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Commercial Real Estate

32 commercial real estate sites you should be familiar with

As old school and new school collide, commercial real estate sites have modernized and adapted – here are 32 you should know about.





Old school with new skool CRE

Update: this article was written in 2010, so some sites may or may not still be functioning.

I know at times I have been somewhat “critical” of the commercial real estate online environment.  Anyone can stand back and throw rocks.  Diverse, social, educational, informative, worldwide, visual, tech edge, interactive, here are 32 of the best sites in Commercial Real Estate (CRE) with my own commentary.

For anyone in CRE or considering getting into CRE, you should become familiar with the following sites:

ROFO– putting business and available space together. This site was honored with a Webby Award. This IS the future of commercial real estate online.

Arcestra– is a revolutionary 3D visualization and marketing online service that helps lease commercial real estate quickly. Did I say THIS is the future of commercial real estate?

Creopoint.comthey say 1) rapid access to businesses and experts 2) improved digital branding 3) wants/haves and corresponding invitations to network 4) member viewpoints and forums 5) CRE news aggregated from around the globe 6) industry-focused search to avoid clutter.  I say #1 worldwide commercial real estate network?

Mos Atlanta– the best personal commercial real estate agent blog out today. Period.

Argussoftware– the best software in commercial real estate for property management, asset valuation, portfolio management, budgeting, forecasting, reporting and lease management.

Loopnet– iPhone search app. One of the first.

Zstrata– commercial real estate CRM.

Space for lease– well… space for lease.

OSCRE– commercial real estate data standards. But, is it working?

Intelligent buildings– look in the library section. Great white paper intelligence.

Realcretv– commercial real estate TV. Yes ,yes, yes but, will anyone watch?

Green building law blog– just cool content.

Transaction data and analytics– if you are big time, this is a must have.

Real estate investing news watch– real estate investment blog and news aggregator. Great info.

Realcomm– commercial real estate corp., commercial real estate tech and automation.  A must attend event.

Core Net Global– big time corp. global association.

Green exam prep– LEED training classes. Green is gold. I can’t believe I still use that line.

CPExecutive– commercial real estate executive news. Here are the hitters and this is what they read.

Crew Crew Crew– commercial real estate women… love the ladies.

Real Estate Forum Magazine– hardcore corporate, but a must read.

Realcorner– I still think I’m banned or blocked or something.

Visual Lease– leasing software. Just stunning.

Google Sketch Up–  3D buildings. Still fun and cool to play with, but also practical.

Chain Links– retail leasing group.

Property Week– from the UK. Commercial real estate, best site over all.

Multi-family Insiders– the name says it all.

Investor Loft– investor database.

REIS– commercial real estate property stats and data.– 50,000 members and growing.

CCIM– the best Commercial Real Estate education, period.

Urban Land Institute– best overall commercial real estate organization.

Retail Traffic– design, development, retail, finance. Kick ass blog too.

Interesting group you must admit. That’s my 32. There have to be 50 more that can be added to the list.  Disagree? Suggestions? Thoughts?

Broker/Owner in Lafayette, IN, whose passion is Commercial Real Estate with focus on Technology, Social Media, and Networking.

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  1. Rocky Mackintosh

    April 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Great list, Duke. Of course, one does not want to forget about CoStar. Great site, expensive to join, unless you are with a large organization. But great analytics.

  2. Scott Meyer COSTAR

    April 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    It blows my mind how you continue to leave off CoStar Group, The NATIONS PROVEN #1 PROVIDER OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE INFORMATION, from the majority of your blogs unless you are questioning their credibility or putting out a negative thought about their platform based SOLEY on what you perceive to be a high cost. You, as a non subscriber with no access to the platform, have no idea what kinds of information you are missing and therefore can not provide an accurate list of TOP CRE sites.

    The facts speak volumes about CoStar’s relevance in our market place. CoStar has more viewers, subscribers, and firms feeding CoStar data than any other CRE site. It combines a full inventory and more verified listings than any of the sites listed. Not to mention, it combines what about 15 of your sites mentioned do, all under one platform.

    • Halley

      May 14, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Yeah…CoStar isn't all that. They frequently have the wrong information. We give our researcher info, and it's FREQUENTLY wrong. In fact, they recently didn't even put one of our listings on there. It's got a LOT to be desired, even now, 5 years after your post.

  3. Ryan Martin

    April 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Nice list Duke. I’m pretty familiar with most of these. Some of these websites I even check in on a daily basis. Loopnet and CPExecutive are a couple of my favorites. I also like reading 🙂

    • Duke Long

      April 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Blatant ass kissing will indeed get you in my favor. However, your opinions and points of view are also appreciated especially if I disagree. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jonathan Price

    April 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    This is a good list but you need to include something from the business center/executive suite space, as that is growing a lot faster than conventional office space. I suggest Officing Today from ABCN or which has fabulous research.

