Hey, Your Clients Might Be Looking Online for CRE

by | 09 January 2015

You probably thought to yourself when reading the title of this post, “Well, duh!” But in the past, I have been met with an eye-roll or snicker when touting the importance of a significant online presence for commercial real estate professionals.

Today, many will argue the merits of digital strategies as important tools in marketing both commercial property and real estate services, but to date there has not been a ton of research or empirical data that clearly understands the role the Internet plays in commercial real estate.

Google and LoopNet recently released the results of their joint study: Commercial Real Estate Consumer Online Behavior and Trends. The study, which aims to understand the role the Internet plays in commercial real estate, leverages Google’s proprietary online search data and custom research conducted on LoopNet’s behalf in 2014 by Market Connections, an independent research firm, to survey and analyze the behaviors of tenants and investors currently involved in a commercial property search and who were recently involved in a transaction.

Some key findings from the study:

  • 80% of tenants and investors surveyed agree that they rely on the Internet for their commercial real estate information needs more now than three years ago.
  • Over three-fourths (78%) of tenants and investors surveyed use online commercial real estate services or tools at some point in their commercial real estate search.
  • Commercial real estate-related online searches have grown 60% since 2008.
  • Six in 10 respondents search for commercial properties using their mobile devices at least some of the time.
  • Over half of the survey respondents (55%) reported that they perform their own online searches for commercial property, even when they are working with a broker.

My Research and Findings

I don’t have any stats. I just know my phone rings all the time. Some are users looking for real estate, and some are owners looking for someone to help lease or sell their real estate. Sometimes they have brokers, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they hire me, and many are finding me online. How do I know? I ask! I like that my phone rings all the time, but maybe you would rather be cold calling?

View the full study from Google and LoopNet here.

Coy Davidson is Senior Vice President of Colliers International in Houston. He publishes The Tenant Advisor blog.