This past weekend, I wrote a blog titled Co-star Vs. Xceligent – a Lesson for Brokers Everywhere. It seems this was a subject that really resonated with the brokerage community. The premise of my latest post was not to minimize the idea of providing a robust information portal of sales, leasing, offerings, and availabilities; I would hope we can all agree such platforms are advantageous for the market, for your commercial real estate practices, and for your clients.

Although I have not had the opportunity to meet Co-Star’s CEO Andrew Florence, I recently (albeit briefly) ran into Xceligent’ s CEO Doug Curry on the campus of Duke University; I applaud both for the idea of creating a platform which provides property information to the marketplace. As a business owner (and yes, patent-holder), I appreciate the commitment to protect intellectual property. As a capitalist, I recognize (and strongly prefer) the benefits of an open market.

Our readers had strong feelings about both Co-Star and Xceligent, and the sourcing of property information. Our blog is not only posted on our website, but numerous LinkedIn and Facebook groups as well. As such, we have a wide reach – and thus a good reflection of the brokerage community as a whole. Here are some of their thoughts:

Beth A. agreed with my belief that the best property information is that which is collected and verified by the individual broker and/or their research team:

“Great post! I don’t like using these resources at all. Getting my own info thru my relationships is 100% more accurate. Recently brokers have been calling me saying my properties are listed on Xcelligent- I didn’t list them there and the info is completely inaccurate. The Rockstar Brokers get their own info like Bob’s team, and don’t rely on 3rd parties. The only time Co-star is good is for completed sales- as per public record- in my opinion.”

Vinny D. concurred:

“Great article. I think we, brokers, lean on Co-Star too much. We should be gathering our own information right from the source!”

Others, simply had issues with the platforms themselves. For example, Matt W has experience with both Co-Star and Xceligent. He notes the expense of Co-Star, and reinforces his preference of the two platforms:

“I use both systems–my area commercial board switched to Xceligent about a year ago. Xceligent has a long way to go to be user-friendly and still can’t get a tour map to match the number sequence of the attached property search. That is hard to explain to a client and reflects poorly on me. Co-Star is expensive but very easy to use and covers 3 states where I operate. If I had to choose one, it would be Co-Star hands down.”

Bill M. reinforces the idea of boots on the ground. He notes both the expense and use of Co-Star, but Xcelligent is not yet in his tertiary market:

“Interesting post- especially relevant if you are in a tertiary market. We resisted Co-Star for some of the same reasons posted but came around after they started covering our market better. We monitor Co-Stars data and make sure it is correct and like the reports we can get back. Worth the dough- still not convinced but we are sticking with it for now. But it certainly does not replace boots on the ground knowledge of the local market and the deals reported by Co-Star and thankfully the brokerages that reach into our area from nearby secondary and major markets.”

Ricardo R reinforces why first person data gathering is critical in our practice:

“Very good point of view. The last $10,000,000 I bought – 4 transactions, NONE of them on Co-Star shown as existing. Good read of why we are here.”

Again, my objective is not to blemish either Co-Star or Xceligent – both are providing a valuable alternative to property information. While the Federal Courts will decide the future direction of each – it’s you, the commercial real estate brokerage community, that will decide their utility and financial feasibility.

We would love to hear from you about how you gather market data, and any additional resources you find beneficial.

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