If you read their PR and info sheets on the CoStar/LoopNet database integration – or “enhancements” as they like to call them – you’ll find CoStar didn’t do a great job explaining things. In their zeal to convince you that this is the best thing that ever happened to you, they left out a lot of the nitty-gritty agents and brokerages need to know. Luckily, I had the chance to talk with them about the changes. So here they are – in plain English.
No More Paid LoopNet Search
Current paid Search accounts will work for the next 18 months (or until all those annual subscriptions are up). But what you can see will be limited to Premium and any basic/free listings entered by Premium Listers. All free/basic listings entered by non-Premium listers go straight to CoStar.
Pay to Play on LoopNet
Since visitors to LoopNet will only be able to view Premium Listings, you’ll need to get a Premium Listing account if you want to market on LoopNet. But you do get more bang for your buck with a Premium Listing account as network distribution is included. That means all your Premium Listings will go to other CoStar sites (Showcase, Cityfeet…) and 200 plus media outlets.
I’ve been told the Premium Listing plans start at $69 a month for one listing. Price per premium listing decreases as you buy more. The single, “short term” Premium listing is no longer available.
If you subscribed to CoStar and wanted your listings on LoopNet, you needed to enter them again in LoopNet. Now you only need to enter data in one place – the new Listings Manager.
If you have a Premium Lister subscription, Listings Manager is where you pick and choose which listings end up on LoopNet. Or, if you just want to enter basic/free listings to go into CoStar, you’ll do it here.
Non-premium subscribers can access any basic/free listings through Listing Manager, too. Any listings you add will be visible to CoStar subscribers.
Some other changes: CoStar canned the “private” listings option for both LoopNet and CoStar subscribers. And with few exceptions, the listing data displayed in CoStar and on LoopNet must be the same.
Brokerages who use LoopLink don’t have to worry. It’s not going away. But the data source is changing. Your listing data will be coming from CoStar rather than LoopNet. That means all your listings have to get into CoStar.
If you’re a Premium Lister, you’ll need to not only enter those listings you’d like on LoopNet, but any non-Premium listings you want to appear on your website. If you don’t intend to become a Premium Lister, then you’ll need to enter all your brokerage’s listings as free/basic listings in Listing Manager.
If you’ve been importing your listings to LoopNet via spreadsheet, you’ve probably already made any changes to the import or the way you record your listings to comply with CoStar’s data format. You should be able to view all those imported listings in Listing Manager. Good thing since, unlike with LoopNet, you need to manually delete expired listings. No more deletion of the previous import before importing the new one.
CoStar is boasting that they added over 3000 researchers to the “team.” Just what is it that those newly hired thousands more researchers do? From what I’ve seen, they’re there to comb over your listings and send you “fix this now” emails. Or, they call to bug you for comp information. But CoStar says they drive around looking for “for sale or lease” signs. Then they call the owner to get the listing information. Available space without a sign? Oops.
So, here’s the deal.
- If you were using and relying upon LoopNet’s paid search as a data source, unless you have a viable alternative to finding listings, you have to get a CoStar subscription.
- If you don’t want to subscribe to CoStar, you can still buy Premium Listings on LoopNet to market your properties.
- If you go with a Premium Lister plan, you have to decide whether to enter basic/free listings for inclusion in CoStar.
- If you’ve been paying for both a CoStar and Premium Listing subscription, congratulations. You’re just the person CoStar is looking for.