Updated January 25, 2019
Running a business is crazy demanding of an entrepreneur’s time, and having to search for commercial property is a dreadful time suck.
Thanks to the internet, we now have great online listing databases that you can search through to find the perfect space for your business. Your success with them depends on how much money you want to spend to access commercial space listings.
There are several commercial real estate listing sites online, but keep in mind that the best ones are usually only accessible by brokers. Examples of this are CoStar and Xceligent. These commercial space listing databases are amazing but can cost up to $1,000s of dollars per month for access (which we know some business owners won’t be able to afford), which is why they are mainly used by commercial real estate professionals and brokers.
One internet listing site that gives free access to commercial real estate listings to business owners is LoopNet.com. On LoopNet you can search for Office Space, Warehouse Space, Industrial Space and Retail Space — free of charge. However, their free access does hit a limit, and then you have to pay $100s of dollars to gain complete access. Businesses that cannot afford to pay for a subscription are forced to look elsewhere.
In order to make finding a free alternative easier for you without breaking the bank, we’ve put together a list of 9 different websites you can use to find Office, Warehouse, Industrial or Retail Space for your business.
Here are 9 (now 10!) free options to use if you can’t afford a LoopNet subscription:
Digsy: Gives you FREE access to Office Space, Warehouse, Industrial, Retail space listings + its team of space experts can help save time finding the perfect space
Rofo.com: Get access to Office Space, Warehouse Space, Retail Space, Land, etc.
OfficeSpace.com: Get access to Office Space only
SearchOfficeSpace.com: Get access to Office Space (Mainly Executive Suites, Virtual Offices & Coworking Spaces)
InstantOffices.com: Get access to Office Space (Mainly Executive Suites, Virtual Offices & Coworking Spaces)
42Floors.com: Get access to Office Space, Warehouse Space, Retail Space, Coworking Space, etc.
Showcase.com: Get access to Office Space, Warehouse Space, Retail Space, Land, etc.
Commercialmls.com: Get access to Office Space, Warehouse Space, Retail Space, Land, etc.
PropertyLine: PropertyLine is now RealNex. Access commercial real estate listings
Craigslist: Yup, believe it or not, people list commercial properties on Craigslist
Some Pitfalls to Avoid
As you go down the rabbit hole of searching for commercial space, you will find that it can be extremely time-consuming to search through listings, confirm availability and schedule tours. Listing agents and landlords get hundreds of phone calls and emails each day. So when you inquire on a listing, realize that you may not hear back for many days and some you will not hear back from at all. So, it’s best that you keep a list of every property and agent you contact. That way you can immediately follow up if they don’t respond. This can be very time-consuming, but if you need to find space quickly, it is a must.
If you don’t have time for this, it is wise to try to find a commercial real estate tenant representation broker who can help do all this work for you. These services are usually free from brokers. The brokers also have access to various listing databases which makes it easier for them to check each system for properties that may not be listed elsewhere. However, when hiring a broker to help you, you will need to contact your personal network to get a referral of someone you trust who can vouch they will provide you with great service. Too many business owners have been left out in the cold by poor performing brokers, which is why here at Digsy, we only partner with top performing brokers to assist business owners find commercial real estate.
Every Tenant Representation broker in our Digsy partner network is carefully screened through a rigorous process and rated by our intelligent broker performance system, which combines data based on client feedback, responsiveness and success finding the right space for clients. We do this meticulously to ensure businesses receive exceptional 5-star service from brokers finding them space. We suggest that if you hire your own agent, you do this too. It’s far too easy to end up with someone who says they’ll work hard for you and help you save time finding commercial space, only to end up disappointed.
Finding a Great Tenant Representation Broker
The easiest way to find a good broker is to ask your network of business owners you know for a referral. If you’re start off cold calling or cold emailing agents, you won’t have a strong sense of historical performance to ensure they will do a good job for you. The last thing you want is to end up wasting more time looking for space, than saving it because you picked the wrong broker.
Reach out for help
We hope this helps. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.