If you work in commercial real estate, you already know LoopNet is a great resource for finding investment properties.
While LoopNet has over 500,000 active commercial listings and more than 8 million registered users, it’s one of the most popular tools to finding properties for sale.
But it’s not the only resource. Below, we discuss how LoopNet helps find CRE professionals find investment properties and explore LoopNet alternatives to finding new opportunities.
What is LoopNet?
LoopNet is an online commercial listings platform, giving users easy access to active for sale and for lease listings across the U.S. and Canada.
It is a marketplace for those looking to buy property that is for sale, and for those looking to actively market and sell a property. More generally, it’s a platform for property buyers and sellers to connect.
The site is primarily used by commercial brokers and investors as a tool for finding opportunistic property buyers and sellers.
How do brokers and investors use LoopNet?
Property buyers will use LoopNet to find optimal properties to purchase—plain and simple. The motive is what varies, however.
Buyers include investors, brokers, and business owners.
Investors will look to add ideal, lucrative assets to their portfolio. Business owners might look to add a new location to their operation. Brokers will be looking on behalf of the motive of the investor or business-owner that they’re representing.
The motive for property sellers will almost always be to get the biggest possible return on a listed property—whether it’s an investor shedding a single property, or a business-owner in distress.
In most cases, those owners will be represented by an agent. That agent, in turn, will handle the listing of the property (on LoopNet, or anywhere else).
For property sellers, LoopNet can be used as a marketing tool to showcase properties in a favorable way to the brokers, investors, and business-owners mentioned above.
When looking specifically at the buy-side of the equation, brokers and investors will use LoopNet for:
- Prospecting and finding potential investment properties
- Analyzing properties and owner portfolios
- Getting in touch with reps or decision-makers of a property
Prospecting and property searching entails finding the properties that meet your physical/land-use requirements.
Analyzing properties entails looking at the history of a property and its owner to assure that it meets your financial and other non-physical requirements.
Once a property is understood and qualified on behalf of the buyer, the only thing left to do is contact the selling party. When it comes to active listings, the selling contact will almost always be a rep—unless, of course, the property is for-sale-by-owner (FSBO).
When it comes to buying properties on LoopNet, investors and brokers will use the platform to get in touch with the representative of the listed property.
For each of the aforementioned use-cases, there are a number of alternatives available to buyers and representatives of commercial real estate.
In a way, LoopNet stands on its own. With so many registered users (8 million), and such a large pool of active listings (500,000), it’s hard to say that it has any truly direct competitors.
When breaking down the different use-cases of the site, however, and the alternative resources for each of those cases, the options become much more evident.
LoopNet Property Search Alternatives
Aside from the national listings LoopNet offers, there are a number of on and off-market property search tools giving you access to markets anywhere in the country.
Off-market platforms, while different than LoopNet’s for sale listings, still offer the same benefits to investors and brokers, except at a wider scale, and while saving them time and the hassle of information aggregation.
Reonomy Off-Market Property Search
Reonomy provides the ability to search for multi family properties, land parcels, and any other commercial asset class across the nation’s 3,000-plus counties.
Without being limited only to what is actively listed for sale, search properties by asset type, building and lot specs, sales history, debt history, ownership, who its tenants are, whether it’s in an Opportunity Zone, and much more.
If you do want to search only for active listings, however, there are plenty of commercial listings platforms to choose from—some of which span nationally, some of which are asset-type or location-focused.
CREXi, much like LoopNet, allows for the handling of the property sale process from first listing to close.
The site also offers for sale and for lease listings for multi family, retail, office, industrial, and more asset classes across the entire United States. Despite not having as many listings as LoopNet, CREXi can still be used for many of the same purposes.
The self-proclaimed “largest Commercial MLS in the country,” Catylist is another national commercial listings platform offering property buyers and sellers the opportunity to list and search commercial assets of all different types.
