Comparison of Top MLS and CIE for Commercial Real Estate

January 16, 2024
7 min

In the dynamic and fast-paced world of commercial real estate, access to comprehensive and up-to-date property listings is crucial for brokers to stay ahead.

Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and CIE (Commercial Information Exchange) provide a centralized hub where brokers can access vast commercial properties available for sale or lease.

In this blog post, we delve into commercial real estate MLS platforms and compare the top contenders in-depth. We also describe the meaning of CIE and how it differs from MLS.

From established commercial MLS platforms to region-specific CIE, we will guide you through the intricacies of these systems.

Whether you’re an experienced broker or just starting in the industry, such knowledge impacts your success in finding the perfect properties for your clients.



Difference between MLS and CIE


MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and CIE (Commercial Information Exchange) are both systems used to share property information among commercial real estate professionals. Still, they are specific to different CRE market segments, there are the difference between the two:

MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a system used mostly for residential real estate, and it allows real estate agents and brokers to share information about residential properties that are available for sale or rent.

Agents and brokers cooperate in MLS and offer compensation to each other for successful transactions.

Even though MLS is a widely popular tool to market and search commercial listings, there isn’t a single centralized MLS for commercial properties that covers the entire world. Instead, different regions and countries may have their own commercial MLS platforms or databases.

For example, in the United States, there are various commercial MLS systems operated by different organizations or associations. The most popular examples we’ll list in the next passages.

CIE (Commercial Information Exchange) is a system specifically designed for commercial real estate in the USA. It serves a similar purpose to MLS but focuses on sharing information about commercial properties meant for business or investment purposes, including office buildings, retail spaces, industrial properties, warehouses, and land zones for commercial use.

CIEs work only in the USA and are operated by local broker associations to serve the local commercial real estate market.

Even though the total number of CIEs is less than 100 in the United States, they contain valuable data about commercial property listings. In the next passage, we’ll present the most popular ones.



Top 5 MLS for Commercial Real Estate



CoStar is one of the biggest and most visited MLS for commercial real estate. According to SimilarWeb, CoStar has over 1 million monthly visitors, 95% of which are from the US. Such a big number of visitors opens up a whole lot of opportunities for commercial real estate brokers to search, compare and list their property.

CoStar data changes 5.1 million times a day which means that new listings keep coming, brokers keep closing the deals making clients happy.

Being a leader on the MLS market, CoStar has such subsidiaries as LoopNet,, BizBuySell,, CityFeet, Showcase, and others.




LoopNet is another well-recognized commercial MLS and marketplace that is often considered the Zillow of the commercial real estate industry. Its commercial property listings database is among the largest – 500,000 listings available, 6.3 billion square feet for lease, and 12 million unique monthly visitors.

Being a part of the CoStar Group, LoopNet offers a number of different types of commercial property listings, including office, multi-family, coworking, flex, medical, industrial, restaurant, retail, agricultural, hotel/motel, and land.


CityFeet (also owned by CoStar) is an online commercial real estate listing platform that provides a marketplace for buying, selling, and leasing commercial properties. Even though CityFeet’s listings are mainly focused on New York City, they list properties in every state.

Compared to LoopNet, CityFeet mainly focuses on non-multifamily commercial properties in major MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas).

CityFeet aggregates commercial property listings from different sources, including brokers, property owners, developers, and real estate companies.

The platform facilitates direct communication between users and the listing agents or property owners, allowing for inquiries, property viewings, and negotiations.


CREXi is an MLS and platform with more than 130,000 U.S. commercial real estate properties listed for sale.

CREXi connects buyers, sellers, brokers, and investors in the commercial real estate market. It provides a comprehensive suite of services and tools designed to streamline commercial property transactions and facilitate efficient deal-making.

Quantum Listing

Quantum Listing is a commercial real estate MLS that uses artificial intelligence to match buyers and sellers. It is a relatively new service, but it has quickly gained popularity among commercial real estate professionals.

Quantum Listing works by first collecting data on commercial properties from a variety of sources. This data is then analyzed by AI algorithms to identify properties that are a good match for specific buyers.

When a buyer creates a profile on Quantum Listing, the AI algorithms will identify properties that meet their criteria and send them notifications when new properties that match their criteria are listed. Buyers can also search for properties on Quantum Listing’s website or mobile app.

