How Colorado Companies to Watch 2016 reinvent real estate

Interior design, finance and real estate sales get innovative updates

These Colorado Companies to Watch 2016 winners are re-thinking, reinventing and re-imagining the real estate space.

TRIO Environments

Base: Denver

TRIO Environments is a  full-service interior design firm, specializing in model homes, multi-family, residential and hospitality. The communication, collaboration and consciousness – helped it survive the recession, and current growth has helped it expand to markets outside of Colorado including California, Texas, Indiana, Ohio and the Caribbean. The company was founded in 1999 and relaunched in 2012.

Secret sauce: TRIO has invested to make every process technology-driven with cloud-based software systems. The use of five key templates, custom-designed to suit the firm’s needs, provide the tools needed to be mobile at all times. TRIO also offers continuing education programming for its team members through national industry associations as well as a dedicated profit-sharing program.


JCR Capital

Base: Denver

JCR Capital is a real estate finance company providing capital solutions to middle-market sponsors.

JCR, started in 2006, provides bridge loans, preferred equity, mezzanine loans and equity financing for value-add, opportunistic and distressed transactions, as well as partnership restructures and recapitalizations. The company provides capital for investments that are too large for private investors but too small for institutional investors, in the $3 million to $25 million range.

At the beginning of each year, employees participate in a company-wide retreat where senior managers review the company’s performance in the previous year, detail key growth/performance goals for the year ahead and outline long-term strategic opportunities. Every employee contributes to the discussion and presents his or her individual goals on how to support company-wide initiatives. During the year, as goals are met and milestones achieved, JCR hosts company-wide events to celebrate achievements and recognize employee contributions. In 2015, the premier event was the “JCR 500 Party” to celebrate the company reaching $500 million in assets under management.

Aside from monetary contributions, JCR has focused its philanthropic activities in support of financial education. President and CEO Jay Rollins frequently guest-lectures at public universities across the country and has written a real estate finance desk manual, Commercial Real Estate Uncovered, which he provides to students, sponsors and colleagues free of charge.


Redefy Real Estate

Base: Aurora

This full-service real estate brokerage offering flat-fee listings got its start in 2013. In 2010, it became clear to real estate broker Jordan Connett that technology had taken a load off real estate agents, but clients were still paying the same price.

 “That didn’t seem right,” he says. “I decided there had to be a way to bring fairness to the industry and still make a profit for the agent. That’s when I decided to start a flat fee brokerage.”

 After a Denver television appearance, the company’s leads skyrocketed, he says, adding, “At that time, we knew we were onto something good and the market was ready for a change.”

They’ve taken the model national and now operate in 17 markets across 10 states.

The disruption factor: “From day one, our goal was to change the way homes are sold,” Connett says. The company’s proprietary technology puts all team members on the same page – literally – and specialists handle each phase of the transaction with a team approach. Connet admits the Redefy flat-fee model has made the company somewhat unpopular with some listing agents, who either have tO lower their commissions or lose the listing, but those who have embraced the model are seeing success. “Our customers are saving a lot of money. It’s a real win-win that’s going to continue to change the face of real estate.”

Porchlight Real Estate Group

Base: Denver

PorchLight Real Estate Group provides personalized, comprehensive realty services to residential buyers and sellers in the greater Denver area. The company’s proprietary software – built in-house – called PorchLight Connect, marries a CRM, intranet and MLS search into one system. The company, started in 2005, also offers a service called SearchLight where clients can receive email or text notifications as soon as a property comes on the market – a service that helps potential homebuyers get a jump on the competition in a red-hot sellers’ market.

PorchLight has an in-house continuing education “university,” where its agents can take 40 CE credits a year, covering everything from contract details to relationship-based business-building, to a one-of-a-kind Certified Market Education designation that teaches agents the ins-and-outs of neighborhoods throughout the metro area.

Categories: Companies to Watch, Magazine Articles