While the site does not cover the entire U.S., it offers listings in more than 45 markets, most recently entering Phoenix, Seattle, Los Angeles, and others.
Land and Farm
As perhaps the largest land-specific listings platform available in the U.S., Land and Farm offers potential buyers listings for farms, ranches, recreational, hunting, commercial and residential land for sale across the country.
In terms of volume, Land and Farm is one of the few websites that even comes close to LoopNet, and actually exceeds it, with access to “more than 680,000” properties for sale (according to their homepage).
On the residential front, Zillow is one of the most popular listings platform available today.
Those using LoopNet to search for multi family properties can also turn to Zillow to find investments across the country.
Zillow covers the entire U.S., and currently has one of the largest pools of on-market multi family properties in the country.
Knotel-owned commercial listings platform 42Floors offers users listings of commercial for-sale and for-lease properties, subleases, and co-working spaces.
The site focuses a bit more heavily on major markets across the U.S.—their for sale and for lease listings are focused mostly on office, retail, industrial, medical, and restaurant properties.
LoopNet Prospecting Alternatives
All commercial real estate sales start with some degree of prospecting. Without thorough prospecting, the best opportunities might go overlooked.
After your initial property search on LoopNet, you can begin to view individual property profiles to better understand the opportunity that they present you or your client.
The fact is, however, property records available on LoopNet are not as in-depth as they are when using a source like Reonomy, or by going straight to your local county clerk and accessing public records directly.
Reonomy Prospecting and Portfolio Analysis
With Reonomy, you can also gain a window into the full details behind any individual property, on or off-market—including owner details and contact information, current tenants, sale and debt history, and more.
See if a property is located in an Opportunity Zone, see its most recent sale, most recent mortgage, and lender.
After running your off-market property search, you can use Reonomy to quickly identify potential buyers and sellers and build a list of leads.
Furthermore, while in the platform conducting property analysis, you can also quickly jump into a new window and view sales comps on multi family properties, land parcels, or any other commercial asset class.
With Reonomy, you can quickly identify commercial property buyers and sellers in bulk before their properties hit the open market.
You can also view full owner portfolios with a targeted property owner search. See all the properties that a specific owner has in their portfolio, and use that information to bolster your pitch and build a more robust (and potentially lucrative) relationship with them.
To dive into specific properties, or a specific aspect of a property, you can always turn to public records.
Whether online or in-person, public records offer the most accurate look into the filings associated with a single property. You can find sales deeds and debt information online that allow you to analyze the financial standing of an owner.
There is no information interference whatsoever when it comes to public records. The downfall, though, is that the information can not be collected in bulk, cannot be easily exported and worked into your existing database, and takes loads of time to access.
In many cases, LoopNet and local public records can—and will—be used in tandem to create a more holistic understanding of a property as an opportunity.
- Examples of public records websites: ACRIS | HCAD | Larimer County Clerk | Maricopa County Clerk | LA County Clerk
LoopNet Alternatives for Contacting Sellers
This is perhaps where the biggest difference lies between LoopNet and its competitors.
While LoopNet makes it simple to get in touch with brokers, platforms like Reonomy allow you to get into direct contact with decision-makers—owners themselves, and the people behind owning LLCs.
The difference between listings platforms and resources like Reonomy is the ability to forgo gatekeepers, minimize the amount of people involved in any deal, and go straight to selling decision-makers.
Reonomy True Owner Search
With Reonomy, you can quickly see the reported owning entity of multi family properties, land parcels, and all other commercial asset classes nationwide.
By visiting the Ownership tab of a property’s profile page, you can pierce the LLC and get the true owner names and contact information for the individuals associated with the owning LLC.
After you’ve identified likely buyers and sellers who’ve yet to list their property, you can reach out to them directly to secure them as a client, using your property and portfolio analysis to create a more customized pitch.
No matter what your specific needs are, there are plenty of alternatives that you can use to fill-in for, supplement, or use alongside LoopNet when looking for investment properties on behalf of yourself or others.