Is There an MLS for Commercial Real Estate?

Many of us are familiar with MLS through purchasing a home.  Realtors can go into MLS and build a query with the exact specifications of what we’re looking for and then email over daily or weekly lists of properties that may match those specifications.  We check them out and send a thumbs up or thumbs down and they can use that to further filter the results.  Is there a system like that out there for commercial properties or is it strictly for residential listings?

MLS is short for Multiple Listing Service, which is a suite of services in which real estate brokers utilize to see one another’s listings of properties for sale.  MLS is typically used for the sale of residential properties, and while it can be used for the sale of commercial properties, many choose not to.  In fact, commercial real estate has its own versions of MLS.  For instance, many commercial real estate agents located in Louisiana use www.LACDB.com as a listing service for commercial property.  LACDB stands for Louisiana Commercial Database.

One of the main differences between MLS and LACDB (aside from one being residential and the other for commercial properties) is that MLS is privately owned.  This means that it is not a public system that just anyone can have access to (though there are exceptions).  Typically, a user can gain access to MLS listings through their real estate agent.  LACDB however, is a publicly available website in which anyone can go on and view listings.

Technically speaking, the LACDB website is not a multiple listing service, but rather is a commercial information exchange (CIE), which is different in many ways from an MLS. A CIE is a database of commercial property listings enabling agents and brokers to share information and is usually operated by the local real estate association. So, while MLS may not be the best avenue out there for commercial real estate, there are other databases with similar capabilities that both realtors and the public have access to.

Mathew Laborde, CCIM
Mathew Laborde, CCIM
mlaborde@elifinrealty.com
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