    • Duke Long

      April 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks for the heads up and suggestion. I will take a look.

    • Duke Long

      April 27, 2010 at 10:58 am

      I did look and thanks great site !!!

  5. Patrick Braswell

    April 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm


    Great list. Couldn’t agree with you more on a couple of them, and thank you for introducing me to a few new ones. I would like to comment on Costar. Costar is a great tool, but not everyone can use all of its functions. I know that is making a push, but it still isn’t free to list the properties. Costar is expensive, and they seem to want to control the information. In my opinion, Costar’s control over the information will lead to them losing market share to websites like and others like it. However, I use Costar everyday in my business and couldn’t get along without it.


    • Oast

      April 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      Patrick great comment. Started by saying “CoStar is expensive” and finished with “I use CoStar everyday in my business and couldn’t get along without it.” I think that speaks volumes.

      To everyone who is a CoStar holdout due to perceived cost …it is not expensive. No matter how large or small your market / business….. your competitors who subscribe to CoStar have a significant edge on you. Not subscribing is costing you money, not the other way around.

      Duke, I love the topic but leaving CoStar Group off infinitely devalues your posts. You gotta tighten your game.

  6. Maine Broker

    April 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I for one am glad that you left CoStar of your list. The CRE Market here in Maine is very diferent than the rest of the US and they are unable to accomodate our needs. I can understand the need for standards but when you have an unhappy property owner on the phone looking at their property on Costar and you (the broker) have no control over the information- what do you do? You can ask CoStar to change the information but its up to them if they do or not. If it doesnt fit their standards- they do not. And I can speak from experience. Very frustrating!

    • Duke Long

      April 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks for your opinions and point of view!

  7. Duke Long

    April 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Has anyone noticed that I did not include or Catylist. …and not a word. Sometimes, it’s what you don’t say!!!

  8. Aaron Kempf

    April 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    You didn’t include – which is owned by NAR!
    free to join, free to post (licensed real estate agents only). is the source for Commercial Listings at and additionally they are currently integrating listings from CCIM Redex.

    They’re winning and building new _LARGE_ CIEs throughout the country:, etc

  9. Rlst8

    April 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm


    Your relevance with the “picture on your biz card set” is unmatched. No real commercial agent really uses these sites with frequency. Catylist, loop net and costar have earned their standing on any list, and these other sites are merely the next biz model to fail.

    Either you write this stuff to be edgy, or you really believe it. Not sure which is worse.

    • Benn Rosales

      April 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Who specifically on this list are you saying has a failed business model?


  10. ScottB

    April 30, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Just skimmed the list and comments, but didn’t see two that you might consider – although maybe they’re too old school?

    – Globe Street:
    – National Real Estate Investor:

    I think I’d categorize them as “industry rags”, so you won’t get much other than the party line, but still useful news and occasionally insightful and educational articles in them.

  11. Agnes Czajkowski

    May 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I just learned about a few new websites from your list. My favorite is Real Capital Analytics.
    One suggestion that I have is I saw a couple of their solutions and found it very impressive, easy to use and time saving.

  12. Christopher Werely

    June 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Duke Great list. Thanks for including us!

    Chris Werely
    Visual Lease

    • Duke Long

      June 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

      Chris, :):):)

  13. Andrew Mooers

    September 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    CoStar has put a lot of time into getting the commercial property listings loaded in right, and was wondering about the not being on the list.

  14. Adirondack Rentals

    September 27, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I have visited your links they are very good. Thanks! For informative list of Best 32 CRE sites

  15. creative consulting group

    August 13, 2011 at 7:21 am

    The sites listed requires an update because some sites are currently not operating.

  16. Chris

    October 28, 2013 at 3:08 am

    You forgot to mention as well. Its a FREE national commercial real estate listings search engine and commercial real estate community that caters to tenants, brokers, owners, and vendors servicing the industry. Have a look.

  17. Vijay Raundal

    July 21, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Nice blog… thanks for share this commercial real estate sites lists………

  18. Tyrone

    November 7, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the list and everyone’s replies/comments.

  19. Mike Toste, Realtor®

    May 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Talk about a blast to the past! 2010 ! Still a good list and the ones that are still alive and kicking are the ones that are awesome, bigger pockets for example had 50K subscribers at the time of this post publish date, but now has over 500K!! 10x bigger!
    It really is amazing how the commercial real estate industry has taken off in the technology realm.

