If you’re investing in commercial real estate properties, you’ve most likely heard of Loopnet and Costar in your travels. The former is the largest online CRE marketplace in the United States, and the latter is the most expansive research platform available in the commercial real estate industry today.
Loopnet and Costar were once two separate products until Loopnet was acquired by the Costar Group in 2012. Later in 2017, Costar combined its user interface with LoopNet to appeal to CRE professionals.
Even though the price tags these tools carry may sit outside the reach of small real estate investors, it does not necessarily mean small investors cannot take advantage of the services both companies offer when they work with brokers. In this article, we’re going to put Loopnet vs Costar under the scope to compare the unique benefits they offer to commercial investors and professionals.
Loopnet vs Costar: What do Investors Need to Know?
It’s common for real estate decision-makers to use several techniques to scour the market and secure a great deal. These may include networking, feet-on-the-ground field research, and online commercial real estate tools like Costar or Loopnet.
The Costar group owns and operates the largest research tool and online marketplace in the industry, and its prices target real estate professionals rather than small investors. The products are simply unaffordable for many individuals.
If you are looking for passive investment in commercial properties, you could save on time and membership fees by working directly with a buyer’s broker like NNN Deal Finder. We have access to multiple digital research tools and endeavor to secure your next investment in the NNN lease space seamlessly and affordably. If you want to find an investment fast with strong commercially backed tenants, contact NNN Deal Finder today.
Loopnet is the United States’ largest and most heavily trafficked digital marketplace for commercial real estate. The platform connects a network of tenants, investors, and brokers with property for sale and lease. It covers the widest geographic reach of all comparable listing database sites in the US.
The company was established in 1995 and later acquired by Costar in 2012 to facilitate refined searches and property advertisements for CRE professionals, big and small investors, and tenants alike.
Loopnet offers free browsing features to non-paying subscribers and multi-level membership packages that provide users access to high-exposure local and national searches. Loopnet captures around 12.6 million unique monthly visitors, and premium features are known to be more expensive than its industry competitors.
Users can access information about property listings in industrial, residential income properties, land, and commercial property space. Searches can be conducted via location, price, square footage, and property type.
The platform offered access to property databases and analytics until its merger with the Costar group in 2012. Now, even premium members do not have access to this information. However, with additional payments on top of monthly subscription rates, users can view records dating back almost 20 years from Costar’s comprehensive database.
Membership ranges from basic to silver, gold, and platinum with different benefits at each grade. Loopnet is considered more expensive than its industry competitors like Crexi or Cityfeet.
- Extremely high local and national listing visibility.
- Largest CRE digital marketplace with the largest audience in the United States.
- Detailed listings with high-quality images and in-depth descriptions.
- No subscriber access to market reports and analytics.
- Low listing visibility for non-paying subscribers.
- Property search results are subject to the listing agent’s subscription package.
Who Should Use Loopnet?
Loopnet focuses its services on a property advertising hub. The target audience is brokers, businesses seeking real estate, and investors who want to search available listings. This audience is targeted by highly-visible paid advertising placements by premium subscribers.
While Loopnet has been the market leader for digital commercial real estate marketing solutions, the customer service and interface are not as highly regarded in the industry as competitors like Crexi.
For those happy to foot the monthly bill for premium membership, Loopnet is an effective digital marketing solution to post listings in a maximum exposure environment and generate leads for a for-sale or for-lease property.
Costar Group claims it is the commercial real estate industry’s leading database for news, analytics, and information. The company has diversified its services with multiple acquisitions, providing industry players with real-time market information, property records, and databases.
Costar acquired Loopnet in 2012 and now offers users access to Loopnet’s commercial listing platform, as well as the most advanced CRE database in the industry.
Costar provides the most comprehensive commercial property research platform available in the United States. Professionals, investors, and subscribers can access sales and lease comps, records, details about previous ownership, market data and analytics, listings for sale and/or lease, property trends, and more. The platform targets CRE professionals.
Costar offers paying members property listing visibility in Loopnet, enticing real estate managers to advertise properties on Costar with promises of visibility across both platforms. Additionally, due to a recent acquisition of apartments.com and Westsiderentals, Costar is introducing residential listings to the mix alongside commercial properties.
- Offers residential and commercial listings.
- Access to comprehensive transaction history and property records.
- High exposure through Loopnet and Costar platforms.
- Extremely expensive for non-professionals.
- Potentially engages in non-competitive behavior.
Who Should Use Costar?
Costar is undoubtedly a comprehensive platform designed with the real estate professional or large investor in mind. It offers access to numerous databases and analytical tools, full search and posting capacities (including paid advertising placement), and the greatest span of listing exposure, thanks to its acquisition of the Loopnet platform. Additionally, the recent acquisition of residential property listing websites indicates that Costar is expanding its reach to become competitive in the residential real estate sector.
That said, the offer comes at a premium price point, and in most cases, premium membership is unlikely to be financially reasonable for a small investor or tenant.
Which Site is Best For Investors?
When comparing the largest CRE listing platform in the United States with the most detailed research database in the industry, one factor may become apparent: from a financial and practical perspective, the features and pricing of the two platforms are better suited to professionals and CRE businesses than small investors.
That said, let’s take a look at how Loopnet vs Costar compare head-to-head in light of their two most prominent identifiers: fees and database access.
Fees and Membership
Because the Costar platform targets professionals, the charges for membership packages and the benefits that come with them are extremely high. They range from multiple hundreds of dollars per month or more for a premium subscription. Other CRE listing and database groups such as Xceligent have initiated a legal battle against Costar for holding an alleged monopoly and engaging in anti competitive behaviors.
Loopnet prices range from approximately $70 for one listing, which increases to hundreds of dollars per month for unlimited listing spaces. These prices also boost the placement of each property advertised.
Before Loopnet’s acquisition by Costar, premium memberships would grant access to a property’s transaction history and records. Loopnet no longer provides this service anymore. However, with additional payments of up to $500, Costar offers this documentation separately to Loopnet subscribers.
On the other hand, Costar offers subscribers a rich compilation of records and property history in addition to Loopnet’s listing features. The catch is simply that any individual or business must pony up to receive these benefits.
When you’re looking for a new commercial property for a business or perhaps an investment to carry you through to your financial freedom, it’s natural to want to utilize the best tools available on the market. It can be widely agreed that for exposure, high volume traffic, listing visibility, record database, and analytics, Costar and Loopnet offer some of the most comprehensive services in the commercial real estate listing space.
Even so, the benefits each platform offers don’t come cheap – to the point where the Costar group has fielded lawsuits against anticompetitive behavior. The financial commitment these sites demand – Costar in particular – may not be aligned with small investors or small business’ budgets.
Even the best listing platforms and databases will not necessarily guarantee success without investing experience and a strong network under your belt. That’s why working with commercial buyer’s brokers like NNN Deal Finder is so popular among investors. We have access to the best listing resources on the market, and we are proficient at negotiating the best commercial real estate deals for clients. If you want to secure your next investment fast, in the most affordable way, contact NNN Deal Finder today.