Welcome to RubiCrown: A Note From our Founder

September 1, 2020

Robbye Kirkpatrick

Today some friends and I take a bold step in launching RubiCrown Commercial Real Estate, a full-service firm for office and industrial tenants and occupiers of space. In the coming days, I’ll post about the company, our philosophy, and our people, but first a little background.

Before the Coronavirus quarantine began, I finished an assignment that required me to travel to multiple cities a week, almost every week, for over a year.  As the EVP of Field Development for an award-winning, Google-ventures backed start-up, I had a front row seat to how our major cities have evolved, how real estate technology is changing, and how incredibly hyper-local real estate still is despite the globalization of everything else.  My roots are in commercial brokerage — tenant representation and national transaction management at big firms – but a unique opportunity to work for one of my clients presented itself, so I took it. I began working on deals from the inside, helping launch the growing phenomenon known as ghost kitchens. I learned a ton on the inside. Ultimately, I want to bring what I experienced on the user/client-side back to the services side to drive greater value for office and industrial tenants.  This is the genesis of RubiCrown — the desire to create more value as a boutique expert in a quickly evolving market.

Why start a new business in the middle of a global pandemic?  Are offices going to be a thing of the past? Isn’t brokerage becoming digital—what are brokers for anyway? 

These are good questions. 

Taking the Long View on Office Space

The virus is not permanent; scientists are working around the clock to deliver a treatment and a vaccine, and we know we will have those soon. The impact feels personal. Our family members are sick, many have died, millions are out of work, and our favorite restaurants have closed, but if history is our teacher, we will get through this. We will be strong again. I have four kids returning to schools, and I know the fear of the virus is real. Despite the fear, our team and our families are pressing on. We are optimists. 

This is not the end of offices. We believe the office will change dramatically in ways we never imagined, but ultimately most companies will still need a place to attract talent — most of them young people in need of mentors, collaboration, and corporate ethos to set them on their way to deliver the next round of new things and ideas. Additionally, there are businesses that house our personal data — nobody wants their banking or securities information sitting on someone else’s home computer.  And, there’s a lot of data suggesting what most of us have already experienced — that working from home doesn’t necessarily lead to greater productivity, especially if everybody is home at once. In short, the office is changing, but it isn’t going away. We’re taking a long view. 

And what are brokers for in the digital age of real estate data?  This is something I spend a lot of time thinking about and I have answers. … Tune in tomorrow to learn about “The Future of Brokerage.”