In Second Deal, NAR Gives Commercial Listings More Clout

May 15, 2019

REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Commercial real estate professionals say in surveys that having a public-facing platform to market their properties is a critical need for their business. Now, those pros are getting a choice of tools to widen their exposure in the marketplace.

The National Association of REALTORS® signed its second partnership this week, this time with Brevitas, a commercial real estate sales platform that offers an algorithm to connect brokers with identified purchase-ready investors from its database. Practitioners also gain real-time insights into commercial listings and a custom suite of marketing services. Brokers and agents are able to manage their leads, launch customizable marketing campaigns, network with qualified members, protect critical documents, obtain signatures, and secure financing. The platform is used by more than 45,000 commercial real estate professionals worldwide.

The deal was announced Wednesday during the Commercial Committee’s meeting at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. On Monday, NAR announced a partnership with Commercial Real Estate Exchange Inc. (or CREXi), a public marketing platform for commercial real estate listings.

Both programs will integrate with the REALTORS® Property Resource.

“In the evolving world of real estate technology, it is crucial that NAR aligns with an innovative, public-facing commercial listing portal that aggregates data from multiple sources, displays commercial properties, and creates national exposure for our members’ listings,” NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said in a statement about the association’s first announced partnership with CREXi this week.

Some Commercial Committee members on Wednesday expressed concern that having multiple choices could fragment the market or confuse practitioners. Others questioned why Catylist, another giant in the commercial property listing space, has not partnered with NAR as well. NAR officials said talks with Catylist are ongoing but an agreement has yet to be reached. They haven’t ruled out partnerships with other vendors.

“This is just the base or start of what can happen,” said Cynthia Shelton, chair of NAR’s Future of Commercial Data Presidential Advisory Group. “We had to start somewhere, and the market will drive whether this works or not.” The goal was never to create a single Commercial Information Exchange, basically the equivalent of the residential MLS, she said. And survey respondents reinforced the multiple-vendor approach. Members will be able to choose the best tool for their market, while gaining access to discounts of up to 30% off base prices or access to free tools.

“The partnership with Brevitas brings another leading and innovative program to NAR’s technology toolkit,” Goldberg said in a statement. “The Brevitas platform will help REALTORS® grow their business in an industry of rapidly evolving technology and strong competition.”

The other new partner, CREXi, offers a suite of tools to allow commercial brokers to manage and digitize their for-sale and for-lease offerings and also connect with prospects. On its website, it says it has helped brokers transact business on more than 90,000 commercial listings totaling more than $450 billion in property value since launching in 2016.