SpaceList’s online commercial real estate leasing listings have grown by about 12 per cent a month since launching nationally in February 2013 according to the company, prompting a move this week to add properties for sale.
Vancouver-based SpaceList founder and chief executive officer Bill MacEwen said the website receives 100,000 visits per month and, on the recent morning RENX contacted him, had just recorded 450 visits in an hour — its biggest 60-minute period yet.
SpaceList has 20,500 lease listings across Canada, which MacEwen said is the most of any similar service.
(New listing service for commercial leases gaining rapid acceptance, Property Biz Canada, Feb. 21, 2013)
A competitive market
Availability of several online commercial real estate listing websites has created a highly competitive market for the type of service being offered by SpaceList. In Canada, there’s the Canadian Real Estate Association’s ICX.ca, AltusInSite, Monster Commercial, eSpaceListings, ICIWorld and recently launched CommNet. In the U.S., also serving the Canadian market, is LoopNet.
“The most important thing, especially in properties for lease, is that we have far more listings than any other platform,” MacEwen claimed.
Believing that SpaceList has reached critical mass on the lease listings front, MacEwen surmised the time was right to start featuring properties for sale on the site.
“We’ve been inundated with requests for it since the outset, but we specifically wanted to stay focused on properties for lease until we really understood that segment and were able to do it really well,” he said. “Now that we’ve got our product refined, we wanted to take advantage of bigger opportunities in property sales.”
There are more than 2,200 properties for sale listed on the site, ranging from retail and offices of less than 500 square feet to parcels of land that stretch to more than 1,000 acres. It’s a national service but, as with the properties available for lease, the large majority of them are from Ontario and British Columbia.
Goal is to double properties for sale in 2015
MacEwen is looking to double the number of sales properties featured on SpaceList by the end of January.
SpaceList has listings from more than 5,000 real estate professionals and 1,200 commercial real estate firms, including many independent brokers as well as major companies such as Cushman & Wakefield and Bentall Kennedy. More than 3,000 businesses and brokers visit SpaceList every day, generating more than 150 daily inquiries.
It’s free to list properties on SpaceList, but an upgrade to the $19 a month SpaceList Pro account gives real estate professionals a rich profile page that includes a biography, corporate logo, profile photo, listings and inclusion in an agent directory.
There’s an additional charge for featured listings, which include interior and exterior shots by commercial photographers, performance tracking, a building dashboard and high-ranking search results. A maximum of five per cent of inventory in any given market can be promoted at one time.
“We grew our revenues three times in the month of November, but I can’t comment on the scale,” said MacEwen when asked about the privately held SpaceList’s revenues and profits.
“The more people who use your service, the more valuable it becomes and the larger the opportunities become to make money. Our strategy has been to encourage as many people as possible to use the site, and that’s worked really well.”