How LoopNet and Google Used Research To Help an Industry Grow - (Archived)

The commercial real estate market is an $11 trillion industry. Its continued growth is directly tied to how those in the industry market their products and services. LoopNet operates the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate marketplace online, with more than 9.0 million registered members and over 5 million unique visitors monthly. The LoopNet marketplace, which consists of more than 800,000 property listings, covers all commercial property categories, including office, industrial, retail, multifamily apartment buildings, hotel, land, specialty properties, investment properties and businesses for sale. Commercial real estate professionals look to LoopNet as an industry and thought leader.

In 2014, LoopNet commissioned Market Connections to survey and analyze the online behaviors of tenants and investors involved at the time in a commercial property search and who recently had been involved in a transaction. This data helped LoopNet better understand who in their market used the Internet.

Research often has more uses than its original purpose, and the LoopNet study is a great example. Google Inc. and LoopNet wanted to dig deeper into the role the Internet plays in commercial real estate transactions. The two companies collaborated on a joint study, Commercial Real Estate Consumer Online Behavior and Trends, which leveraged Google’s proprietary online search data and the LoopNet research.

The joint study revealed that nearly 80% of tenants and investors report using online sources to search for commercial property. The study also found that six in 10 searchers begin their property searches on the Internet before any other source. These findings correspond to a 60% increase in commercial real estate-related online searches reported by Google over the last six years.

“This study confirms what LoopNet’s traffic trends have long indicated,” said LoopNet President Fred Saint. “The Internet has quickly become one of the most valuable and widely used tools to connect buyers and sellers of commercial real estate.”

The joint research also showed that along with the increase in online sources being used, there appears to be a decrease in other more traditional research methods. For example, only 7% of surveyed tenants and investors report beginning their commercial real estate searches by driving in the desired area.

These findings are significant for commercial real estate brokers and firms who are marketing their services and available properties. This study is a great example of how industry leaders can use market research to provide valuable insight to help their constituents optimize their advertising efforts.

View the full study report here: www.loopnet.com/commercial-real-estate-consumer-online-behavior-and-trends.pdf

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