BPD, Business Property Development, is a private CRE investor located in the Seattle metropolitan area. The firm owns and operates multi-tenant properties in retail and office and is currently pursuing growth opportunities in retail and industrial flex spaces in various locations throughout Washington state.

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Seattle, WA, March 8th, 2024 — Business Property Development (BPD), a regional investor located in Puget Sound, has always had an eye for strategic growth opportunities. When the firm first began investing in the early 80s, the original team acquired retail centers close to roadways in the greater Seattle area. However, to stay dynamic in this modern age and keep personnel count manageable, the team has turned to technology to effectively collaborate with third-party management partners, support portfolio expansion, and compete in the market at large.

Initially, the team experienced difficulty finding a tech partner that could support their unique data management needs, like supporting leasing administration efforts, property managers, and renewal conversations with longstanding clients. That is, until Michael Hickey, BPD’s VP of Investment, partnered with Prophia to adopt AI. 

Today, BPD manages business operations of nearly 200,000 sq ft of leased space with Prophia. They have successfully kept their personnel count manageable, working more effectively as a team, automating key business processes, and accelerating leasing. What’s more, this small team has gained a significant competitive edge by breaking into AI long before some of Seattle’s foremost retail owners.

Why BPD Stood Out Among Larger CRE Firms

Commercial real estate is a very diverse industry with organizations ranging in both size and structure. However, one common need among them all is the need for better data management and access to higher-quality portfolio performance data.

While this access is crucial, many larger firms struggle to rapidly adopt new technology, but as a smaller, dynamic team, BPD seized the opportunity to invest in technology and revamp their acquisition strategy and data management.

In their search for the right technology solution, Hickey reached out to Prophia. It was immediately clear that the small org’s forethought for strategic growth and innovation would provide a solid foundation for building its AI strategy and becoming an early adopter relative to the larger firms in their market.

BPD Successfully Adopts AI

Working with Prophia closely throughout the AI adoption process allowed the BPD team to move very quickly and get all of these essential tenant data onboarded and verified. “We view Prophia as a part of our solution network, our software stack. It’s not a replaceable part,” shared Hickey.

Today, this organization looks completely different than it did a mere 5 years ago. While many of the partners, investors, and tenants are the same, standing the test of time and rough patches in the market, this small team is working more effectively than ever before and pursuing growth.

Lease Abstraction

Streamlining Multi-tenant Management & Partner Collaboration

One of BPD’s biggest drivers for adopting AI stemmed from their portfolio’s current operational needs. As managers of approximately 200,000 sq ft of leased space in shopping centers around the Seattle area, space restrictions, encumbrances, exclusive use, and tenant rights all posed challenges for managing in-place obligations as well as future growth, “We tracked everything via Excel with all static data,” remarked Michael Hickey, VP of investment, “It didn’t give me a lot of confidence that the data was correct.”

This diminished visibility into their tenant data made it difficult to effectively collaborate with third-party property managers, partners, and brokers throughout critical stages of the firm’s business operations. They needed a data management partner that would instill confidence in their proprietary data, reduce the amount of time the team devoted to data verification, and allow them to collaborate with all of their managing partners effectively.

“Prophia stood out for us because the uploading process and the data capture was happening on the software side, that was very appealing for us not to have to figure out how to arrange to do that work ourselves.”

- Michael Hickey, VP of Investment, Business Property Development

With Prophia, BPD can now immediately access all of its critical lease information and give third-party managers and partners direct access to leasing information, critical reports, and more. Today, the team fields far fewer questions about data accuracy because Prophia ensures all encumbrances, critical dates, exclusive uses, rent steps, etc. are up-to-date and dynamic. BPD has left static data practices in the past and has instead adopted an approach to lease data that can expand and contract as needed with their portfolio management strategy.

Data Verification

Gaining Negotiation Leverage & Leasing Speed

With key players working more efficiently and tenant data managed in Prophia, BPD leasing activity has also shifted into a new gear. While many of BPD’s tenants are longstanding and relatively straightforward to manage, having access to detailed and AI-synthesized lease summaries in Prophia has made it simpler than ever for team members to pop into their portfolio profile and get a tenant’s full story before stepping into important negotiation conversations.

This has allowed the team to enter every conversation from a point of leverage. When questions come up in important conversations about existing tenants, any individual working on behalf of BPD can pull up the original lease language in Prophia to verify data points immediately. In-document search also converts previously non-search PDFs into a better asset for business intelligence. Having this verified data one click away has allowed BPD to move quickly without compromising the accuracy of their data.

“There’s a lot of capital right now waiting on the sidelines ready to make a deal, and I think the folks that can move quickly will benefit, and the folks that will move quickly have technology at their fingertips.”

- Michael Hickey, VP of Investment, Business Property Development


Prophia makes CRE teams more efficient regardless of your firm's size or the number of tenants. For BPD, automating administrative tasks like lease abstraction and establishing a more dynamic data management strategy restored confidence in their proprietary lease data and helped them become a more powerful player in the market despite their size.

As the firm continues to expand and diversify its portfolio, BPD’s partnership with Prophia proves that technological innovation is possible for more traditional institutions like Family Offices. AI can play a significant role in CRE business operations, and AI has a significant role to play in the industry.