Xceligent: Changing The Landscape Of Commercial Real Estate
Xceligent’s CEO Doug Curry has a rough job just talking about his job. The backstory of what Xceligent (a REALTOR® Benefits Partner) does, who it does it with, for whom it does it, why, when and where is a very complex narrative, bringing together business research, computer science, commercial real estate, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, and philosophy. One blog post isn’t going to cover it. One presentation isn’t going to cover it.
Curry knows this; at the start of his presentation to a commercial real estate audience at 2012 REALTOR® Conference & Expo, he polled the group, asking in effect what they already knew, so as to best tailor the presentation. Which in itself is fitting, given that Xceligent’s business model is so dependent upon what brokers know and are willing to share.
Collaboration: The Rare Commodity
Xceligent provides business intelligence to the commercial real estate industry. It’s a publisher of original information. It researches, surveys, geocodes, creates, verifies, compares, cleans, refreshes, and presents information about commercial property from lease comps to parking spaces and everything within and beyond. Curry pointed out that commercial real estate information can be assembled in a lot of different ways, with different results and quality levels. Curry’s company long ago settled on one defining principle: partnering with brokers to provide the highest quality market information.
Xceligent pioneered the successful working concept of broker collaboration in verifying that transactions had actually taken place in a market. The positive impact on data quality and increased transparency made for undeniable value. It’s part of why online commercial real estate information giant LoopNet bought an equity stake in them 2007.
Desired, But Not Acquired
When LoopNet became the target itself of a buyout by CoStar in 2011, Curry said Xceligent “went to the Federal Trade Commission, who agreed that Xceligent should be sold to somebody else”. The premise was about preserving competition in the space. The CoStar deal as originally conceived would have left the commercial real estate industry with too little competition in listings and business information. Xceligent found that buyer – dmg::information, the internationally-focused division of the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, but then faced a new wrinkle.
Go Big Or Stay Home
Curry says the FTC’s involvement evolved after their buyer was found. It wasn’t enough to preserve Xceligent’s separation from the CoStar/LoopNet deal, but Xceligent would “need to build an alternative to LoopNet” and do so with enough resources to reach all the national markets that CoStar did. To that end, Xceligent acquired ePropertyData from NAR / Second Century Ventures in 2012, providing access to markets across the country including more than 200,000 active lease and sales listings. ePD’s research tools are being enhanced and incorporated into Xceligent’s research center today.
An epic tale of commercial real estate indeed. And that’s just how Doug Curry says “Hello”.