by Michele Newbern Gillis
Commercial real estate agents now have a new tool to help them track property listings.
The Northeast Florida Chapter of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties has created an online data base —www.naiopnefl.com. — to help agents monitor available commercial space. The site is accessible and free to commercial realtors and the general public.
“This is the local chapter site which Cybermax designed and developed,” said Robert Touro, vice president of marketing and business development for Cybermax, Inc.
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, the Business Journal and the local chapter of NAIOP commissioned Cybermax to build the site, which includes an online property database of about 1,900 commercial listings.
“This is basically an outbound program for people looking for space,” said Touro.
Agents who are not NAIOP members can list their properties for free on the site, but they won’t receive the same features as NAIOP members.
“Others can list their properties on the website and presently, there is no fee for that,” said Touro. “We basically are going to be providing a lesser array features to a non-NAIOP member. If the participant is a non-member, they can post their listing, but the listing will be handled primarily by Cornerstone [of the Chamber].”
Currently, the listing membership is about 90 percent NAIOP members. The site is updated as often as the participants update their information.
“MLS has existed for years in residential and no such beast has every existed for commercial,” said Touro. “Never before has there been a system of this magnitude for commercial real estate. The Chamber is the basically the gatekeeper of the site. NAIOP is in charge of what information they want to have published or don’t want to have published.”
Touro said Cybermax wants to take the concept national so commercial realtors could do a national search when looking for available office space, industrial properties or land. Cybermax is also offering individual website design/development called RealtyMax to commercial real estate firms.
“These are custom sites we build specifically for commercial developers and feature commercial property listings and specific information relative to the site owner,” said Touro. “The RealtyMax site costs $7,999 and includes an integrated content management system allowing the site owner to maintain and update page content and images on all sections and pages of the website using simple text processing and cut/drag/paste technology — no programing necessary.”
One drawback though: the NAIOP site does not include currently leased space, subleases or sold properties, which a multiple listing site could do.
“I, for one, would like to see a comprehensive listing of all properties,” said Terry Parker of Trammell Crow. “It would be a monumental undertaking, but once it is complete, it would not require a lot of updating unless you intended to track vacancies. Since NAIOP, Blacks Guide and CoStar already does this online, it would be somewhat redundant.”
A truly comprehensive system would have to include properties for sale, lease, subleases, sold and currently for lease.
Rhetta Nussbaum of Grubb and Ellis Phoenix Realty said that has been tried before.
“Many years ago, several firms tried to get together and start something like that and never could get it done.” said Nussbaum.
“I think it all comes down to cost,” said Bob Ascher of Schultz Foster Addison Real Estate Inc. ”We are all independent contractors and pay for everything but our desk and phone and that includes dues and association fees. MLS is a part of the fabric in the residential market and I believe that it is provided by just about every residential broker to their agents. That would also include NEFAR. There are almost no NEFAR members on the commercial side of the market. Bottom line is, who is going to pay for it?”