Would like opinions on CoStar

13 Replies

Hi All,

Wanted to get opinions on CoStar.  We are looking for Commercial property in Northern AZ, likely around Prescott.  We've been in touch with CoStar.  Their initial pricing was a bit much, but have since received a better offer and are considering signing up.

Was wondering if others have used this service and what your overall impressions were?  Any guidance that you could give would be greatly appreciated!

Suggest you ask a commercial broker to send you info. You need a realtor ultimately.

LoopNet which is owned by CoStar, a public company. They are the only reputable site in the US.

I agree with @Sam Shueh . A local broker can get you all of the information needed. However, if you start to do a lot of investing it may help. Everything on Loopnet is on CoStar but not everything on CoStar is on Loopnet. 

I have Costar. Here's my 2 cents:

Pros: very extensive information on the property and comps. Good customer service. 

Cons: It's very expensive (I pay $1400/month for 2 users. 1 user is $1,200 and I think the price significantly increased since I've signed a contracts in Feb); cap rate and sale comps info is missing (I'm active in TX which is a non-disclosure state); once signed, you are locked for a year. Yardi was my 2nd choice - it's less expensive and has info on area rating, which Costar lacks.

Hope that helps!

Ellie

Yeah I do not use Costar. What type of commercial are you trying to buy? Office, retail,etc.?

What price point?

I have developed my own database over 15 years in the business of thousands of companies nationally with owners for commercial properties and contacts. I did this so that I wasn't milked dry by Loopnet and Costar. Loopnet used to be cheap back in the day like 45 bucks a month no contract. They then went to contracts and then Costar bought them, they merged or whatever.

Costar does have some decent data but is ULTRA EXPENSIVE. Unless you are really a property manager, tenant rep broker,etc. then doesn't seem needed. I am more of a transaction principal broker with my clients for retail commercial and also an investor and sponsor myself. I work with clients nationally in many states.

What kind of cap rate will depend on type of commercial, location, and price point.

If you are just wanting to buy property for yourself a high quality commercial buyers broker that is well connected should be a good fit. No need to reinvent the wheel. You as a buyer are a new entity that owners and brokerages in the market are not likely familiar with. The seller most times pays the buyer broker fee anyways and they have worked with them in the past so there is a level of comfort there.

Try to find a broker that focuses mainly on buyers. For instance that is my niche of business. I still have off market sellers I work with I do not like to formally list properties with rounds of bidding and extract out every single basis point for a seller etc. 

That is just a lot of drama I do not need. I like working with buyers much more. The big brokerages are more focused on the listing side of things and representing the sellers so they will often only show a buyer what is in their inventory listed for sale whether that is a good, average, or bad property. They typically will not look through other companies or owners to search for an optimal buyer match . The buyer broker instead looks through many,many sources for the best properties from each company or owner to pursue for a purchase.   

Michael,

I use Co-Star and really like product, although it is expensive!!! In addition to costar I also use about six other sites, so it’s not a be all end all!! So please take that into consideration when trying to justify the price.
I like the data you can derive with regard to comps on sales and rents, very impressive.

Thanks all for the great replies - this has been very informative.  All we are looking to do us to sell an RV park and 1031 it into an office building or mini storage.

We were looking at CoStar just to get listings for the office building.  Didn't really want to engage a local broker because one of our owners is a broker and we're looking to do the transaction ourselves, or at least save part of the traditional fees.

The reviews.opinions on CoStar were fantastic and exactly what I was looking for.  We did end up signing up with Loopnet to put the park up there.