If you are searching for commercial property for sale or lease, Loopnet is the first place you should check. Read on to learn what makes them our first stop and why you should use the service.
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What Is Loopnet?
LoopNet is the most-visited commercial real estate listing site on the Internet. More than 12.6 million visitors land on its pages every month. Its listings include more than half a million properties.
The site has four times more visitors than all of its competitors combined. At least that’s what the company says. Either way, most professionals agree it’s the big dog of the commercial real estate listing pack.
All told, LoopNet’s listings include 6.3 billion square feet of space worth $425 billion. If you’re going online to list or search for commercial real estate properties, LoopNet is the place to look.
LoopNet was founded in 1995 and acquired by CoStar Group, the leading provider of commercial real estate research and data in the United States, in 2011. CoStar is a premium-priced service widely used by commercial real estate professionals.
Many of LoopNet’s services, on the other hand, are free to use. Anyone can tap its detailed and informative listings for due diligence and to research comparative market analyses.
If CoStar is like the Multiple Listing Service, LoopNet is more like Zillow. It’s open to all, easy to use, and has a great deal of traffic and listings.
CoStar has several other online marketplace businesses. These include:
- CityFeet. Commercial property listings.
- LandsofAmerica. Farms, ranches, acreage, and country homes.
- Showcase. Commercial real estate listings.
- Belbex. Commercial real estate listings in Madrid, Spain.
- Realla. Commercial real estate listings in the United Kingdom.
- BizBuySell. Business for sale exchange.
- Apartments.com. Rental apartment listing website.
How to Contact Loopnet
LoopNet is headquartered in San Francisco. You can get in touch with LoopNet via one of the methods below:
LoopNet’s Best Features
People listing or searching for information on investment properties typically first visit LoopNet. Searchers may be looking for something to buy or just researching a market.
Sellers listing their commercial properties may be brokers or property owners. Either way, Loopnet has become a powerhouse by offering features unique to its platform. Our favorites include:
Anyone can list commercial properties for sale on LoopNet, including licensed brokers and unlicensed property owners. Listings are easy to create. And it’s free to list properties on LoopNet.
However, there is a catch: Premium listings are only shown to paying members. This typically results in the “free” listings (i.e. ones that users aren’t paying to promote) being the less desirable ones.
If you are a user seeking the best and complete list of properties for sale, you should pay the membership fee. Without this, you’re likely to find older listings that, as some users report, are not good deals.
Aside from this, LoopNet listings offer great functionality. Other benefits include:
- Syndication. Listings on LoopNet also appear on CoStar’s Cityfeet and Showcase website, as well as more than 100 online newspaper websites.
- Agent web portal. This portal is used to manage listing details, including photos and descriptions of amenities.
- Professional profiles. Brokers and agents can post and share descriptions of their listings, markets, and specialties.
- Widgets for websites. Professionals can add mortgage calculators, listing displays, and other widgets to their real estate websites.
- Premium listings. By paying for premium listings, property sellers can increase the visibility of their listings.
LoopNet also provides listers with tools to easily run a CMA. Additionally, it easily integrates with a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or customer relationship management (CRM) software.
You can search for properties on LoopNet by property type, geographic location, price, among others. LoopNet’s main property type filters include:
- Health care
- Shopping center
- Sports and entertainment
Each of these is broken down further into sub-categories. For instance, searchers can filter multifamily searches to find garden-style, high-rise, low-rise, and mid-rise apartment properties.
Other filters help searchers find vacant properties, residential income properties, investment properties, and other types. You can also exclude certain types of properties, such as condominiums. Location is the other main set of filters.
LoopNet handles searches by state, metropolitan area, city, county, zip code, and intersection. These queries can be restricted to a radius of 1 mile to 25 miles from an address.
Other filters include price filters, including price per square foot, acre, or unit. Searchers can also filter properties based on building size, lot size, and many other criteria.
LoopNet’s marketing tools let property sellers quickly turn listings into flyers and brochures. They can also format them for use in email campaigns.
LoopNet gets much of its revenue from charging for premium searching and listing. Premium ads are seen by every visitor, including the majority who are not premium paid members.
And brokers who are premium searchers get to see all ads, rather than just the paid ones. LoopNet does not publish its prices. However, reviewers on Yelp indicate they pay from $200 to $300 for a three-month premium advertisement for one property.
In recent years, CoStar has been raising prices for LoopNet’s paid service tiers. It has also marketed heavily to LoopNet users to get them to switch to the CoStar Suite commercial real estate information service.
CoStar Suite is the dominant commercial real estate information service. The company does not advertise its prices. However, a financial analyst report indicates CoStar Suite’s average monthly rate for new brokers is $466.
LoopNet Pros and Cons
While we love to search for properties on Loopnet, a good objective review highlights both a service’s pros and cons. Read on to learn what we think about the platform.
Pros (what we like)
Anybody can list a property on LoopNet for free. This makes it easy for property sellers to get exposure and means it has a massive database of detailed and informative listings.
This data trove makes LoopNet popular with people searching for properties to buy, doing due diligence on deals, and preparing market profiles.
Individual listings can include details like square footage, broker’s contact information, and even cap rates. LoopNet also has flexible and powerful searching tools and some helpful listing aids for property sellers.
LoopNet is so dominant that it’s almost the only game in town. The other commercial real estate listing websites are much smaller and only a fraction of its size, so it’s safe to say there’s little competition.
Cons (what can be improved)
LoopNet’s listings have a lot of information. But because anyone can post one for free, some listings may have inaccurate or outdated information. Listings remain on the site even after they’ve sold. So real estate buyers and researchers still need to verify what they see in listings.
LoopNet also limits the number of searches visitors can do without paying. So extensive research will require some financial investment. We think the biggest downside is the pricing.
Fees have climbed steadily while the free services on the site have gotten more limited. Some brokers complain about billing practices for premium ads. These use a subscription model that automatically renews if not canceled by the user.
LoopNet is by far the leader in the online commercial property listing marketplace. Its primary competitor, Xceligent, closed its doors in 2018.
None of the other commercial listing marketplaces have achieved anything like its size and reputation. Regardless, Loopnet’s main competitors include:
- Craigslist. This classified advertisements website includes an “office & commercial” category in its very active real estate section.
- Realtor.com. This is primarily a site for single-family home listings but can be used to find multifamily commercial properties.
- Reonomy. This real estate website lists information on all commercial properties in the U.S., not just those for sale.
When searching for commercial or multi-family property for sale, there are few options that compare to Loopnet. Personally, this is my first and main stop when searching for property.
I’ve only used it to search for properties, so I can’t speak to the experience using the service to list buildings. However, I’ve used Apartments.com, another Costar product, and thought it was easy to use and affordably priced.
There are few other competitors in the market, so Loopnet offers compelling value for a free platform. Even if you factor in the subscription price, we think it’s still a good deal.
To illustrate this, consider the cost of a commercial real estate commission. When you sell a commercial or multi-family property, this number can easily hit six figures.
Relatively speaking, Loopnet’s small monthly fee gives you exposure to one of the biggest commercial platforms, so it’s well worth the investment. On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a new building, Loopnet is the first place we suggest you start.
LoopNet is the undisputed leader in online commercial real estate marketplaces. However, premium listings can be costly. Its unpaid listings don’t appear in all searches.
Regardless, it’s still the go-to place for buyers and sellers of commercial properties, so we think it’s worth a look.