We’ve all used paid listing/ search platforms for CRE in the past. Some of us have paid to list and/or paid to search, while others used the free platform that allow for viewing of all the ugly duckling assets that have been shopped for 60 days that no one wants to buy.
This has been the system ever since Black’s Guide closed their doors. Do you remember Black’s Guide? It may seem like a million years ago, but Black’s Guide closed their doors on July 9, 2010. At one point almost every person in commercial real estate had at least one Black’s Guide asset/ broker directory on the corner of their desk.
The fall of Black’s Guide, was much more than just a company closing its doors; it showed that the CRE industry was ready to embrace technology (to some degree). The fall of Black’s Guide can be attributed to a handful of CRE listing platforms that were able to connect people, deals, and assets from across the globe, all through a few websites. As these paid listing platforms increased their data, their traffic, and their market dominance their pricing began getting more and more aggressive. It’s like the after school special showing the dealer offering the first drug for free, then he hooks a new client and all of sudden they are paying a huge premium. These paid listing services are now charging small brokerage companies in the neighborhood of $40,000 per year to upwards of $250,000+ per year for some of the medium to larger brokerage companies.
Not one brokerage company that we spoke with felt happy about the arrangement; they viewed it as a necessary evil. In addition to the high costs, we found it very unusual that these platforms do not allow their users to seek out debt and/or equity infusion. No deal gets done without money.
In response to the overwhelming market frustration, Leavitt Digital launched a free CRE listing and Search platform that allows owners, developers, brokers, and all CRE professionals to list and search assets for sale or lease.
In addition to addressing the high cost of the existing CRE listing and search platforms by offering its free platform, Leavitt Digital also aimed to address the disconnect of capital between investors/ lenders and developments, acquisitions, recapitalizations, etc. Leavitt Digital designed its platform, so developments and existing assets can be listed to seek new debt and equity infusion, unlike existing paid listing platforms that mainly focus on lease and sale listings.
“We just launched Leavitt Digital’s Free Search and Listing Platform and within days we had approximately $500,000,000 in listings. We estimate we will have over $1 Billion of listings within the first 60 days and expect to grow by multiples on a monthly basis from that point on,” said Brendan Hotchkiss Leavitt Digital’s CEO. “We have received very positive feedback from the market, they are all sick and tired of throwing large amounts of money at these paid listing platforms that simply serve as a starting place, rather than a problem solver.” Leavitt Digital is currently working with a number of national and regional brokerage companies to implement all their listings into Leavitt Digital’s platform. (Update: as of 04012018 LDCRE has $107+ Billion of CRE Assets listed for sale on its platform)
Hotchkiss said that Leavitt Digital has no intentions of converting from free to paid listing/ search platform. “We created this because we were tired of paying to use these paid sites. To convert from a free to a paid listing site would’t make much sense, as we would then consider ourselves to be part of the problem we set out to fix.”