BRIGHT SPACES is a PropTech startup developed in Romania, that offers a complete digital showcasing and leasing solution for office spaces. By using 3D visualization, digital space availability and various automation, optimization, and digitalization features in the office space leasing process, Bright Spaces aims to increase the number of relevant requests and to foster commercial agreements in this segment.
Could you explain the role of the platform you developed in the leasing process and, what is the main benefit of Bright Spaces?
Bright Spaces is an end-to-end digital leasing solution for commercial spaces worldwide. Our goal is to digitize and optimize the visualization and leasing process for real estate players internationally, through a 3D, interactive platform that can generate an increased number of relevant leads and offer tenants a new, tech oriented experience.
Especially now, with the pandemic, people have become more aware about the vital role technology plays in real estate and we’ve seen an accelerated embrace of this trend. A trend that is here to stay and we’ve seen this even from 2019, when we started this business.
The Bright Spaces solution is easy to implement, regardless size or location, reduces the leasing department’s manual work, provides a 100% safe environment and accelerates the leasing process. On the other hand, future tenants can discover a building in 2D, 3D and various fitout options, as well as its tech specs and main interest points, book a visit or request an offer directly through the personalized platform.
What are the opportunities to expand the role of technology in the future of the leasing management process?
There’s a sea of opportunities, we can reach an incredible level of digitization and automation. Let’s think about manual tasks, those that are still made by people and that could be assigned to a software – these are the first ones to be digitized because thus, we can eliminate human error, reduce time and have a greater return on investment.
Everything that can be visualized online, will be visualized online. Take the example of a tenant who wants to move to a new office and involved a broker in this process. Out of 20 options, they’ll eliminate 5 from the beginning, but for the rest, they’ll have to go on site in order to get the spaces’ vibe. By using Bright Spaces, we help you filter these spaces even better and while in-person tours will still exist, their number will be reduced.
We will use technology and AI to do things that we cannot even imagine right now and it will even cost us less. We’ll be able to offer the perfect sitting plan for a team in any building, while following all design, safety and health rules.
What is the mission/vision for Bright Space in the next 5 years?
Our goal for the next years is to expand the solution at a European level and then tackle other markets – USA, Australia, New Zealand, Asia. We are continuously updating our product and developing new features, in order to meet our clients’ needs and requests. We have wild dreams that include Mixed Reality, but also more realistic projects that will provide an even more customizable experience, speed up the leasing process, consolidate information, improve communication, data analysis and reporting.
Your virtual models are very detailed. Could you tell us a bit about the technology used in the digitization process that takes you to your final customer-friendly presentation, especially if digital data for the building you work on is not available?
We are building web modules through which we reached a great balance between the quality of the visualization and the loading time. We could offer an even greater quality, but the experience wouldn’t be as smooth, for now.
In order to build a platform, we use 2D and 3D plans from developers, but what we really need is a minimum amount of information, for any building, regardless its location.
Could you name the dream project you would like to work on?
Bright Spaces is my dream project and I am not planning to work on anything else in the following years. I want us to become a global solution and to bring value through automation and AI. We won’t become just another tech enable showcasing solution, but a disruptor that will change the rules of the game.
East and South-east Europe is producing some promising tech hubs, a rightful source of regional pride. You are now attracting clients from around the continent. How do you see the development of the tech, and particularly the proptech industries in Romania in the next few years?
I think that the proptech ecosystem in Romania has already started expanding – and I want to mention a very important association that is connected internationally and works for the development of the local environment, PropTech Romania. Real estate players are more open to integrating technologies in their processes and we also see many more events, conferences and hackathons dedicated to understanding and supporting this industry. I am optimistic and I hope that our progress – which involved both a lot of work and connecting with the right people – will encourage others not only to start on this path, but to burn unnecessary steps in order to grow sustainably, but faster.
Please describe your own journey of becoming a successful PropTech startup?
Personally, I started being an entrepreneur when I was in high school – without knowing that what I was doing was called entrepreneurship. I’ve always loved starting new projects and finding better solutions to existing problems. In 2008, I cofounded a web development agency that soon grew into an integrated digital agency with over xx employees. In 2019, the idea behind Bright Spaces won the PropTech Hackathon organized by PropTech Romania and that is the moment when we decided to exist the agency and work full time on this new startup.
Since then, we participated in the 2020 Pi Labs Accelerator edition, signed our first clients from Romania and the UK, launched several implementations and doubled our team.
We are working hard to become a global standard, but at the same time, we’re taking time to make things right: we’ve created a content platform in order to give back to the community, we are constantly in touch with mentors and professionals in the industry, we are adjusting the product and most importantly, keeping the team aligned with the main goal.
During the covid-19 crisis, we’ve seen fundamental changes in the office and work life. Do you have a vision for the future of the workspace?
I think that this crisis showed us that there can exist a different approach to work, while emphasizing that work from home is not the perfect solution. Many studies have shown that working from home for too long can trigger feelings of loneliness or depression or impact our productivity.
My personal take on the subject that the future of work is somewhere in the middle. We are talking about a hybrid workspace that is located close to home, is 100% safe and more digitized, where people can choose to go from time to time, while still working from home.
This is why I think that we are nowhere close to the death of the office; we are facing a transformation and adaptability and openness to technology will make or break the commercial real estate industry.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in 2020?
2020 was such an interesting mix of challenges and opportunities. At the beginning of the year, we were ready to move to London and start the acceleration program, but these plans were quickly changed by the pandemic. But the Pi Labs team made a great job at organizing everything online, so we had an amazing learning experience that helped us better define our project and sign our first client, Skanska Romania.
Nobody could have foreseen such a crisis, so many companies were taken by surprise and decided to cut funding for new projects. On the other hand, some of them understood that adopting tech solutions is the only way to move forward and started investing in platforms such as ours or other proptech companies.
I am proud to have a great, motivated team beside me, a product we believe in and some really inspiring clients so we are overcoming challenges easier and faster.
Tell us about your biggest source of inspiration that keeps you motivated when it comes to working?
I am inspired both by more intangible role models such as Elon Musk or Richard Branson, but also from mentors and people I managed to surround myself with. Having the right people close and not being afraid to ask for their help keeps me not only motivated, it keeps me going. I also try to meditate as often as possible, read – news from the industry as well as SF, practice sport and spend time with my family. All of these bring me to a state where I can also work productively.