Loopnet Changes coming in Feb

21 Replies

I am curious what others are doing with this service.  Starting in Feb, the search feature is going away and they are forcing people on to CoStar.  I am a broker, but seriously considering just dropping it all together. ...sure, I will continue to provide them my listings, but why pay for services from CoStar you can obtain for much lower costs elsewhere?  Besides, I have never liked the attitude of CoStar, and now that is a monopoly, it really hurts to  feed the beast and pay their extortion money.  What are others doing?  Switching over to CoStar or bagging it all together? 

CoStar's dismantling of Loopnet in order to consolidate their position in the Commercial Real Estate market is a disservice to open markets. 

I am an investor.  I review Loopnet about three times a week to get a feel for the market.  I have purchased buildings that I first found on Loopnet.  But usually I "find" deals through Brokers who have non-listed buildings.  Still, Loopnet has been a valuable resource to me.

In my opinion, CoStar is not investor friendly because you have to pay a fee to access the site.  My second-hand understanding is that they charge $200-$500 per month to access their site.  That fee is not justified for someone like myself buying one building a year.  The net effect of the loss of Loopnet is that investors will be less informed about potential real estate offerings and it will be harder to get buyers and sellers to meet. 


I will be looking for the next company to come along and fill the void created by CoStar's short-term attempt to monopolize the market. 

@Eric Odum

I honestly don't understand the logic behind this move. It could result in slower sales on commercial properties. It could also create a backlash that causes people to abandon them altogether and look for lower cost alternatives.

Imagine all commercial real estate being sold on Craigslist.

402-965-1853

Seems like one step backward to me.  I know if I have a property listed I want it shown to every buyer on the internet, not the ones only able to afford several hundred per month to look at properties. @Wells Mangrum your right it will only be a matter of time before someone else picks up the slack  

@Wells Mangrum   I could not agree more.  This monopoly will not last.  I have used loopnet for years and I have found dozens of properties there.

Someone like @Jerry Shen could crank out an app/website with better functionality than loopnet very quickly.  I put his name here to provide a hint to him.

I do not like the idea of a monthly fee for ANYTHING. I will not put up with that method of monetizing a property listing service. If I wanted to do that I would still pay a Realtor Association for their MLS.

@Michael Biggs I am currently working on a real estate tech related startup. No details yet but I would like to take on the CoStar monopoly one day.

While in understand and can agree with some of the frustration as a long time user of both, it’s hard not to recognize the value of costar which goes far beyond just for sale listings. There may be a level of arrogance but it truly is near impossible to find as powerful a tool as they have provided.

Many others are trying because the business is highly lucrative but nobody has executed on the level costar has.

Honestly, I’d be hard pressed without it.

@Derek Carroll   The problem with CoStar is they think they are in the real estate business.  That is why they are making the mistake of thinking they can charge such a high price.  BUT almost none of their business is real estate related.  They are a data aggregation business.  There are lots of companies that do that much better than they do.

There is a reason tech company startups always talk about having an exit strategy.  There is a limit to how much money a company can make in data aggregation without getting the attention of the big boys.  They will either buy them out or compete them out of business.

The stock price of CoStar would drop faster than bitcoin with one rumor of a product rollout from Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, or Oracle.

For anyone that is laughing, look what happened to Myspace.

@Eric Odum could you clarify what these changes are? What do you mean about the search feature going away?

I use CoStar for work it is definitely the best option out there for finding sales and lease information but another site I’ve started perusing recently (free) is Crexi for active listings.

Yeah not much of a fan of Loopnet or Costar.

I have used them in the past for years.

All those companies do is try to lock you into long term contracts at high prices.

I would rather take my money and go after owners directly every day and build my own network. Think about this for a minute. These companies all want to get people on residuals. Market goes up,down,sideways they want to keep that revenue coming in. They tend to do that by people being locked into long term contract hard to get out of.

You want to stay nimble with the markets. With any vendors I do month to month. I want to keep them HUNGRY to perform with services offered at the highest level. It is easy to get lazy with long term contracts and provide mediocre service.

