What's New In IC&I
ICIWorld website matches haves and wants

(article REM Magazine April/2001 page 32) by Xavier Macia

Sometimes matching a buyer with a seller of an ICI property seems next to impossible.  "Brokers know that buyers are out there but often don't know where to look," says Gary Nusca, President of Toronto-based Market ICI World Commercial Real Estate Network.

"We provide the fastest delivery of real estate haves and wants information on the Internet"  he says.  ICIWorld is a web-based information service bureau with more than 600 broker members collecting and distributing a constantly changing database of more than 7,000 haves and wants.  The chances of matching those haves and wants are good on www.iciworld.net, a website that gets more than 250,000 hits per month.

ICIWorld collects up-to-the-minute information from around the world, which it then distributes to its member brokers and the public via list serves (mailing lists) that are tailored to various categories based on location, price and property type.  "Brokers are the best people to collect that information," says Nusca. "Once the information is posted on the ICIWorld database, it's exposed to the highest hit site in Canada for commercial real estate."

Nusca says that ICIWorld is not trying to duplicate the services that real estate boards provide.  Most commercial real estate properties that are for sale are never listed on board type listing services.



"A building owner who's willing to sell may not want a sign on the building," says Nusca, "But he will pay a broker a commission if he can find a buyer.  For example, 90 per cent of apartment buildings are not on any listing."

The value of that information is obvious and a property can be listed on the ICIWorld website without an address.  Once posted, the information is available to member brokers of ICIWorld and the public. Anyone can post a listing, including non-members.  "It doesn't cut the broker out of the deal," says Nusca, "It's a service that protects the brokers' best interests."

ICIWorld started about 10 years ago as a phone-in bulletin board system.  It was a cumbersome operation but Nusca, a Past-President of the Central Canada CCIM Chapter, saw the possibilities of the Internet when it came along.  "The power of communications and the Internet opened up a whole world." he says.  In 1995 ICIWorld was one of only 25 commercial real estate sites on the Internet.  "We're growing steadily with one, two or three new members daily," says Nusca.  Membership costs $240 annually with a one-time sign-up fee of $79.  New members get a telephone training session on how to use the ICIWorld web site and exploit its features.


Member brokers of ICIWorld and the public can subscribe to any of about 50 different list serves that automatically distribute ICIWorld's information via email, tailored to specific member needs.  Nusca says that eventually ICIWorld will have 500 different list serves, each targeted to different markets around the world.  When a new listing is posted on the ICIWorld website, it is emailed on the relevant list serves within the hour.

ICIWorld may have started in Canada but it has long since moved out into the farthest reaches of cyberspace.  The database has been accessed from more than 70 countries.  The United States accounts for about 38 per cent of the hits followed by Canada at 18 per cent.

While the main focus of ICIWorld is serving brokers who deal in commercial real estate, Nusca says that residential property brokers can also benefit.  "The residential real estate broker who runs into the odd commercial property doesn't usually have the necessary database," says Nusca, "That's why we have a lot of them posting with us."  So why isn't every broker connected to the ICIWorld database?  "There are now so many services out there, brokers don't know where to start.  They don't know which are the good ones and which are the bad," says Nusca.  "That's why I put ICIWorld website statistics on-line.  Brokers can see the traffic our site gets.  With one-quarter of a million hits per month, no other site in Canada comes close to us."


Gary Nusca, CCIM, President, iciworld.net, can be reached at 416-214-4875, http://www.iciworld.net