Finding and appealing to potential buyers can be hard work when you don’t know where to start.
Listings platforms are an obvious option but aren’t the most productive method when you don’t know who your audience is or what they’re looking for.
If you’re looking for buyers to invest in commercial properties, but are struggling to begin, look no further. Below, we explore the steps to understanding potential buyers and connecting with them faster using technology and targeted listings platforms.
Commercial Property Buyers
Before starting to search for potential buyers, it’s important to understand what types of buyers there are.
Not every investor is a corporate institution with a sprawling portfolio, nor is every buyer a hobbyist with a handful of properties.
Your potential buyers could be…
- Business owners needing new or larger premises.
- Investors seeking to expand their portfolio.
- New investors to commercial real estate that want to buy into a portfolio.
After you’ve understood the different types of investors on the market, it’s important to understand who and where exactly they are.
Think about how to approach these potential buyers: What’s their level of sophistication? What do they specialize in? Where are they looking to invest in a new opportunity?
For example, if you work in asset classes like retail and office, you might want to focus on individual and small-business owners looking to expand. These buyers require a different approach than major institutional investors.
Additionally, not all potential buyers will always be responsive. You might need to spend more time tailoring your pitch as to what investing in your property can do for them.
Expanding your scope will be beneficial, too. Talking to as many people as possible, joining local real estate clubs, asking questions and networking with owners, realtors, bankers, lenders, and investors will greatly benefit you.
It’s important to get to know all of the big players in your area to create contacts with individuals and companies actively or passively looking for new options.
How to Find Buyers for Commercial Real Estate
After you’ve understood who and where you’re targeting, there are a handful of ways to actively find buyers for commercial real estate.
While networking and listings platforms are helpful, the right commercial real estate technology can transform your prospecting process completely, and help from prospecting through pitching.
Find Buyers Using Reonomy
Reonomy is an especially lucrative tool for finding buyers. The Reonomy platform harnesses the market’s largest database of over 50 million properties and their respective physical, transactional and ownership information.
With Reonomy, you can run a variety of targeted searches to identify potential buyers. Using filters and contextual clues, the platform helps narrow down your options to find the possible buyers on the market.
Search by Transactional Information
For example, one way to do this in Reonomy is to search for recent sellers.
Under the Sales tab, you can search via Most recent sale date, which can help surface recent sellers typically who may have cash on hand and the potential to invest elsewhere.
Similarly, you can use this tab to find for recent buyers. Using the same Most recent sale date option, you can sort for new sales transactions to find a list of new buyers who might be interested in further acquisitions.
Search by Asset Class and Location
Similarly, you can narrow your search even further by geography and asset class. The Location tab allows you to search based on geographic details, like city, state, county, or zip code.
Whether you’re looking for local or national buyers, you can leverage this option in conjunction with sales intel to find potential buyers.
Similarly, the Asset Type tab enables you to narrow your search by industry. So, if you’re selling a multi-family apartment building, look for owners of apartment buildings in your area.
From there, you can directly access their contact information and look at their ownership portfolio.
By viewing the ownership portfolio, you can look at all of the holdings they are associated with and determine if they may be interested in expanding their portfolio.
Search for Comps to Find Buyers
Compare property values by using the comparable property feature and see similar properties you are looking to sell.
Search the property you want to sell, and you can directly run a search for comps from the property details page in Reonomy.
You can also use this feature to find similar buyers. If someone who has recently bought a comparable property, or has a similar portfolio, they might be worth pursuing.
You can even leverage this knowledge in your pitch.
Search by Owner
Lastly, search for properties by ownership information to unlock their entire portfolio. You can conduct a search in Reonomy by the name of the owner of record, the owner mailing address, and if it is owner-occupied or not.
With the ownership search feature, you can see every property the LLC or individual is involved in.
This allows you to see the scope of their asset collection and further determine if it might be worth your time to approach a potential buyer.
It also will help you figure out what the buyer is interested in on a wider scope.
In terms of pitching your deal, if you can help them visualize their company in this space or appeal to their needs, you are more likely to convince them it is the right fit.
Find Contact Information
Once you have successfully identified a number of potential buyers, you can reach out to them using contact information provided within the platform.