Since the merger their fees have skyrocketed. Loopnet had more of just  a few choices for packages. Costar can nickel and dime for everything.

I have built up over the years thousands of companies nationally for properties myself so I have my own database. The database has taken a lot of time to construct but well worth it.

A lot of friends I know  are moving away from Loopnet and just marketing to internal lists, other brokers they trust, and then a few free smaller commercial sites.   

Instead of buyers trying to reinvent the wheel they can leverage experienced brokers networks and buy through them. Some buyers just call around and see what sticks or they can turn up on their own. Most brokers do not waste time with such buyers.

@Derek Carroll I am curious what data you are getting from CoStar that is of value.  I have found very little of their data to be of use and cancelled service many moons ago.  Perhaps, I am missing something.  Franchise and tenant info can provide a rough idea, but it far from accurate.  My clients (or I)  usually decline to provide them with information on leases.  I think this is more common than not.  And when I do provide them with info, I have been known to stretch the truth more than a little to protect another property comp nearby.  I can't recall the last time I gave CoStar anything they can use.  Sales data is provided by the respective county and I can pull that info for free.  So, I am a little at a loss at what CoStar provides that is worth $500+ per month per user.  

Now, on Loopnet, they at least provide a listing service.  It is still a valuable tool for marketing leases, at least today.  This might be changing.There are few other/better ways to find those small companies that could use the space for rent and it has been valuable for that...the national and regional guys, I maintain a database and have not found Loopnet to be particularly helpful there....but regardless, Loopnet service has been of use to me over the years for finding and marketing properties to lease.  

@Paul Smythe , supposedly, Property Comps (I don't care),   Property Facts (I don't care) and Premium Searcher are going away this month.  I don't know what Premium Searcher is.  Is this "Advanced Search?" If so, this is a problem for me.  I looked on their site and can not find anything that defines "Premium Searcher"  so maybe I am using it or maybe not....I don't know.  Comps and Facts I get from other sources....so good riddance.  I wasn't using anyway.  

I called Loopnet directly and the Loopnet rep said they are getting rid of all the subscriptions and the ability to search beyond a basic search are going away.  So, sounds like "Advanced Search" to me...but when I asked if "Advanced Search" is going away...She said "I didn't say that"  I said "Premium Searcher" and then she could not define what "Premium Searcher" is....so I am lost.  

If they take away the ability of outsiders/non-subscribers to look up listings for lease and sale, the product will collapse.  Their figures (not mine) are that 99% of their users are non-subscribers.  It will cease to have value to me and the vast majority of people who use their site.  I am willing to pay to give my listings access to the 99%, but what are they selling to me if a user cannot find my properties on their site?  

Originally posted by :

The stock price of CoStar would drop faster than bitcoin with one rumor of a product rollout from Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, or Oracle.

For anyone that is laughing, look what happened to Myspace.

 I would pay to watch that.... :-)  

Updated 3 months ago

@michael biggs

They have called hundreds of times over the years trying to get long term contracts. They have stopped calling as they know what the answer is............. : )

I equate those types of services to what NAR third party affiliates sell to newly licensed agents on the residential side.

All the do dads and thingies in the world are sold to these people trying to take every last cent they have. Residuals with contracts you can't get out of. That helps to make others rich and the person paying it poor.

We use MNCAR and they have been amazing to work with, plus the fee is about a tenth of the cost of CoStar.  

Eric, your profile suggest you primarily do Multifamily and are located in FL.  There is a site I found that is growing in use Apartment Buildings . com.  It is FREE and operates in FL.  If you are a broker and list a property on their site before you list it on loopnet, etc, they will promote it to users.  Check it out.

