Portland Loopnet vs Costar vs MLS vs RMLS

6 Replies


I am a single family investor who is new at the multi-fam/commercial game.  And trying to get my mind wrapped around the sources for single-family and multifamily listing services in the Portland area. 

I started corresponding with one commercial realtor (not signed any exclusivity agreement), but got frustrated as I was able to pull more and better listings off loopnet and redfin than he was able to give me. 

So,  I reached out to a different realtor to see if he had a better source of listings. Unfortunately, this realtor sends me listing where half of the listing have already been sold?!?

Is this normal to have such a difference in realtors?


If you could help me understand what is the source that loopnet, Costar, MLS and any other listing service pulls from I would be grateful.

Hey John,

MLS listings get sent out to sites like RedFin, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc. via an IDX feed. The feed doesn't update in real time, so there can be a delay in changes made on the MLS (price, activity, etc) being seen on secondary sites.

Costar owns Loopnet. To my knowledge, Loopnet does not pull information via IDX but brokers are required to enter the information manually.

It seems odd that brokers would send you listings that are not active. All it takes is a quick MLS check or call to the listing agent to verify status.

@John Daly   I agree with @Alex Peterson . At the end of the day, you just have to keep an eye out on all sources and learn to sort out the old listings and trash...though some of those come back on the market too and you can ping that broker asking if the seller has any others or if that one is having issues closing. 2 of the last 4 deals we did were MLS (6 unit and 32 unit) and 2 were off market where a broker we knew said the owner would entertain an offer (20 unit and 12 unit). As you get more established you will get more attention as well from brokers....which can be annoying sometimes when they try to pawn off their crap :)

@Richard Sherman good call - I glossed over pocket listings. 

Different brokers will have access to a range of different clients who may have properties they want marketed but not listed. That would give you some variability in offerings from broker to broker.

Listed properties should be the same as long as they're looking at all the sources.

@Richard Sherman and @Alex Peterson ,

Thank you much I appreciate the information. So what I heard / pieced together is that there are 4 primary ways to get listings

MLS listings = Single family and duplex/quad properties through a service like redfin
Free Commercial listings = Through loopnet

Paid Commercial listings = Through a paid subscription to loopnet/costar or through my broker (if my broker paid for this service)

Pocket listings =  Through my network / brokers network.

Therefore, If I am focused on lead generation I need to be sure my broker has access to paid loopnet and a good commercial network. 

Thanks much for the help guys.

BTW: I am moving back to Newberg in the next ~2 years and am looking for a 0,75-3mil multifam in that area. I know it is a tight market in Newberg, but I would like to live close to my first multifam.

@John Laney Yep, you nailed it. Though there is no magic sauce. Other than the 2 off-market deals, I have found every deal I have ever done either on MLS, Trulia (7 unit), Realtor.com (8 unit), Loopnet (32 unit) before the brokers. There is no magic source and unless someone has a true pocket listing (which means you are shooting offers at possibly hostile buyers) then the hype about paid services is BS...maybe for non multi or really big ones or something its possible...but I find it suspect...why would someone wanting to sell try to keep people from knowing about it...sure it happens sometimes but for the most part do not buy the hype.

ALLWAYS be looking...the exercise is good as it makes you better at valuing anyone deal and that's how you catch stuff.  Newberg is tight...but things do come up there for sure.  I have made offers there but its too far from my core to push too hard on it.

You can setup alerts on some of these sites to email you with new listings that match your criteria. I've been working with the same agent for many years, he knows what I like, and still misses them sometimes. I like to bring him things he's missed as a learning opportunity, but realistically speaking, every agent has many clients who are buying, and won't get you every deal, every time. Always be looking for yourself at the MLS. There are also sometimes FSBO on Zillow/ Trulia that won't show on the MLS because they aren't listed there. So many places to look, so little time.

Some investors I know hire a virtual assistant to look through all of the listings in their respective markets looking for deals that match their criteria to save them time looking, but like @Richard Sherman said above, the exercise of looking at deals makes you better at recognizing and taking action on the good ones.  Best of luck!  Things are tight up here in the PNW in these markets.


The Dalles, OR 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here