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Commercial Real Estate

Pace of commercial real estate improvement is slowing

(Commercial Real Estate) The commercial real estate sector has improved substantially since the economy crashed, but is now showing signs of slowing, but data does not indicate lost ground.



commercial real estate

commercial real estate

Commercial real estate outlook is positive

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) quarterly forecast, commercial real estate is continuing to improve, but the pace is slowing.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that fundamentals are still on an uptrend. “Growth in commercial real estate sectors continues at a moderate pace from a very slow pace of absorption, despite job additions to the economy. Companies appear hesitant to add new space,” he said.

“Office demand is expected to see only slow and gradual improvement,” Dr. Yun added. “Demand for retail space is benefiting from improved household wealth, while industrial real estate is stable with increasing international trade, which requires warehouse space. Of course, the apartment market fundamentals are the strongest, as nearly all of the new household formation in the past 10 years has come from renters, and not homeowners.”

Forecasting the future

Overall, national vacancy rates in the coming year are forecast to drop 0.2 percentage point in the office sector (the sector with the worst vacancy rates) to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Vacancy rates are projected to fall 0.1 point in industrial to 8.9 percent, and 0.3 point for retail real estate to 9.9 percent.

With rising apartment construction, the average multifamily vacancy rate will edge up 0.1 percent to 4.1 percent, but this sector continues to experience the tightest availability and strongest rent growth of all the commercial sectors.

Rental rates for various sectors

Office rents are projected to increase 2.3 percent in 2014 and 3.2 percent next year. Net absorption of office space in the U.S., which includes the leasing of new space coming on the market as well as space in existing properties, is likely to total 44.6 million square feet this year and 50.0 million in 2015.

Annual industrial rents should rise 2.4 percent this year and 2.6 percent in 2015. Net absorption of industrial space nationally is seen at 106.1 million square feet in 2014 and 110.6 million next year.

Average retail rents are forecast to rise 2.0 percent in 2014 and 2.3 percent next year. Net absorption of retail space is likely to total 14.6 million square feet this year and 20.9 million in 2015.

Average apartment rents are projected to rise 4.3 percent this year and 3.5 percent in 2015. Multifamily net absorption is expected to total 204,900 units in 2014 and 112,500 next year.

Regional performance varies

The markets with the lowest office vacancy rates in the first quarter are New York City, with a vacancy rate of 9.5 percent; Washington, D.C., at 10.2 percent; Little Rock, Ark., 11.6 percent; Birmingham, Ala., 12.7 percent; and San Francisco and Nashville, Tenn., at 12.8 percent each.

The areas with the lowest industrial vacancy rates currently are Orange County, Calif., with a vacancy rate of 3.7 percent; Los Angeles, 3.8 percent; Miami, 5.8 percent; Seattle at 5.9 percent; and San Riverside/Bernardino, Calif., at 6.1 percent.

Markets with the lowest retail vacancy rates include San Francisco, at 3.1 percent; Fairfield County, Conn., 3.8 percent; Long Island, N.Y., 4.8 percent; San Jose, Calif., 5.2 percent; and Northern New Jersey and Orange County, Calif., at 5.3 percent each.

Areas with the lowest multifamily vacancy rates currently are New Haven, Conn., at 2.1 percent; Minneapolis and New York City, 2.3 percent; and Oakland-East Bay, Calif., and San Diego, at 2.5 percent each.

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Commercial Real Estate

Should you buy or lease office space? 5 questions to consider

When considering whether you should lease your office space or buy, an industry expert outlines the questions you should ask yourself.



office leadership

office leadership

Should you buy or lease an office space?

Many people set up shop and lease office space, assuming this is their best, and often only option, but there are some instances where buying office space is a better option. Many blindly make this decision based on a gut feeling, and we’re not saying that is a bad thing, we’re saying that in addition to that instinct, these five questions should be asked when considering whether you should lease or buy an office space.

Stan Snipes, senior advisor, Sperry Van Ness Investec Realty of Nashville notes that the two options depend on several variables, as he outlines below:

1. Is your business well-established?

If your business is still in the startup phase, I rarely recommend buying. During the next 5 to 10 years you’ll experience employee count fluctuations, client and customer oscillations and even business direction and strategy adjustments. That is, you’ll need to be flexible, not tied to a certain space. Additionally, any leftover capital should most likely be recycled back into your budding startup. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin.

The only exception that applies some of the time — not every time — is if your startup is in the technology space. Oftentimes tech employees can work remotely, or the technology is automated and won’t require more employees in the future. Additionally, clients of many tech startups can successfully access the company’s offering without visiting a physical office space.

2. Will you endanger your business with a property purchase?

Yes, buying can be a great investment and add a source of revenue, but even well-established business owners need to think about the stress that buying a property can put on their bottom line. Oftentimes your time and money is best spent on what you do best, running your enterprise. If buying means you won’t be able to focus essential resources to your first priority, your business, then you might want to hold off on buying.

