INDEPENDENCE, MO—Doug Curry founded Xceligent fourteen years ago, but as he dashes between speeches and plane flights, the CEO tells GlobeSt.com that today is one of the most important days in the company’s history. The Missouri-based provider of commercial real estate information has just inked multiyear deals with CBRE Group, Inc., Colliers International and Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc., that will give these national giants access to the Xceligent platform in all existing and future US markets. Xceligent is currently available in just over 40 markets and will expand to the largest 65 by 2016.
“All of the national firms have worked with us at some level and still do today,” Curry says, but “this is a very different level of commitment.” Their agents will subscribe to and access the Xceligent platform in the current markets and in any others added in the future. In addition, officials from the national firms will take part in local advisory boards and certify the data they have fed into Xceligent’s system. “This gives it the final stamp of approval; it’s effectively being certified as correct by the top.” Curry believes this level of participation from the big players will also encourage local and regional firms to participate.
Today’s announcement culminates a hectic 27 months in Xceligent’s attempt to create an alternative to LoopNet and CoStar. This period began when the Federal Trade Commission first blocked CoStar from buying LoopNet, which had acquired an ownership interest in Xceligent and was providing them funds to expand their platform to other markets. All three firms provide listings, databases and information services used by brokers, lenders, investors, appraisers and developers. The FTC alleged that “the proposed acquisition would be anticompetitive and would violate the FTC and Clayton Acts by reducing competition in the markets for these listing databases and information services.”
“Several of the national firms also asked that we be set free,” Curry says, because they agreed that one company should not have a monopoly on commercial real estate information. And last year, the FTC issued an order that allowed the purchase to go forward if the combined firm sold LoopNet’s interest in Xceligent. Curry and his team began hunting for another partner that had the background and experience to replace LoopNet. In 2012, Xceligent received a strategic investment from dmg information, the US information division of DMGT and a provider of business-to-business information for a broad range of sectors including property, finance and energy.
“They have the background and experience, and it’s taken us about a year to work through the logistics,” Curry says, building up to this national rollout. In addition to negotiating the three deals announced today, Xceligent has been negotiating with other national firms as well. They also expanded the number of employees from about 150 to 550 and have been compiling data on the markets, such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Cleveland, where they will soon launch their information platform.
Xceligent’s goal is to “capture every move in and every move out” in a targeted market, Curry says, “by having hundreds of researchers calling every listing,” and cataloging every structure. And if the phone calls leave information gaps, Xceligent will even send drivers around to gather the information in-person. Anyone with access to the research will then have accurate information about any property’s available spaces, sales history, square-footage, tenant history, demographics and other features. “That level of data is pretty important to leasing professionals.”
As if all of this were not enough, in August, the company will launch a strategic partnership with realtor.com to provide advanced search and display functionality on the site through CommercialSearch, a national property marketing platform developed by Xceligent.
“This certainly has been the longest 27 months of my life,” Curry says. “If I weren’t so tired I would be excited.”