9+ Essential Research Tools for the National Commercial Real Estate Investor

April 22, 2017
4
min

Great investing is not done in a box. If you want to get ahead, you need to see and understand the market. The speed of innovation in investment research for commercial real estate may be dizzying for some, but taking advantage of the latest tools available is table-stakes to becoming the best investor in your market.

Listings Platforms

Listings platforms are a key piece of the research toolbelt, as they provide both direct investment opportunities, and the ability to search similar properties for benchmarking. Some of the more popular listings platforms are:

Ten-X

Ten-X has its origins in Auction.com, a site still active in selling both residential and commercial properties through online auctions. These days Ten-X is focused more on managing transactions online and giving brokers a great tool-belt of listing and marketing features. Ten-X Commercial currently lists 255 properties for sale.

CREXi

CREXi, which stands for Commercial Real Estate Exchange, is a venture-backed start-up headquartered in Venice, CA founded by veterans of Auction.com/Ten-X. The platform allows principals and brokers to search for properties across a number of criteria including property type, tenancy, size, cap rate, and custom keywords. CREXi is up to over 18,000 commercial listings on its platform since founding in 2015.

Brevitas

Brevitas is another start-up building a broker and principal toolset and a listings marketplace. Brevitas features both open market and “off-market” listings, which require interested parties to request access to full deal details after previewing the location, property type, and price. Brevitas has aggregated over 1000 current commercial listings across the globe (85% US).

Loopnet

“Loopnet has really been innovating at a rapid pace since their acquisition by CoStar.” — said no one ever. Be that as it may, Loopnet is still the stalwart of the industry when it comes to listings volume, boasting 800,000 listings at the time of this publication. If you’re looking for prospective property investments, Loopnet still needs to be a part of your repertoire.

Local listings platforms

There may also be local listings platforms in your market that you should not discount. One example is Falkon, a listings platform here in New York. Google should be able to help you find your own local commercial listings platforms if they exist.

Property Research Tools

Reonomy

Reonomy started as a research platform for properties in New York, surfacing property info, sales history, ownership contact info, and tax and zoning. Now Reonomy is set to launch the platform nationally, and is adding information on property-level debt. Reonomy is available at a paid subscription, meaning it’s best for those who need to perform ongoing research.

PropertyShark

PropertyShark offers up some decent, free functionality when you search for a specific property like assessed value, taxes, and local demographics. For sales history and ownership, you need to create a paid account. The good news is you can buy reports by the property if you don’t want a full access subscription.

REIS

REIS provides paid reports on markets and properties, providing research on cap rates, sales and rent comps, and market analysis. REIS also sells much of their analysis out to lenders and brokers.

Brokers websites and mailing lists

Broker mailing lists

Kicking up a relationship with a local investment sales broker should net you entry to their regular email blasts (for better or for worse). Keep them feeling close, and they’ll reach out for a personal touch when they have something in your sweet spot.

Broker websites

Some commercial brokers host listings on their own websites which you can search and filter through. They are often not as high-tech as some of the listings platforms mentioned above, but if your concern is finding the best deal, it may be sitting on a broker’s website. What some of the national brokers do well is research reports, as they sit on a lot of data built up by their deal teams, which their research departments work to turn into actionable insights.

Locking in

Once you’ve researched a local market, taken enough time to form an investment thesis, and found the perfect property to acquire or develop, now it’s time to shift your focus to financing that investment. There are more financing options out there than ever, and maximizing your investment means finding the right lender. StackSource has built a fully-online, interactive process to build a single loan request, and get matched within our lender network to ensure you’re getting the best financing on the market, for free. See how it works at StackSource.com.

StackSource is a tech-enabled commercial real estate loan platform. We connect investors who are developing or acquiring commercial properties with financing options like banks, insurance companies, and debt funds through a transparent online process. We’re taking the best of commercial mortgage brokerage and updating it for the 21st century. Learn more at StackSource.com.