Loopnet vs Broker

9 Replies

I am trying to figure out whether I should subscribe to Loopnet's premium membership or find a commercial broker. My goal is to buy one or more MF properties in the Sun Belt states with decent upside potential. Properties can be anywhere from $500K to up to $2MM or even more.

One advantage of going with loopnet is that I work quite hard and can spend a lot of time being thorough in evaluating all listings, including FSBO listings. I don't think a broker will put in the same kind of effort.

On the other hand, if I can find a really good broker, I can get local insight that would otherwise take me a long time to acquire on my own.

Any suggestions or advice?

I would use both Loopnet and the Broker,
get all the information you can gather, then
you can get a better picture.

Thanks, Jim. I guess my next question would be: how do you go about finding a good buyer's agent who understands investors' needs? I already know the cities I am interested in. Just not sure how to find good agents in those cities.

Vikram, I recommend both as well. After you buy what you want, you can cancel the premium Loopnet service. I've had it for a few years and it's helped me learn my market. I also advertise on it.

As for brokers, Dane my commercial broker was extremely valuable in helping me buy an office building, but he doesn't do much multi-family.

And nothing beats going to the cities you are looking at. I know that's time consuming and expensive, but you are making some big commitments that justify really learning your markets.

Thanks, Jon. I am actually planning my trip to the U.S. for this very purpose. But I would like to have all my ducks in a row before I get there.

So far, I have figured out a small number of cities.
Now I need to get good brokers there. I then plan to short-list some properties and then check them out while I am there and make a decision.

If I first go to the city and then start doing the due-diligence, then I might end up spending months before anything concrete comes up. (And I am cheap - hate spending money on hotels without making progress.)

This long-distance investing thing is a bit complicated!

I recommend both as well. The more knowledge the better. As for finding a broker who can meet your needs I would find a CCIM who specializes in MF, make sure the Broker has the designation and is not in the process of completing it. Although there are many good Agents in any marketplace who do not have the CCIM designation, by going with an Agent with the designation you will know that you are getting an Agent who knows how to break down a property and at minimum can run a Discounted Cash Flow Analysis on property as well as someone who would have actually completed transactions where CCIM methods were used.

Designees go through a peer review analysis of the transactions they submit as proof of work completed and so you can feel a bit more confident that a CCIM has done work in the field and done analysis that is important when looking at investment property.

Hi everyone. To know the market is to create and increase market share. Use not both but all resources to gather the best information.
Broker is helpful but you are right about the hard work that you always would do. So guide him, observe him.
Also take a look at the market, introduce yourself that way you will learn & know more for the options to keep and leave.
Another thing you can do is keeping designated brokers for different locations. It can expand market easily.

Nick Brian, I have noticed that you have posted a whole bunch of very general posts in a variety of threads. I get the feeling that you are simply trying to market your services without being too obvious about it.

I think we would all appreciate it if you could reply to posts only when you actually have a specific and useful thing to say.

LoopNet cut off any access I have to their web page at all. I can't even look at their top level main page.

They have my credit card number because I listed a property in the state of New York with them.

I bought a three month Premium listing.

The have kept charging me while I can't cancel, and can't even access my account to see what they hell they are doing.

Don't ever give them your credit card number.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.