CommercialSearch.com, Xceligent’s alternative to LoopNet is up and running. In what it calls the “listing loading” stage through May 2013, it’s already been populated with listings from Xceligent’s own CIEs and those of 165 other “listing companies.” By the end of the period they expect to have…more.
If you sign up this year, you’ll get a free “founding account” that allows you access to all listings. Starting in 2014, it’s implied that “founding account” holders will get special pricing on Premium Accounts – about $50 a month – for “unlimited listings with maximum visibility – just like the good old days.” The good old days I remember had everything for free. But I take it this means no freebie accounts. You want to list or search – you have to pay. About the only thing “good” about the pricing is that you don’t have to deal with the convoluted “premium” listing scenario.
When you arrive at the site, you’re hit with a pop-up asking you to register. Might as well do it then since you won’t be able to look at anything without logging in. Plus, the “create an account” links don’t work on all of the pages.
Once you log in, you’ll see a dashboard with tiles for various features – saved searches, favorites, my listings, etc… You can also view the number of “hits” your listing got. In analytics parlance, hits refers to how many times a page was requested – as compared to the number of unique views, i.e., one viewer can hit a page many times. Hits is a rather useless metric…
To add listings, you’ll go through a multi-screen process. Optional fields are marked but those that aren’t must be required. Warning – there are a lot of required fields which means some end up with junk in them just to get the process over with. No word on whether Xceligent intends to review listing data submitted by agents.
There doesn’t seem to be any marketing tools like LoopNet has nor any way to see leads. Each listing page has an indirect email link that obviously uses Xceligent’s mail system, but who knows whether it’s logged in the “dashboard.” Note to agents – check your spam folders!
The interface is a bit simpler than LoopNet’s but everything seems more spread out/less compact. The only differentiators on the listing pages is that CommercialSource has a street view map and colorful demographics data. And speaking of listings, a boast on the main page says the listings have been updated in the last 30 days but I found listings with “last updated” dates of 2009.
As I write this, I’m getting bored. Can’t listing aggregators come up with something different? Where’s the value for the agent – or the user – for their “special pricing” of only $600 a year? All the site’s copy talks about is the number of listings they’ll eventually have thanks to their “partnership” with brokerages and organizations (we’ve heard that partnership stuff before…). Are the listings going to be better, more comprehensive or just the same old same old? Or does Xceligent really think all the industry needs is another LoopNet (and an early iteration of LoopNet at that)?
CommercialSearch.com – nothing new here…move along…