to the lighting designer and cladding consultant, the need to transform word-of-mouth for the digital age became apparent. It was this experience that led me to found IndustryHub.
Can you explain how IndustryHub works?
For consultants, IndustryHub works as an international platform for showcasing their projects, collaborations and endorsements. When they upload their projects, the locations are being geo-tagged and mapped out. This means that when we release this map feature in autumn, potential clients will discover the collaborators behind a specific project they admire by simply typing in the address or taking a picture.
For their potential clients, IndustryHub works as a discovery tool where they can find, for example, the consultants that have worked with the type of tenant they’re looking to attract, on innovative schemes or on projects reminiscent in scope and scale to their own. The project discovery tool enables users to curate private notebooks of inspiration and precedent for their own ventures, whatever the scope and size.
As for now, where do your customer come from?
As for now, our customers are predominately the large architectural, advisory and engineering firms in London. They’ve been our pioneers but we’ve recently seen increasing numbers of smaller firms joining their ranks, talented industry players who don’t currently have the same visibility as their larger competitors.
For many of the high profile developers and project managers we’re in talks with, being able to browse talented designers that are not yet on their radar is a large part of IndustryHub’s appeal, so we’re delighted to see such firms starting to join our community. On the client side, we use the word “developer” as an umbrella term, as we’re actually in talks with clients ranging from high profile development firms to corporations handling their own build-outs to the design teams for prominent hotel companies.
What are the benefits that architects, engineers, and other design professional get from being present on your platform?
When it comes to marketing exposure in the digital age, it is clear that the commercial property industry is grossly underserved. Except for trade shows and Association directories, there are exceptionally few opportunities for design professionals to showcase their projects and collaborations to prospective clients. IndustryHub is essentially a free marketing platform that will drive traffic to professionals websites. There is also a social media element to it – when users “like” a company’s profile, they will henceforth be updated on their news-feeds whenever the company adds new projects, collaborations or endorsements, meaning that even if developers aren’t looking to hire a new consultant currently, a talented firm can remain at the forefront of their minds.
What are the real estate developers’ benefits?
For developers there can be two distinct benefits. For those developing in a new location, on a project that requires niche skills or simply looking to rejuvenate their stable of go-to consultants, IndustryHub’s discovery tool enables them to connect with the consultants behind projects they admire and hire talented teams. For those not currently looking for new consultants, our notebook tool enables them to save tabs on projects they admire and consultants and suppliers they wish to remember for the future, reminiscent of Pinterest but tailored for professionals. Although notebooks are hidden from external view, users can browse those curated by their colleagues and invite their consulting teams to collaborate on project specific notebooks.
What’s required from someone in the AEC industry who’d like to join in?
On the consultant side, firms are able to join for free, although we do of course evaluate all new profiles to ensure they are credible industry players. On the developer side, we currently have a growing waitlist ahead of our hard launch and welcome anyone interested to get in touch via email.
Your service is free, but you have a premium version. What extra value does it offer?
Whilst IndustryHub profiles are free of charge, as is the discovery tool, the benefits of the notebook tool will only be available to our premium users. The search by building address app will also be a premium feature, as we believe the ability to walk past a project that you admire and know who was behind it with the click of a button is a transformative tool, changing the way we connect with our built environment on a daily basis. We are also working with founding members to create supplier profiles. These profiles will enable suppliers to showcase not only their projects but the specific products that users can then order.
What are your future plans and expectations?
Our immediate plan is to focus on mapping out the talent behind the built environment in London, with a natural expansion being major US cities, including San Fransisco and New York. However, the long term opportunity is to establish IndustryHub in emerging markets, where such a tool will be game-changing for western developers and investors looking to identify the players with local connections, experience and credibility.
We believe IndustryHub will truly change how collaborations are forged and the extent to which foreign players can support local economies and engage with local, innovative companies when developing new projects.
Where can our readers find IndustryHub?
Images courtesy of IndustryHub