October 22, 2019 by Emsi Burning Glass
Eddie Rymer is not afraid to be a pioneer. The Avison Young senior vice president of enterprise solutions is making a name for himself as a SaaS-focused tenant representative and using powerful data to do it.
Based in Minneapolis, Rymer and his team primarily work with North American companies on all their office needs, whether it’s renewing a lease, expanding, or relocating. Of those companies, about half are tech or SaaS (software as a service) organizations. Rymer hopes to get that number closer to 100%.
Why? Because tech and SaaS companies are growing. Plus, their office spaces are usually unique, and their leadership teams and cultures are fun to work with, Rymer said.
While these companies build different products and serve different audiences, they all face the same major challenge: finding talent. After all, a company can’t relocate or expand if they are unable to find the talent they need to grow.
Knowing this, and knowing he needs to differentiate himself from other CRE brokers, Rymer uses Emsi labor market data. Over the last two years , he’s built an entire website dedicated to SaaS real estate, started a popular bracket challenge for cool offices, and recently created a custom data dashboard.
Rymer frequently hears from clients that there’s a “talent crunch,” especially with tech roles like software developers and software engineers. It’s a common theme these days with an extremely tight labor market and an unemployment rate of 3.5%.
In an effort to be proactive, Rymer collaborated with Emsi to build a custom labor data dashboard. The dashboard highlights:
While the custom dashboard is still pretty new, Rymer has sent it to dozens of prospective clients and partners. One of them told him he was “a hundred years ahead of his time.”
“In the real estate world, each year we are tasked with more things, whether it’s helping with incentives, finding the real estate, and even helping with budgeting,” Rymer said. “And I can see labor analytics falling on our plate because HR is in the leadership conversation now almost from day one at every company I work with. That wasn’t the case three to five years ago.”
Last year, Rymer created a March Madness bracket challenge not for basketball but for 16 SaaS office spaces all over the United States and Canada.
“It’s like the Parade of Homes or Pinterest for cool office space. So people can say, ‘Here’s what other companies did.’ They can pull ideas from it,” Rymer said.
In addition to facilitating healthy competition (and showing off some seriously cool work environments), Rymer said the Office Bracket Challenge helps him build a brand for himself. Some of the companies he features aren’t his clients, so the competition allows him to showcase these companies and engage with their leaders outside of a sales conversation.
The success of the bracket challenge dovetailed into a brand new website dedicated to SaaS offices. With the website, Rymer has positioned himself as a forward-thinking leader in the SaaS real estate space—someone willing to get creative and utilize data.
“I think if I can continue to grow this, the SaaS office space and some of the resources around it like the labor analytics, I think there’s an opportunity to create something here. I really do,” Rymer said.