I finally received a straight answer from Loopnet/CoStar, for anyone who cares.  There is plenty of confusion at that company right now and I received multiple different responses as to what is going on, but this last person I spoke with seemed to have the most clue as to the policy changes.  Per this rep, if you are a premium subscriber to loopnet, your premium listings will be seen by CoStar subscribers, Premium Loopnet subscribers and to non subscribers on a limited basis.  But any basic listings will only be seen by CoStar subscribers.  IOW, the general public will not see basic listings at all any more....prior, some basic listings would show up but not all.  The biggest change, however, is that Premium subscribers to Loopnet used to be able to see all loopnet listings premium and basic.  Premium Subscribers no longer see basic listings either...they only see other premium listings.  As the majority of Loopnet listings on the site are basic, the value add of being a Premium Subscriber to Loopnet went down substantially.  And, if they severely throttle what non subscribers see (90% of their search users are end users), what is the real value here?  You are basically marketing to CoStar subscribers only...basically, the big brokerage firms.  

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward.  Other service platforms, such as Yardi, do not make money off of their listing services...it is a value add for their larger business, the property management software business.  Will Yardi become a larger player in the listing game?  Or others like them that don't count on listing offerings to power their revenue model could easily move in to the gap and create an opportunity for themselves.  

Loopnet has changed dramatically! My company has used Loopnet almost from when they began. Over the past many years, we had the ability to use the service with unlimited Premium Listings (listings anyone using Loopnet could see) they now changed the Unlimited to a per listing cost subscription that has made the cost so high for each inserted listing, we can no longer afford to put all of our listings in the service. Now that they have all the listings in CoStar for those who pay CoStar to join, they have limited the Loopnet to only those huge companies that can afford to pay for the service. We now have less than 1/3 of what we had in the service but the cost for just that 1/3 is more than double what we paid last month for unlimited. They have clipped our wings with respect to those who can see our listings outside of our market and made our job most costly and difficult after "training" the  Brokers and the public to rely on Loopnet in the first place. Lastly, they charge us here in Sarasota, a small submarket of Tampa, the exact same rate as those in the large markets such as NYC, Miami, Chicago where there are many more multi million dollar properties that can be sold to support this higher expense. 

Originally posted by @Michael Biggs :

@Derek Carroll   The problem with CoStar is they think they are in the real estate business.  That is why they are making the mistake of thinking they can charge such a high price.  BUT almost none of their business is real estate related.  They are a data aggregation business.  There are lots of companies that do that much better than they do.

There is a reason tech company startups always talk about having an exit strategy.  There is a limit to how much money a company can make in data aggregation without getting the attention of the big boys.  They will either buy them out or compete them out of business.

The stock price of CoStar would drop faster than bitcoin with one rumor of a product rollout from Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, or Oracle.

For anyone that is laughing, look what happened to Myspace.

For data gathering what else do you recommend for getting commercial leases, multifamily data, valuations, off-MLS listings... What else do you guys use Costar for?

I find CoStar to have pretty outdated information. Sometimes it's more outdated than the MLS or it's the same data on loopnet. I don't find Costar to be worth the cost

Costar is trying to get a monopoly on commercial listings. They're trying to use the popularity of Loopnet to get long term sign ups for Costar at like $4-6k a year per county. If CRE brokers would put more listings on the MLS it would be more available. Perhaps these changes will force more brokers to just use local MLS.

Actually a lot of the data that is 'locked' on Loopnet is actually on the MLS.

Anyone have other commercial listing/ data resources?  I'm definitely looking for alternatives for:

Getting comps - both lease and sales

Multifamily data

Listing retail/ CRE leases

Listing CRE sales listings

I got rid of Loopnet, and I quit giving my data to CoStar. I used to get a lot of great leads from Loopnet, but that slowed down a lot. So prices went way up, quality of service went way down. I took my Loopnet budget and invested that into SEO for our site and have been getting a much better ROI that way. Between our site, and the smaller listing site we've been just fine.
As far as giving our info to CoStar, I cut them off. They want me to give them my data for free, but want to charge me an arm and a leg to get the same data? No thanks. @Will F. We're able to get decent data from Catalyst. It's not the same as CoStar, but at $50/ month it's pretty good. We've just been having to do our own research to find the data we need, but with the types of deals we do we never really needed the level of data that CoStar provides. 

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