Further, because commercial real estate can be a great investment, business owners are sometimes so eager to get in the game that they sell off portions of their business to finance the purchase. This is a bad idea. You should not let real estate decisions determine how you run your business. You’ve worked long and hard to build a successful company — don’t give it away. Another deal with always come along.

3. Do you have heavy, difficult-to-move equipment?

If you have machinery or specialized equipment that make it difficult for you to move, buying may be a great option for you. Two primary reasons: 1.) Lugging dense equipment from leased space to leased space is annoying, cumbersome and costly.

Plus, you increase the chances of damaging it every time you move. 2.) When a landlord knows it’s difficult for you to relocate, he or she is holding the cards when it’s time to renew your lease. If your lease doesn’t have a stipulation to remediate this, leasing office space will cost you more money than it should. More often than not, buying a custom space for your specialized equipment is the way to go.

4. Does your location affect employees or clients?

If attracting and maintaining top-notch employees means securing office space in your city’s prime business district, finding the perfect space to buy may be difficult. Why? Prime business districts usually have lower vacancy rates, which typically means higher prices plus fewer properties to choose from. Anytime you’re limited to a narrow location, you risk not landing the best deal. This doesn’t mean don’t buy, just understand what you’re up against from the onset.

The other issue you may face in buying location-specific space is when your customers or clients depend on your position for convenience. This is a challenge when and if your city’s submarkets are in transition. The trendy spot of the last five years, may not be in vogue five years from now. A lease allows flexibility to move where your customer and clients need you to be.

5. Are you prepared to be a landlord?

There’s a lot of maintenance that goes along with owning a building. Will you have the ability to hire a maintenance crew or will you tend the bathrooms, burnt out light bulbs and overflowing trash bins yourself?

Furthermore, many landlords have easy access to financing that could benefit you in the form of a tenant improvement package. Even though you may have capital to buy your building, can you afford to build it out the way you want to? The cost of ownership is sometimes underestimated. Make sure you’ve considered all of the possible expenses that go along with buying your office space.

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Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate improving modestly, little change to come

As commercial real estate improves across all sectors, the gains have been modest and NAR predicts they will continue to inch forward.





Commercial real estate sector is improving

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) quarterly commercial real estate forecast, commercial real estate is improving modestly, with little change seen for the near future. Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist said in a statement, “Jobs are the key driver for commercial real estate, and the accumulation of 7 million net new jobs from the low point a few years ago is steadily showing up as demand for leasing and purchases of properties,” he said. “But the difficulty of accessing loans remains a hindrance to a faster recovery.”

NAR reports that leasing activity rose 2.0 percent in the third quarter compared to the second, and sales levels are higher than a year ago.

Yun said there have been some shifts in commercial purchases. “Investors have been looking for better yields, and have found good potential in smaller commercial properties, notably in secondary and tertiary markets. Sales of commercial properties costing less than $2.5 million in the third quarter were 11 percent above a year ago, while prices for smaller properties were 4 percent above the third quarter of 2012.”

Commercial investment in properties costing more than $2.5 million rose 26 percent from a year ago, while prices for large properties were 9 percent above the third quarter of 2012.

National vacancy rates over the coming year are forecast to decline 0.2 percentage point in the office market, 0.6 point in industrial, and 0.5 point for retail real estate. The average multifamily vacancy rate will edge up 0.1 percent, but that sector continues to see the tightest availability and biggest rent increases.

Retail vacancy rates should be going down

Retail vacancy rates are forecast to decline from 10.4 percent in the fourth quarter of this year to 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Average retail rents should increase 1.4 percent in 2013 and 2.2 percent next year. Net absorption of retail space is projected at 11.0 million square feet in 2013 and 18.1 million next year.

Multifamily construction will meet demand

Multifamily Markets
The apartment rental market – multifamily housing – is likely to see vacancy rates edge up 0.1 percentage point from 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter to 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, with new construction helping to meet higher demand. Average apartment rents are forecast to rise 4.0 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2014. Multifamily net absorption is projected to total 239,400 units in 2013 and 211,300 next year.

Office rents should be going up

Vacancy rates in the office sector are expected to decline from a projected 15.6 percent in the fourth quarter to 15.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Office rents should increase 2.4 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2014. Net absorption of office space in the U.S., which includes the leasing of new space coming on the market as well as space in existing properties, is seen at 32.2 million square feet this year and 46.1 million in 2014.

Industrial vacancies on the decline

Industrial vacancy rates are likely to fall from 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of this year to 8.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Annual industrial rents are expected to rise 2.3 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2014. Net absorption of industrial space nationally is anticipated at 97.0 million square feet in 2013 and 104.9 million next year.

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