Identifying, cataloging and listing the vast amount of retail, office, industrial and multifamily properties that are for lease and sale in the Las Vegas Valley is no small task.
Unlike the residential market which has the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that acts as a centralized record-keeper for all residential sales, information for the commercial markets must be gathered and, more importantly, verified.
This is where companies such as Xceligent, LoopNet, CoStar, PropertyLine, Catylist, Showcase and City Feet enter the picture. Each of these companies tries to gather information and compile lists of commercial properties that are for sale or lease; some do a better job than others.
According to Soozi Jones Walker, president of the Commercial Alliance Las Vegas, Xceligent is the most accurate and comprehensive listing and reporting service of commercial real estate and industrial properties that are for sale or lease.
“We chose them because of their extensive peer review process and the fact that Xceligent reviews each commercial real estate transaction to make sure that it is accurately reported,” said Walker.
In addition to building a comprehensive inventory of commercial properties within a given market, the firm also identifies buildings that are available for lease and sale, tenant information, historical trends on lease rates and building occupancy, sales comparables and provides market analytics and demographics.
To accomplish this monumental task, Xceligent, which is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, has more than 1,100 researchers, IT and field personnel who maintain regular contact with commercial real estate brokers and property management companies in all of the 42 markets the firm serves.
One of the trademarks of Xceligent’s business model is its extensive verification process. When the firm first enters a market, it uses tax assessor files to create a baseline of commercial properties. They then identify the broker or property management company representing each building and contact them to verify and match tenant records to each property.
Once a market baseline is established, Xceligent proactively calls each listing representative on a 30 to 45-day cycle to make sure their data is up to date.
This issue of the Las Vegas Business Press marks the debut of the Quarterly Commercial Real Estate Review, in which Xceligent data will be used to tell the story of the health of the Las Vegas commercial market.
When it comes to vacancies and absorption, it is important to know that those figures are verified by a local Xceligent field representative who canvasses the market to distinguish when blocks of space become physically vacant versus being marketed as available. And if a company simply moves from one space to another, the absorption rate does not change unless they acquired a larger space or downsized and then the difference is reported.
While the housing market is tabulated by MLS (except for sale by owner listings), and the sale prices reported are relatively straightforward. The commercial real estate numbers, on the other hand, are often more complicated. Each month, reported sale prices in the Las Vegas market are reviewed by a representative of Xceligent and CALV member brokerage firms. If a dollar amount seems out of line, that transaction is flagged and a call is made to the brokers that represented the buyer and seller to verify the actual dollar amount.
A lot of time and money is spent on gathering information, verifying the facts, and analyzing the market. This information benefits the property owners, business owners, brokers and property managers by letting them know the types of office, retail and industrial products that are popular and in short supply, as well as the type of products that are trending, in various sections of the valley. This type of information works to keep the market from overbuilding a particular type of product which in turn stabilizes the leasing rates.
On the other side of the coin, if the quarterly reports show that Las Vegas is underserved by a particular type of office or industrial product, it could mean that we are missing an opportunity to bring new businesses to our community and triggers the developers to build the missing component.
While it may seem that these numbers are only relevant to those persons directly involved in the commercial real estate industry, when combined with other economic numbers such as state revenues, retail sales and cost of goods, these numbers help local analysts to easily predict the near future of the local economy.