Three large real estate services firms today said they are teaming to build an online purchasing site that will sell everything from light bulbs to janitorial equipment.
The alliance, made up of CB Richard Ellis Services of Los Angeles, Jones Lang LaSalle of Chicago, and Trammell Crow of Dallas, will also develop Web-based services. Those services will aim to assist brokers with deals and build Internet portals to help brokers manage the 1.2 billion square feet of office buildings they control.
The real estate group is planning a range of business e-commerce services, focusing initially on purchasing, transactions, support services, and business-to-business and business-to-consumer portals. The first step is
expected to be announced by the beginning of the summer.
The real estate firms' move follows an ongoing trend by companies in other industries, such as automotive, aerospace, chemical and even forestry, to streamline the process of purchasing supplies by conducting those transactions online.
Together, the three companies buy more than $5 billion of goods and services a year to help them manage office properties.
Over the coming weeks and months, the trio of real estate companies plan to finalize their alliance and announce additional joint e-business plans.
The three alliance partners sell commercial real estate services, which include providing office, retail and industrial real estate owners with property sales and leasing, property management, corporate facility services,
development and project management, mortgage banking, investment management, appraisal and valuation, and research and consulting support.