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Today, I’m going to explain the differences between the top 3 commercial real estate listing databases. Agents have a tendency to favor one over the other – updating and listing their properties only on one of the databases. However, the more effective practice is to list and update all databases at the same time.
LoopNet. LoopNet has been gaining market share by offering comparable reports, printable detailed reports and flyers. LoopNet isn’t just for your listings. This system also allows premium members to create simple websites for their listings, and create a website for yourself that includes your photo, contact information, and shows all your current listings. When you get the premium package, you get advertising for your listings and yourself! I’m a huge fan, especially since it’s less than $100 a month for all of these features.
Property Line. This one is FREE! …Unless you live in Nevada ($45/month). For everyone else, this is a great, free reference site where you can add your listings. They make a majority of their money from their amazing eMarketing system. In my opinion, Property Line has the best price and most aesthetically pleasing eMarketing system available. Email your listing to the entire Property Line network for less than $80! And, BONUS, the email actually looks nice!
CoStar. This is the most powerful and accurate of the commercial real estate databases. This system can also be very expensive, depending on your location and demand in that area. However, if you have the money, spend it! CoStar doesn’t allow agents to enter listings directly into the system. Agents send all the listing information to a CoStar representative. He or she then checks for accuracy, uploads data in proper order, and double checks your listings about every quarter. Because this system is manned by professional researchers, it can pull accurate data like occupancy, absorption, rental rates, leasing activity, and market comparisons. Although LoopNet has been slowly adding to its technology, they haven’t scratched the surface of CoStar’s level of data collection. Unfortunately, only the big firms can afford the expense of using all of CoStar’s fun tools. However, you can send your local CoStar representative all your listings for free! Even if you can’t sign up for the service, your listings can still be posted into the database.
When you update your listings in one database, update all the databases. You never want your clients to wonder why their listing in Property Line has photos but no flyer, LoopNet has info from 3 months ago, and CoStar doesn’t have the flyer or photos. Be sure to make your listings on each database consistent. Nothing is more embarrassing than a client calling you out on consistency!