Co-Star Loopnet and Commercial MLS Services. What Are The Alternatives? Guest Post: Lowell Peabody.

In the Technology for Commercial Real Estate Group on LinkedIn I was recently asked what I think  a viable alternative to current property services like Loopnet, Costar, and others might be.

I have not seen one yet I am aware of some “under wraps” that show potential.  I would like to think that an alternative would offer capabilities not seen to this point. Just taking the age old “index card” or spreadsheet and getting it on the internet (which I think in essence most currently do) there should be a new approach. perhaps there could be public commentary on properties; monitored. Ability to add video. Be open to all (as in everyone), with direct connections/links to brokers. Behind the scenes crowd sourced updates on corrected information, recent deals and information, details. Migrate this info to public listing upon verification, otherwise leave in behind the scenes as “rumored”. “Drill down” on property info as well as “climb out” go from property detail/info to overall park/business environment information and on to community information. On the public side encourage participation via commentary/social interaction (not fill in forms) where questions can be asked, opinions entered, additional information requested (probably obvious by comments).

It would not be connected to a proprietary CRM system. In this day and age of widgets and apps there should be easy connection to any/many CRM systems. Asking end users to switch property systems and CRM at the same time is a bit much and seemingly unnecessary. There are already plenty of CRM systems easily configured to a particular brokerage’s needs and ultimately scalable. A relational connection to CRMs is a must. Costs can range from $0 to many $ depending on number of seats and subscription levels, but there are many choices. Connection should be interactive with property information. Ability to look up companies and all contacts with connection to all related properties. (widgets)

I see internal and external needs. Internal needs relate things like CRM. behind the scenes real time info (private to professionals). External allow anyone to see property information as well as real time public commentary on properties. Video’s allow more of an environment to be portrayed than a simple snapshot (God forbid brokers start doing videos on smart phones like they do pictures!!) Perhaps public ratings of properties as well. Why do we try to tell people how a building rates when it is their opinion that matters?

Reports that are web based and combine videos, pictures, community and property information, maps, ratings customizable so one can pick and choose what is included and presented to client, team, anyone. Real time commentary from all recipients.

Just a few thoughts. There are more… and I can dream right? I think a fresh approach is possible which will greatly help acceptance, quickly. I do think it’s coming.


Lowell Peabody 
(617) 237-0225

Twitter:                   @LowellPeabody 


photo credit: <a href=””>Stuck in Customs</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Duke Long