Whether you’re new or seasoned in the real estate investing world, you will have probably heard of the real estate tech giants Loopnet and Zillow. Both are the online marketplace leaders for each of their markets – commercial real estate and residential property respectively – although the overall target market, purpose, and features vary greatly between the two.
With so many platforms available today, it can be challenging to differentiate between them and devise which tool is more appropriate to help you reach your goals. In this article, we’re going to compare each site’s features and discuss how the two platforms can be used by commercial real estate investors, brokers, and tenants.
Zillow vs Loopnet: The Low Down For Commercial Investors
If you’re in the commercial property market chances are you’re familiar with Loopnet, the largest digital marketplace for commercial property in the United States. If you’re clued up, you may have scoured Zillow’s marketplace for income-generating residential property too.
While the two tools offer exceptional features to assist with a range of investment searches in the commercial property industry, a few attributes are not integrated into either platform. These include negotiation, market and property information, and some good old-fashioned guidance from professionals.
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If you prefer to sink your teeth into the searches and have some great negotiation skills already, dive in to see how Zillow and Loopnet can help you.
Zillow is among the most widely-used tech real estate marketplaces in the United States. The platform was founded in 2006, and it attracts approximately 271 million visitors each month. Zillow focuses on residential real estate, enabling users to search properties for sale or rent, and its inventory includes income-producing residential properties. This means that its audience also comprises commercial real estate investors.
The site offers property values estimations and property information for buyers. It also connects buyers and sellers with local real estate agents. Rental property owners can even list interior tours to capture the rental tenant market.
Zillow has made multiple acquisitions over the past decade, including StreetEasy, Naked Apartments, and Trulia. All properties listed on Zillow are integrated into the latter platform. Additionally, the site offers its services for free: all revenue generated is a result of selling advertising spaces to real estate agents and brokers.
The platform is free for users to list homes for sale by the owner or a real estate agent, and it’s also free to search for properties listed. Agents pay Zillow for advertisement space on the platform, exposing them to interested buyers or sellers and generating leads in their local market.
Buyers, sellers, and property owners can advertise property listings through a real estate agent or on their own. However, for sale by owner listings do not capture as much exposure as those who list through a broker’s agent. Additionally, the ‘Contact Agent’ option on the website leads users to an unrelated local real estate agent, which adds an irrelevant intermediary in the process and potentially compromises listing agents’ lead generation.
Zillow has integrated rental payment processes into its landlord management tool, allowing tenants to pay rent to landlords directly via the platform, with a surcharge for the service. The company also has an affiliate lending program, Zillow Home Loans, which enables users to become preapproved for a mortgage and secure financing for property purchases.
- Free to list and search for property
- The most widely used residential real estate listing site
- High exposure for users selling with an agent
- A diverse range of integrated tools
- Limited range of commercial real estate listings
- FSBO and agent listings have lowered visibility
- Difficult for buyers to contact agents directly
Who Should Use Zillow?
Primarily, Zillow is a platform where individuals can search for and list residential properties to purchase or rent. While the site focuses on residential buildings, commercial real estate investors and brokers seeking income-producing residential properties nationwide can still take advantage of the platform.
If you’re looking for a multifamily investment such as a duplex, triplex, or otherwise, Zillow provides a diverse range of income-producing properties. The catch is that if you seek to secure a deal with the owner, you may have to dig deeper to discover the perfect commercial property investment.
Loopnet could be considered the Zillow of the commercial property world. It’s the largest and most popular commercial real estate digital marketplace, capturing approximately 12.6 million monthly users. Like Zillow, it also comprises the most widespan geographic reach in its market.
Loopnet is designed to connect a network of investors, brokers, and tenants with properties for lease and sale. The platform was established in 1995 and later acquired by its parent company Costar, the industry’s most prominent commercial real estate database for analytics, news, and property records.
The site is free to use for basic searches, though to advertise property listings users require a paid membership package. Unlike parent company Costar, Loopnet does not expand into residential property, except for income-producing residential property. Among other commercial real estate MLS listings websites, Loopnet is considered one of the most expensive.
Loopnet allows users to conduct property searches based on property type, price, location, square footage, and more. Investors gain exposure to residential income properties, industrial, land, and commercial property space.
Previously, the platform offered users access to property records. This feature was removed following Costar’s acquisition of Loopnet in 2012. Although, users can pay an additional $500 on top of membership fees to access Costar’s most comprehensive commercial real estate database available on the market.
Through search engine optimization, the company offers the highest listing exposure among similar brands. It also puts forward paid advertising placement, meaning with more expensive membership packages, users gain even better exposure for their property listings.
- Largest digital commercial real estate marketplace
- High local and national listing exposure and website traffic
- Detailed listings with high-quality imagery
- No membership access to property records
- High plan premiums and upgrades to advertise listings
- Low listing visibility for non-member users
Who Should Use Loopnet?
Loopnet is a platform where commercial real estate investors, brokers, and tenants can advertise or search for properties to purchase or lease. Unlike competitor Zillow and its parent company Costar, Loopnet does not provide members with residential property options. The platform is targeted toward a range of commercial real estate listings only.
Therefore, professional listing brokers, real estate agents, professional investors, and businesses seeking additional lease properties are the audience targeted by Loopnet. Additionally, those acting in a professional capacity may be better able to foot the hefty bill for any membership packages offering services beyond basic searches.
Which Platform Is Better For Commercial Real Estate Listings?
A large part of the Zillow vs Loopnet debate boils down to whether you are searching for commercial or residential property. Another integral aspect to consider is how much an individual is willing to pay for the services. Let’s take a look at how the two companies compare head-to-head.
Advertising Commercial Properties
Both platforms advertise commercial properties. The primary difference is that Zillow focuses on residential buildings, so investors seeking income-generating residential properties such as duplexes, triplex, or apartment buildings may find what they are looking for.
On the other hand, Loopnet is a site designed specifically for commercial real estate. Therefore Loopnet may be better suited to investors interested in finding a variety of CRE property types.
Fees and Membership
Zillow is free to list and browse real estate listings. However, all FSBO costs associated with the sale of a property, negotiation, advertising, fielding offers, and property viewings are also managed by the property owner. In some cases, it may be more cost and time effective to work directly with a listing broker who assists with negotiations and marketing processes.
Loopnet is one of the more expensive commercial real estate listings sites to find available properties on the market. Subscribers pay premiums for silver, gold, or platinum packages to list a property on the platform.
Property investors today have a range of tools to scour online and find the perfect real estate investment. Zillow is one of the most popular sites for residential property, which is effective if you are looking for multifamily investment.
Loopnet is the largest digital CRE marketplace in the United States, although it’s pricey compared to other platforms of similar caliber. Additionally, the properties with the highest exposure depend on the membership package of the listing broker, rather than the relevance to your search. This means investors may spend more time looking for relevant properties.
In either case, there is more to making the right CRE investment than the tools you use to search. Strong negotiation, market insights, and boots-on-the-ground investing experience are invaluable skills that only come by working with an experienced commercial investor. If you are looking for a passive triple net investment in commercial real estate without the hassle of searching, get in touch with the investing professionals at NNN Deal Finder. We are here to find you the property that works best for your goals and supports you on the path to investing success.