Commercial Real Estate Property Search: Where Do You Start?

by |

Simple quality commercial real estate search. Does it exist? What sites or platforms are available?  What information do you need and is it even available? How is the data sourced? Is the data true and accurate?  Lots of questions just for a simple search. Maybe it’s an investment tool that you have overlooked. Let’s take look at some basics.

What data do you need?

  1. Location: Yes, I know this is very basic but you would be amazed at how different the location may be today compared to even a couple of years ago.
  2. Property Type: Multi-family, office ,medical, etc..  Already filtered and defined.
  3. Price: Well. What else can I say.
  4. Tax: Usually a link to the to the government office of record with the tax base and costs.
  5. Property history:
  1. Who owns it now.
  2. When they bought it.
  3. What they paid.
  4. Who has the mortgage and when it is due.
  5. Deed and title info.
  6. Parcel information
  • Building History:
    1. When it was built
    2. Who built it.
    3. How many square feet total.
    4. How many square feet is vacant and or occupied.
    5. Current tenant info.
    6. Current and historical rental rate info.
    7. Multiple pictures and overlays.
    8. GIS and Mapping.
    9. And there is so much more.

    Where the data comes from:

    Well, for me this is the interesting piece of the data/search puzzle. For the most part the data and general information is keyed in by commercial real estate brokers or their admins. So, the oblivious question is…

    How true and accurate is the data?

    Am I questioning the commercial real estate brokerage community and their integrity? Do I think that the community itself may….skew…the information for some type of competitive advantage?  Not necessarily so. The data does have a third party base. The tax records are the tax records. The mapping and parcel information is just that. Historical sale information is easily verified. Most all of the major search sites do have research verification. Now the lease data, rates and comps…..maybe a little investor caution is in order. Can it be verified through lease documents? Yes, but…how much of the documents information is (Oh, the stories I could tell) true and accurate?

    Where should you look?

    Let’s start with the big boys and a few interesting players.

    1. Maybe the biggest, best, and most well know commercial real estate property search site there is today. Love them or hate them? They have an incredible database of property dating back into the 1990’s

    2. The National Association of Realtors Commercial site. is the biggest and most hit on real estate site. Now they go commercial.

    3. ePropertyData is partially owned by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The little tech-based company is constantly digging and drilling commercial data on a regional level with broker and researched assisted platforms.

    4. CIE Platform. Organizing communities, social platform, marketing engine, robust search and in over 30 markets.

    5. 200,000 registered members; 300,000 property listings and all marketing rolled into one membership plan.

    6. Part of ePropertydata and maybe the most tech edge commercial property search out there. Just look at their features. Are they way ahead of the curve? I think so. It is definitely worth a look.

    Get a Demo.

    Please take some time and click around these sites and see what they have to offer. This is just a sample of commercial real estate search. Do you have suggestions of other quality search sites? Do you have some thoughts about what’s out there and what you would like to see in the future? (Think Cloud). By all means contact the sites and get a DEMO. They are well worth the time. The tools and additional information you will gain may be invaluable for your commercial real estate investing business.

    Photo: Ole Ronberg

    About Author


    1. Might I add hiring a contractor and/or appraiser to inspect the property should be in order? Even if you visit the building and take note of any needed repairs you need to knock off of your asking price, there may be some damage unseen to the untrained eye.

    2. My experience of Loopnet has been that too much information is unconfirmed or misstated on that site. There are also no safeguards or warrants to post there, which is probably what leads to why there is too much false data in the first place.

      I’ve always been a fan of speaking to local CRE brokers. THey usually have the market knowledge you need to make better decisions.

      • Craig,
        True and Accurate. Ironically the data that is displayed is put in by the very same brokers. I agree with your skepticism. It is warranted. As your comment popped up I am writing a draft about data and commercial real estate. I digress. Local brokers with local knowledge is THE source for commercial real estate. THX for commenting

    3. Honestly I’m a real estate broker myself and maybe my views are a bit bias but i don’t believe in sites that get their information from 3rd parties.. The one key element you left out is get a good agent/broker because really without one your bound to buy a lemon one day because some smooth talking unethical agent/broker talked you into it. I mean really that’s what we’re here for to make sure you don’t get swindled and we have tools that are far more advanced then most of the sites listed, besides a board that watches us like hawks lol..

    4. Original source is proven to be the best source of information. In this case, original source is the listing agent. I believe that they know more than anyone else about the property they are listing. You can always do your research on the property, using all the major commercial real estate websites. However, all the “deep” questions has to be addressed to the listing agent.
      I prefer doing the search using local real estate websites. Not the major ones. Duke, like you said, “the data that is displayed is put in by the very same brokers”, but their priorities are not LoopNet and CoStar, their priorities are their own websites. Data is getting updated all the time, and the best way to get brand new data is using local real estate companies. Major websites are great for the startup, while you are getting a feeling for a commercial real estate market. When local ones are perfect to continue the search to get the most recent information possibly.

    Leave A Reply

    Pair a profile with your post!

    Create a Free Account


    Log In Here