Comment on July 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm by Xceligent representative:
Xceligent is not a CIE. We do exactly what CoStar does, which is provide fully researched property and listing information to the commercial real estate community. Only two companies remain who provide this service to the industry – Xceligent and CoStar. The significant difference between the two is Xceligent’s Top Producer Peer Advisory board, which ensures a higher quality of data and acknowledges that our clients are the industry experts rather than the vendor being the expert. This certification process creates a level of transparency that remains unmatched by CoStar’s research process.
Xceligent is not part of the CoStar/LoopNet merger. We are moving forward independent of these two companies, continuing our efforts at building a viable, sustainable alternative to CoStar. We expect to be announcing our strategy for an accelerated national roll out by year end.
As you can tell by the date on this post comment, Xceligent had a pretty good idea what was going on last year. So they’ve had lots of time to plan for being cut loose from LoopNet. And they’ve been busy! First was an announcement to expand in 30 plus markets in 3 years (with the rest of the US markets to follow). Next, it was the purchase of ePropertyData, providing a marketing portal, Commercial Source, for listings and a lot of great technology. Then, Xceligent entered into a “strategic alliance” with NAR (members will get discounts!).
With the ePropertyData purchase, Xceligent will pick up quite a few local CIEs to add to their market base. And the CRE CIE vendor market has been reduced to Catylist and maybe a handful of MLS software vendors who customize for CRE markets. (Wonder if the FTC considered those “unintended consequences”…)
While all this has been interesting, no word yet on any new Xceligent features. Right now they include the basic property/listing database plus components for sales comps, tenant information, email marketing, an aerial package and listing display on your company website.
From what I’ve heard from Xceligent users, the interface is a little clunky and requires Internet Explorer. Like many older database interfaces, reliance on ActiveX controls and/or JAVA puts them at a distinct disadvantage in the mobile age. But - they have an iPad app.
ePropertyData offers a lot for Xceligent. Their association with NAR could be beneficial to gaining share for Commercial Source from LoopNet – especially if they continue to offer free search for users. NAR also has a national MLS (Realtors Property Resource) that could serve as a replacement for the aging Xceligent interface. Plus with an NAR mindset, they may develop syndication scenarios for CRE like residential agents have – offering feeds to third parties or giving agents RSS access to their listings so they can promote them anywhere.
Commercial Source, which gets data directly from agents, brokerages and other CIEs needs a little work. It doesn’t have any lead generation or marketing tools. Currently, prospects interested in your listing can email you directly, but no lead logging in your account.
Hopefully Commercial Source will add more features to compete with LoopNet’s marketing tools. Or maybe they won’t which brings me to my biggest concern about these two “data” firms. They’ll both be controlling the two major marketing platforms – or “marketplaces” as CoStar likes to call them.
I would assume that CoStar or Xceligent subscribers would automatically be able to export their listings to LoopNet/Commercial Source. But what if you’re not a data subscriber? Will there still be separate accounts for LoopNet or Commercial Source for lead generation/marketing only? CoStar is rquired to keep current offerings in place for 3 years, but it wasn’t clear if that applied to what LoopNet offers. And if there is no stand-alone marketing accounts, who will get non-members leads?
I suspect they’ll offer separate marketing only (i.e., no more searching!) accounts so they can get listing data for their data subscribers. But CoStar’s comment about leads being a big draw for data subscribers hints that they you have to be a CoStar subscriber to get leads on your listings. Costar can only take that position, though, if Xceligent does as well. Let’s hope they don’t.