All of these tools allow a higher probability of fit for an owner – and a much stronger pitch because you know more information about the potential buyer.
By keeping a roster of possible buyers around, it is possible to target an appropriate buyer in a timely manner.
The key to building your market share of property listings and opportunity is in maintaining a focused database of interested people that may transact commercial property now or in the future.
The Benefits of Off-Market
An important thing to note is that Reonomy is an off-market platform. This database isn’t just a collection of properties actively being sold; It includes those listed and unlisted.
What does this mean in relation to buyers? There are major benefits to off-market deal making.
In terms of flexibility and personalized negotiations, you have the ability to look at an ownership portfolio to leverage your potential deal and present it with specific details in mind.
Another benefit of searching off-market is skipping the broker fees. This kind of direct purchasing can allow you to get more money directly from the buyer of the property, or skip fees that are usually incurred with a listed property.
With Reonomy, you no longer have to spend valuable time taking trips to your local county recorder, clerk, or assessor’s office to perform a property search and look up owners.
You can search for any commercial property ownership record nationwide efficiently.
Reonomy allows you to contact a property owner directly through filtered criteria and easily navigate the database to find the information you need most, including past sales detail, debt information, geography and more.
Listing the Property
In addition to using technology, posting the property on a listings platform is also beneficial when looking for potential buyers.
Depending on your audience, the listings platform you use can vary.
Commercial listing databases are full of clients who already have representation, but these sites can keep you informed of key market trends and players, which can be useful in the future.
Below is a list of platforms, both general and niche, help you get started.
General Commercial Listings Platforms
LoopNet is an online marketplace for commercial property that hosts over 8 million registered members.
As one of the largest commercial real estate listings platforms, LoopNet has over 800,000 total listings and 6.3 billion square feet for lease over various asset classes, including multifamily, office, industrial and land.
You can sign up to list your property for free, but can also leverage their premium option for access to other helpful tools, like email campaigns, custom websites, and video tour inclusion options.
Whatever route you decide to choose, LoopNet supposedly garners 5 million visitors a month, making it likely you’ll find your next buyer.
While LoopNet is a prevalent player, it’s not the only platform. Total Commercial is one lucrative alternative to consider when looking for a place to list the properties you’re selling.
For $90/year, you can post as many properties as you want on the Total Commercial platform and ensure your posting is found by buyers. This includes unlimited listings with unlimited photos and attachments per listing. To learn more about how to list on their platform, visit their website and read the listings guidelines.
Commercial Real Estate Exchange, Inc. (CREXi) is another commercial real estate marketplace and technology platform dedicated to supporting the CRE industry and its stakeholders.
For sales listings, specifically, CREXi enables commercial real estate professionals to quickly post their properties and find buyers faster.
To get started, visit CREXi’s website. You can either post the listings yourself, or have a professional from CREXi do it for you.
There are also a variety of niche listings to find buyers who might be more specific to the asset you’re selling. For example, maybe you’re based in New York City and want to focus on selling in that metro. A regional listings platform, like 42Floors or City Feet, would allow you to hone in on specific regions like NYC to promote your listing to that community.
Whatever niche listings platform you choose will depend on your needs, but below are three to check out in the meantime…
Land and Farm
Land and Farm is another land-specific listings platform where sellers can promote their rural property options. is owner by LoopNet, but specializes in listing rural real estate. According to Land.com’s website, the site hosts 10+ million different commercial land properties, including farms, ranches, hunting land, vacant plots and more.
Sellers at Land And Farm can easily aggregate their land for sale making it easy for buyers to view properties.
Given their low-maintenance and recession-proof ROI, investments in mobile home parks are becoming more popular. If you’re looking to sell your RV lot, mobile home listings platforms like RV Property make it easy to appeal to future buyers and promote listings.
RV Property is the first website designed specifically to promote mobile home parks for sale to the RV community. According to their website, they have more than 103,000 visitors per month, making it a viable option to find potential mobile home park buyers.
Whatever you’re looking to list, there is a platform for you to help you get in touch with eager buyers. Check out our full listings guide on our blog.
And if you’re ready to find commercial property buyers faster, try Reonomy for free.