Commercial Real Estate Sees Dramatic Changes as a Result of the World Wide Web

Article excerpt

Even though the commercial real estate industry has been somewhat slow at times in embracing the Internet and all it has to offer, it is certainly an industry that has seen some of the most dramatic changes as a result of the World Wide Web over the past few years.

Brokers now have a wealth of information at their fingertips from having the ability to search available property all over the world, market their properties to a global audience, connect easier with investors, and conduct more extensive research on demographics, mapping, and economics.

Furthermore, the Internet is allowing large firms such as Dallas- based Staubach Co. to be more innovative - not only the way they market property, but also in the way they communicate with clients by using their Web site. On the other end of the spectrum, smaller boutique shops are also benefiting by the Internet's ability to give them a global market and many of the same resources available to larger firms.

For Oklahoma City commercial real estate companies, a number of nationally and locally based Web sites are available that can aid in their business endeavors whether it involves more effectively marketing their listings or doing detailed research work.

The following is a list, in no particular order, compiled by Square Feet of Web sites geared to helping local commercial real estate professionals in furthering their business:

Loopnet

Founded in 1995, Loopnet (www.loopnet.com) has grown to become the premier Web site for commercial real estate services featuring an exhaustive national database of commercial property listings. According to company officials, the Web site currently features more than 220,000 commercial property listings for lease and sale, including $115 billion of property listed for sale, 2.2 billion square feet of space for lease and 3 million acres of land for sale.

A large number of Oklahoma City firms have been using Loopnet for several years. By doing a search of Oklahoma City properties available for sale or lease on Loopnet, one can find numerous listings from such prominent local commercial real estate companies as Price Edwards, Harrison Levy Co., Grubb & Ellis|Beffort Brooks Hogan and Gerald L. Gamble Co. As a result, the Web site contains the closest form of a complete multilist that has ever been seen in the local market.

However, in the last couple of years Loopnet has grown beyond just property listings to offer a more complete commercial real estate experience. Recently, the Web site added a service entitled AppraiserLoop that allows users to manage appraisal assignments and access a national online database of appraiser-verified commercial property sale comparables powered by Marshall & Swift.

Loopnet is also offering lending services through its LoopLender program that features a full-service finance team with direct access to 30 leading mortgage lenders.

PikeNet

Established in 1996 by former Colliers International Managing Principal Peter Pike, PikeNet (www.pikenet.com) has become one of the premier sources for information dealing with the Internet and how it relates to the commercial real estate industry.

On the Web site, Pike offers an exhaustive resource directory of almost 3,500 links to Web sites containing commercial real estate information. The links are all categorized under such headings as brokers, consultants, demographics, financing and so on. Pike's goal with the directory is to make his site the gateway to the Internet for commercial brokers.

Secondly, the other unique feature of PikeNet is the PikeNet Dispatch, a free newsletter that is e-mailed twice a week.

The Dispatch, which is designed to increase the productivity of real estate practitioners, reports on the latest business trends, marketing strategies and technology tools, Pike said.

Oklahoma County Assessor

The Oklahoma County Assessor's Web site (www. …