COSTAR or REIS? Pros and cons?

10 Replies

Which one do you prefer? Or neither? Pros and cons of each? Can you pull up a list of off-market multifamily properties based on specific parameters? Or should you use another software like ProspectNow for that?

@Carlos Casanueva Both are good platforms but we use them for different things. Reis is the best tool for market analysis and although they do have some submarket breakdowns, it has a more macro feel to it. Reis is more limited/generic than Costar when it comes to rent and sales comps and the platform itself seems like its 10 years behind CoStar.

Neither will give you "off-market" deals, but you can look at basically any commercial or multifamily asset in detail with CoStar, so if you are transacting off market, you can still do your due diligence, it just wont say "this is an off-market deal" and neither will give you contact information of the owner (CoStar has the name about half the time). You also have a ton of parameters you can narrow your search to. The downside is the cost - CoStar is very expensive, but worth the price in my opinion. Therese a reason why all the major shops use it exclusively.

I had ProspectNow at my last firm and it basically gives you title data but the phone numbers and contact info wasn't always accurate. Depending on what you use it for, I would look in to Real Capital Analytics. It kind of marries all the platforms into one.

I would request a demo from each group and then make a decision. They have sales people whose job it is to present all the tools the platform has to offer. 

@Conor Freeman much appreciated, Conor. Def very helpful info. When you say Costar is very expensive, we’re talking what?

@Carlos Casanueva 1 person / 1 market you may be able to get $500/month. I've seen $1000-$5000 month for groups and multiple markets. Ours is corporate and nationwide so I know don't know how much my firm pays. They have told us that data platforms are the second highest expense for the company behind wages.

Costar is expensive, but if you're going to even dip your toe into the commercial world, you really need to have it in order to keep up with the market. 

Commercial is pretty darn competitive in my neck of the woods.  I would be fairly limited without some of the info they can get, and I for sure wouldn't be able to compete.

Blair Poelman, Broker in Utah (#9299425)

@Carlos Casanueva I think you can get away with not having co-star or reis accounts starting out. If you need reports or data pulled out, there are freelancers on sites like upwork.com that you can hire to pull and send for pennies on the dollar. If you're looking for multifamily owner info, I HIGHLY recommend agentpro247.com for pulling lists. The interface is clunky but it provides a lot of value for the price in terms of the lists and data you can pull. Usually the bigger multifam's will be owner by an LLC or trust. So what I do after I get the list is have another freelancer off of upwork go and check each LLC against the state's sec. of state website and pull down the LLC manager name and registered agent. Then you can skiptrace for the manager's / RA's mailing addresses and start marketing your face off.

A good list broker can pull a list of off-market prospective sellers - and you only pay when you order a list. Talk to them about your market and the types of targets you are considering and ask for suggestions. The most commonly used are Absentee Owners with Equity. If you are in a competitive market ask about alternatives so you aren't contacting the same people everyone else is.

@Karen E. have you used a list broker to research off-maker multifamily before? Which have you had true success with? I've used Listsource in the past for SFH, but it's terrible for Multifamily.... unless I'm doing something wrong.

I am a list broker. Depending on the part of the country you are in, some counties are better at reporting the property type than others.

I just ran a report for Palm Beach County, FL. We have 1403 Absentee Owned, 2-4 unit homes in the county. This specifies owners with a Loan to Value of 0-69% (at least 30% equity plus payments made on the loan). All home values are included, but most are in the $150-400,000 range.

Message me with your email address if you want a report broken out by zip code.

@Karen E. yes, this is what I need. I’m actually looking for 8-10+ units but for PB county I’ve used the prop appraisers site... for other counties like Broward just south of me, the prop appraisers site isn’t helpful AT ALL. Is your list mostly geared to residential (< 4 units) or everything?

I’ve used Listsource and Realeflow for residential properties in the past, but have yet to find a useful platform for multifam.

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