Several weeks ago, I wrote my first blog on the CoStar -Xceligent battle royale and how this was more of a David/Goliath rather than an Ali/Fraizer. Later, I corrected myself and wrote about how this was more of a Soap Opera of he said/she said. Today, fresh off of the announcement of Xceligent’s filing of Chapter 7; I recognize this story wasn’t a championship fight, or a reality TV show – it was simply a tragedy. A tragedy to which the brokerage community has responded strongly.
There were many different reactions to the news of Xceligent’s ceasing operations – shock, surprise, anger and even offers of help. Reviewing various social media accounts, I was able to collect a series of reactions from across the country.
Although these were all posted on public sites, I decided not to publicize who posted what. Instead, here is a summary of reactions from various segments of CRE.
From the Brokerage Community, the reaction was mostly anger and frustration:
• “Meanwhile Loopnet gave everyone a TKO with their sneaky shut down of search about a month or so ago.”
• “Since CoStar bought LoopNet, it’s seems like they’ve been dumbing it down … removing beneficial features and turning it into a sales and research funnel for CoStar. Yes? Good strategy for them … unless it backfires! I’ve heard that people do business with those that they know, like and trust. Are you feeling the love?”
• “Never felt the love with them. They’re thieves and their data sucks, but they are the 1,200-lb. gorilla and the only game in town – for now. I don’t think the stranglehold will last, as the demand for ANY alternative is too great. Andrew Florance is so greedy he makes Voldemort look like the Pope; he must have been a broker before founding the company.”
• “Not good for small brokerages.”
• “Loopnet was never great, but it was all we had. The only brokerages that like what Loopnet is doing to block out the smaller to medium size brokerages, and we smaller brokers don’t bother with their listings.”
Others recognized that this result would be a boost to CoStar:
(For the record the financial market reacted favorably to this news. In fact, CoStar Group’s market share price is up over 50% this year.)
• “It’s a push for CoStar data sales.”
• “Now there is no competition.”
• “I see more price hikes from Costar. Xceligent was our CIE and now our local board will have to scramble to get a good platform that is not Costar/Loopnet.”
Many were offering help and suggesting potential alternative solutions:
• “My local board uses Paragon for our CMLS – the search fields can be customized for your needs.”
• “Watch CREXi coming up…. Still a baby but so far, I like their infrastructure. “
• “With Xceligent gone, how many of you think CREXi has a chance?”
• “Try RealMassive.”
• “The end of free markets.”
• “Catalyst trying to capitalize.”
• “Why can the cooperating brokers across the country use one website? Start one from scratch or a company like SVN could alter their platform or use it as a model on a third-party website and go from there.”
Personally, here are my 3 favorite reactions:
1. “Wait, what?” – Not sure if this was a joke or not. If a joke, I smiled – if not, then brokers heed this lesson: pick your heads up out of the sand and stop focusing on transactions 100% of the time.
2. “Very upsetting for all the employees and their families.” – Couldn’t agree more. Not only were several hundred folks let go during the holidays, they were notified by email and given 30 minutes to vacate the premises. See attached image.
3. My favorite of all, of which I will name the source – “If I can help anyone affected by this, I will. My email is [email protected]. Please reach out to me directly and I will do all I can to help.” – Class act Michael.
I concur with Michael’s sentiments. We should all realize the loss in data is simply temporary; there are other solutions, and will be more to come down the road. Sure, CoStar will probably hinder their efforts – but they will come. For those that lost their livelihoods, we all need to help however we can.