Commercial Gateway was introduced by HAR in 2001 to meet the information needs of Houston’s commercial brokerage community. In order to foster participation from all commercial practitioners, Commercial Gateway was organized as a “Commercial Information Exchange” or CIE. The CIE structure is less cumbersome and under NAR guidelines permits the participation of non-REALTOR® firms and brokers. The service was made available on the Internet at CommGate.com on April 2, 2001 using a software system developed by a small firm from Gig Harbor, Washington called ePropertyData. As a result of CommGate’s open CIE organization, more than 1500 members from more than 500 firms now share information about available properties and completed sales and leases in the greater Houston area.
Xceligent is a commercial real estate research firm based in Independence, Missouri that was purchased and recapitalized by a UK-based firm as part of CoStar’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over CoStar’s 2012 acquisition of LoopNet. Under the terms of an agreement with the FTC, CoStar sold the Xceligent ownership interest that LoopNet had acquired along with other data sets and assets in order to promote Xceligent as a competitor and alternative to the combined CoStar+LoopNet firm. When Xceligent was recapitalized in conjunction with the FTC settlement, the National Association of REALTORS® decided to sell the ePropertyData commercial platform that it had acquired to Xceligent. Since HAR’s Commercial Gateway had been implemented and operated by ePropertyData, this meant that HAR’s CIE system was now part of Xceligent.
Xceligent offers a broad range of fully researched data bases in over 30 markets nationwide, with plans to expand into at least 30 more over the next several years. Houston is the next market that Xceligent will research and convert to their proprietary platform called “CDX”. Xceligent plans to initiate its Houston area research efforts in the fourth quarter of 2014 with new services being made available in the first quarter of 2015.
The introduction of Xceligent based research service will provide a significant upgrade to the amount of researched commercial data available to members of the Commercial Gateway CIE. Xceligent plans to greatly broaden the scope of research to include more retail properties, smaller office and industrial properties as well as single-tenant owner-occupied buildings. Xceligent will also cover more geography by including access to properties listed for sale and lease in other major Texas markets that it services like Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
Commercial Gateway will continue to offer and operate a CIE service focused on the greater Houston marketplace utilizing the Xceligent platform. In addition to the CommGate CIE, Xceligent will offer its fully researched CDX system that includes access to other national markets as well as more advanced market metrics and reporting tools. This two-level system will provide Houston’s commercial brokers with choices to select which information service best meets their needs.
Although there are many details yet to be resolved about the introduction of the new Xceligent powered CommGate and CDX services, Mario Arriaga, HAR’s Vice Chairman and Chair of the Commercial Advisory Board that oversees the CIE, stated, “HAR is committed to maintaining the investment that CIE members have made in contributing information over the past dozen years. This commitment will include new features and discounted pricing for existing Commercial Gateway CIE members as the new Xceligent products are introduced to the greater Houston area.” So there has never been a better time for commercial brokers to participate in the Commercial Gateway information exchange.