ON THE LIST: A screenshot of the Rhode Island Commercial Information Exchange, or RICIE. The website went live in June.
By Rhonda J. Miller PBN Staff Writer
Commercial property for sale or lease in Rhode Island now has its own territory on a new website specifically designed to accommodate the needs of commercial Realtors, brokers, lenders, assessors and appraisers.
“Part of the issue was that there wasn’t a good, established database for these commercial properties,” said Mike Letendre, chief information officer for Statewide MLS, the Multiple Listing Service, which is managing the Rhode Island Commercial Information Exchange, called RICIE.
The new website, www.rhodeislandcie.com, went online April 10 in a soft launch to offer a time for potential users and MLS to test it. The official launch was June 27.
So far, RICIE has 126 users.
“The idea came from commercial brokers,” said Letendre. “Some companies looking for a property work with economic-development people or commercial brokers. Some properties are marketed through national databases. I think it was difficult to find commercial properties.”
The site recently had 356 active listings, of which 229 are for sale and 127 for lease. As of July 29, there were 13 sales pending.
“We use it all the time now. We’re putting all our data in,” said Don Morash, principal broker and owner of Abbott Properties in Warwick.
“Originally we were using the Multiple Listing Service, which is geared more toward residential brokers. It just didn’t fit the commercial type of market,” said Morash. “There is a lot more flexibility in commercial real estate, while MLS was more of a standard format.”
“Commissions on commercial properties are often negotiated, for instance, while the MLS lists the percentage of commission,” said Morash.
The design of the data fields on RICIE also makes the overall listing more accurate, said Morash.
“If we put in a commercial lease of a 10,000-square-foot building at $7 per square foot, it shows up in MLS as $7,” said Morash. “I’d get calls from people saying, ‘I want to see that building you have for $7.’ ”
RICIE provides broader distribution than the standard MLS and to a more targeted market segment, said Letendre.