In today’s hyper-competitive real estate market, finding quality commercial real estate listings can be a challenge. While there are many digital tools available, it’s not as easy as a simple Google search. You want to make sure you’re getting the best insight into the properties available in your market. And we know you don’t have time to waste.
Here are two approaches for searching for commercial real estate listings online.
Big-name listing services
The most popular option for seeking out commercial properties is through an online listing platform like CoStar, Loopnet, or Crexi. Similar to Zillow or Realtor.com in the residential market, these platforms provide nationwide commercial listings and include search filters based on geographic location, type, size, and rental rate. Brokerages submit their listings to these sites as they become available, and potential buyers or their representatives can browse through nationwide listings based on their search criteria.
Despite high-tech filter features, the sheer volume of listings on these sites introduces challenges for everyday buyers. CoStar, for example, features thousands of listings sourced from a myriad of different brokerages that may or may not have accurate information. In fast-paced markets, a property may sell before the listing has time to be updated. Or busy brokerages may neglect to update evolving listing info in a timely manner.
“For buyers, this adds additional frustration to an already challenging commercial market,” said Luke Miller, a commercial real estate marketing consultant. “Why would anyone want to waste time investigating a listing that’s already sold or has inaccurate or incomplete information?”
Plus, sites like Loopnet allow brokerages to pay for additional digital marketing boosts. However, in this case, there’s no guarantee your region-specific search will generate a complete list of discoverable listings in your area. So not only could you be browsing through search results of unreliable listings, but it’s also possible that you only see listings from brokers who paid the most to get your digital attention.
“As a buyer, this can make it difficult to determine if you’re getting the full scope of what’s available to you,” Miller added. “And for sellers, it can be challenging to accurately determine how much interest you’re getting in your property relative to how much money you spent to boost it on Loopnet. It’s frustrating when you feel like your property marketing dollars went to waste on a listing.”
In addition, services like CoStar, LoopNet, and Crexi require an expensive subscription to navigate their features. The everyday seller or broker won’t always justify the cost of looking at the site’s premium listings and are usually better off relying on a representative to get the most out of this platform. Further, if you aren’t a subscriber to these platforms you are limited to the amount of information that you are allowed to see. Think of it like a paywall for those news websites that you run into all the time.
Rather than browsing nationwide listings, buyers and sellers can also use individual listing pages from commercial real estate companies like NAI Mid-Michigan. When searching for properties in specific regions, browsing the listing pages of commercial real estate sites allows you to focus on properties available in your market and provides an extra boost of confidence that the listings are up to date, saving valuable time.
“For example, NAI Mid-Michigan controls a large majority of the commercial property listings in the Greater Lansing area,” Miller said. “Buyers and sellers in these regions can use the NAI Mid-Michigan listing services to get the most comprehensive view of the local commercial market, all in one place.”
But just because it’s local doesn’t mean that these listings aren’t beefed up with additional digital marketing savvy.
“We are constantly trying to figure out more and better ways to optimize our local property listings in the digital space,” Miller said. “NAI Mid-Michigan has the technical know-how on marketing listings through paid and organic search methods, but with a boots-on-the-ground knowledge of the local marketplace that you can’t find through bigger name listing services.”
This approach has helped NAI Mid-Michigan’s listings remain highly discoverable and competitive with those more extensive MLS’s online, without the high price tag of other digital marketing approaches.
Ready to take the next step in commercial real estate? Talk with an expert today.
At NAI Mid-Michigan, we have decades of experience in commercial real estate sales. We know the challenges buyers and sellers face in today’s evolving market and are ready to represent you no matter what stage of the process you find yourself. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your commercial real estate needs. We’re NAI Mid-Michigan, your best choice for commercial real estate services.