What's the best way to find Commercial Multi-fams is SoCal?

12 Replies

About to do my first commercial and wondering if there are other options besides MLS for finding properties. Redfin is my current go to. Looking for Multi-fams under 2MM in SoCal.

What are other viable search options?

--Brokers/Agents: Thank you in advance for not cluttering this thread with your biz cards/call me posts. 

Brad

@Brad J.  IMO the best people to talk to are the ones you are asking to not participate in this thread.

You can also check out loopnet.com if you haven't already.

Thanks Matthew. 

 I'd love to hear what brokers and agents thoughts are.  Apologies to any that thought they shouldn't post here. I'd just prefer to not receive any solicitations in this thread.  

The listings in loopnet appear to be MLS listings. Do these listings differ from Redfin/Trulia?

Thank you all,

Brad

Originally posted by @Brad J. :

The listings in loopnet appear to be MLS listings. Do these listings differ from Redfin/Trulia?


Loopnet is geared more toward the bigger (more expensive) properties, and commercial stuff.  There will be properties on Loopnet that aren't on Redfin, there will be properties on Redfin that aren't on Loopnet, and there will be some that are on both sites.

themls.com

Originally posted by @Kimberly T. :

Loopnet is geared more toward the bigger (more expensive) properties, and commercial stuff.  

Sounds like everything is gonna be through the MLS or mls aggregate?

What about sites like this capdominus.com?

@Brad J. In my experience everything that is marketed widely in LA is done through MLS or through loopnet which is not part of the MLS at all. Of course there are deals that do not market this way, but I think any agent that does not list on both loopnet or MLS is doing their client a disservice by failing to properly expose it to all potential buyers.

For some reason, offmarket deals seem to happen , although I suspect that the seller doesn't know any better in many cases.

@Brad J. on his broker/agent comment. I would focus on networking with the local & national CRE brokers. You will probably be dealing with newer associates at the larger firms and local brokers who specialize in smaller multi-families in your market. Smaller multis also tend to be listed on the MLS but those deals can be overpriced (not always). Loopnet.com is almost worthless in my opinion (I'm not sure why I still pay for it). I use it every once in a great while and set myself up with automatic property alerts. It's not a bad tool to find new brokers either. It was better several years ago when we were in the depths of the foreclosure crisis, most banks required brokers to list properties.

I don't know your market that well for multi-family but I would imagine B & C class is selling around 100-200k/unit range (give or take)?  So the biggest building you are looking at is probably around 20 units?  Do you plan to self manage?  Caps are probably sub 6 in LA Country for small C class multis (just taking a guess).  

I would work on building strong relationships with local brokers who deal in the smaller multi-family market.  It will take a while to build a relationship because the market is so hot.  They are busy and will want to know you are a serious buyer who will not waste their time.  The good brokers have already built up their cash buyers list from several years ago so you need to separate yourself from the existing clients.  

National brokers to check out (some may not specialize in small multi-family):

Berkadia (formerly Hendricks & Partners) is a national multi-family only brokerage.  Several offices in LA.  

Marcus & Millichap 

Cassidy Turley 

Colliers 

CBRE 

Plus many more...

Good luck! 

Costar, unless if it's a pocket deal, it's either on loopnet or Costar, there are listings which are on costar but not on loopnet. 

Thank you all. Good advice. 

@Chris Winterhalter I had a couple of those bigger firms on my radar. But I did not know Berkadia, so will check them and Costar out.

Last place I found on Redfin. Just wondering if there were other ways of finding properties once I cross into the 5+ unit side.

Brad

@Brad J.  was kind to give you a list of some of the most known commercial brokerages, however the brokers work for them-self, the company is just an umbrella.

I advise you to look up properties in Loopnet and see who is the most active broker listing the type of property you are looking for. It doesn't really matter what company they are with. You will have to contact them directly, and you might have to reach to some of them multiple times to get it that you are serious. The market is hot, hot, hot and all good brokers have plenty of clients.

Contact them, let them know what you are looking for and that you are ready to write an offer when they send you a pocket listing, meaning a listing that they will market off the mls and loopnet for few weeks before it hits those sites.

For the mls properties, I'll advise you to work with only one broker.  Remember that all brokers have access to the same properties, and if they see that you are playing the field, they will ignore you and send those listings to other people that treat them well.

The last option is to try to find off market deals by driving your neighborhoods and reaching out to the owners of the run down properties. You never know who you can find if you put in the time! You will still need to evaluate that property though and your broker could help with that.

Good luck to you!

Originally posted by @Lumi Ispas:

I advise you to look up properties in Loopnet and see who is the most active broker listing the type of property you are looking for.

Thank you for this advice Lumi.

In addition to Loopnet / Costar / MLS and commercial broker websites, you can also leverage public records to find all the properties that meet your criteria and then reach out to those owners directly. That is the best way to find off-market opportunities, outside of networking with agents/brokers who may have pocket listings.

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