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Top 5 Commercial Information Exchange (CIE) Listing Services



CIMLS stands as the leading open Investment and Commercial Multiple Listing Service, offering extensive US coverage. With an impressive user base of over 350,000 registered commercial real estate professionals and investors, CIMLS serves as a preferred Commercial Information Exchange platform for marketing and exploring ‘for sale’ and ‘for lease’ commercial properties.


Catylist serves as a subscription-based CIE platform (owned by Moody’s Analytics) that offers a suite of listing services, data analytics, GIS integration, and other tools designed to help commercial real estate professional efficiently access and manage property information.

Catalyst has a network of over 100,000 commercial real estate brokers that can help buyers and sellers find the right properties.

Louisiana Commercial Database

Louisiana Commercial Database (LaCDB) serves as an online information exchange for Louisiana’s commercial real estate professionals.

This website offers an array of tools designed to streamline the management and sharing of information, fostering seamless connections among all stakeholders involved in Louisiana’s commercial real estate.

The LaCDB is a valuable resource for anyone involved in commercial real estate in Louisiana. It is a convenient way to find commercial properties, connect with brokers and agents, and stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends in the market.

St. Louis Commercial Data Systems (STLCDS)

St. Louis Commercial Data Systems (STLCDS) operates as a dedicated CIE that caters to commercial properties within the St. Louis metro market, including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, and the Illinois counties of Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe.

This service leverages the capabilities of Catylist Research, a renowned commercial real estate listing and research platform utilized by numerous commercial real estate brokerages and economic development communities throughout North America.

TotalCommercial CIE

TotalCommercial CIE is a service that allows commercial real estate brokers and agents to list and search for commercial properties. It is a free service that is available to all members of the TotalCommercial network.

TotalCommercial CIE is a valuable tool for commercial real estate professionals who are looking to list or search for commercial properties. It is a free service that is easy to use and navigate.

In summary, the main difference between MLS and CIE lies in the types of properties they serve. MLS is for residential real estate, while CIE is for commercial real estate.

Both systems facilitate the cooperation and data exchange among commercial real estate professionals in their respective markets, helping to connect buyers and sellers with available properties and promoting efficient property transactions.

Need MLS to Work on the Go?


Oftentimes, brokers choose to create their own exclusive commercial property listings which they update on a regular basis.

When you manage listings on your own website, you may face a lot of challenges with marketing campaigns, monitoring, reporting, and effective communication with clients and it will take quite some time to keep your data up-to-date.

Ascendix has a solution – MarketSpace. Here is what you can do with our solution:

  • Integrate your CRM with your CRE brokerage website
  • Get a section responsible for commercial property listings on your website
  • When you’ve filled in all the data about your properties for sale or lease hit the publish button and the listing will appear on your website page immediately
  • Track and associate web leads with the listings
  • Send those prospects a follow-up to motivate them to take action
  • Avoid the necessity of making changes to your website. All the changes are made in the CRM so the listings are updated automatically
  • Track the number of people who watched your listings and who interacted with them

Our commercial real estate property listing solution helps you automate the routine property listing management process and saves you tons of time and effort.

If you need a consultation about choosing the best commercial real estate MLS or want to share your experience, feel free to contact us, read our blog posts, and leave comments in the section below.


Is There an MLS for Commercial Real Estate?

Yes, there is. But please note that there isn’t a single core MLS for CRE. Instead, there are CIE (Commercial Information Exchange) across the US focusing on commercial properties, such as office buildings, retail spaces, industrial properties, warehouses, and land zoned for commercial use.

As most CIEs are private, most of them are subscription-based and usually accessible only to licensed CRE professionals.

What Is the MLS for Commercial Real Estate?

MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a system used mostly for residential real estate, and it allows real estate agents and brokers to share information about residential properties that are available for sale or rent.

Examples of commercial MLS are CoStar, LoopNet, CREXi, CityFeet, Quantum Listing.


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Your work has always been a great source of inspiration for me. I refer you blog to many of my friends as well.


Interesting insights about MLS commercial real estate listings. A detailed comparison of brokers is very informative. As a real estate professional, I appreciate the clarity and depth. This is a valuable resource that simplifies decision-making in the dynamic world of commercial real estate.

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