If you are involved in leasing commercial space, you know how important it is to generate interest in your listings. The best place to advertise your property is online. However, you need to know which commercial listing sites are the best for your needs. We’ve analyzed the top 16 commercial real estate listing sites and here’s what we’ve found.
Commercial Leasing Channels
There are two main marketing channels for commercial brokers; broker-to-broker referrals and direct to tenant marketing. Obviously your marketing strategy should include both. The challenge you face with broker referrals is the fact that you end up sharing your fees and commissions with the referring broker, which cuts into your bottom line. With direct to tenant deals, you get to keep the entire fee for your listing. Because of this, we wanted to evaluate just the listing sites that advertised space directly to potential tenants. Therefore, we have not included peer-to-peer listing sites such as CoStar and Xceligent in our analysis.
Commercial Leasing is a Contact Sport
Successful marketing is pretty straight forward. The more traffic you can generate to your listings, the faster you can lease your space. However, lead volume affects several areas. For example, the more leads you have to work with, the higher the chances are that you will be to find a more qualified tenant. Higher lead volume also helps to ensure that you get the most money for the deal. The more qualified the tenants are who inquire about your listing, the less likely you are to make costly concessions. This is why we are focusing on traffic in evaluating each listing site. From there you will have a greater pool of tenants to choose from and can focus on quality.
Not only did we want to evaluate the traffic volume for each site, but we also wanted to understand qualitative measure such as average visit duration, pages per visit, bounce rate and the cost to list your properties. By doing so we are able to show which outlets clearly have a better overall turnout. After all, it does no good to list on a site where people spend less than a minute on the site, correct? It takes more than that amount of time to read one listing and look for further information. That shows that sites with low listings for time spent on the site are not gaining quality traffic.
Below are the results from our research. The stats shown below are based on statistics from November, 2016 and were generated from the website www.similarweb.com. Take note of the time spent and pages per visit specifically, as this is a good indication of whether or not visitors are just browsing or actually taking in what is posted.
|`||Total Visits||Avg. Time on Site||Pages Per Visit||Bounce Rate||Cost|
*The traffic counts for Craigslist.org represent all traffic to the website, including traffic in all categories. However, some estimates put the percentage of traffic going to the “Housing Category” at 10% of total traffic.
It’s quite obvious which sites have a clear advantage when it comes to connecting directly with potential tenants. And, even though the traffic estimates for Craigslist are over-represented in the above chart, even if only 5% of the traffic goes to the Office & Commercial category, that would represent almost 7 times more traffic than the closest competitor, Loopnet.com. That, added to the actual time spent on Craigslist in comparison with other sites, shows that it is a key marketing tool in every commercial real estate leasing plan.
Finally, there is the factor of your time. One fact about Craigslist is that it takes a good amount of your time and energy to post, manage, and update your ads. So, even though the site is free to post and offers unlimited listing, it will take your (or your staff’s) time and attention. That is why having a service like ours in invaluable. Give us a call or send an email to find out how our services can help to maximize the traffic your listings receive through effective, high-quality listings on Craigslist.