CREXi Leads Omaha into the World of CRE Tech

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When it comes to discovering commercial real estate opportunities, investors rely on data to make informed, profit-driving decisions. For years, Omaha has proven to be a stable, steadily growing marketplace for commercial real estate investment that attracts brokers and principles alike. CREXi strives to bridge the gap between the two parties, helping tenants, buyers, and brokers to find the best deals in the market.

CREXi is an online commercial real estate platform that combines a robust sales and leasing marketplace with powerful broker marketing tools and CRE data insights. 

On any given day, buyers and tenants make up nearly 92% of website traffic, using CREXi’s search tool to find Omaha properties that exactly match their criteria. Thousands of brokers, on the other side of the coin, use CREXi’s suite of sales and leasing tools to connect and transact with leads. 

CREXi’s goal is to centralize the CRE process in a single online hub where lenders, buyers, brokers, tenants, and appraisers enjoy full transparency and simplicity throughout each transaction. With more than 330,000 properties listed and over $200 billion in facilitated transactions since its 2016 launch, CREXi is proud to serve Omaha as the fastest growing online commercial real estate marketplace. 

CREXi Helps Buyers and Tenants Discover Omaha Investment Properties

As a true marketplace, CREXi seeks to empower Omaha buyers and tenants with our holistic online platform. Omaha is a “steady Eddie market,” per Scott Koethe, in an interview with RE Journals — perfect for parties seeking a positive, reliable return on their investment. 

Buyers, sellers, and tenants can browse through hundreds of thousands of properties nationwide, all free of charge. CREXi’s search feature allows buyers to narrow down parameters by price, cap rate, square footage, and more to find properties that precisely match their criteria.

Interested parties can download OMs, directly contact brokers, and even submit letters of intent (LOIs) all through CREXi’s platform.

Intelligence: Market Knowledge is Power

CREXi also empowers buyers and sellers to make better decisions via our Intelligence offering. Intelligence is a subscription service that provides investors access to over 50 MSA market reports and sales comps from over 40 million historical sales, all verified by third-party sources. 

CREXi offers this data on a subscription basis to buyers and sellers to help them make the best investment decisions possible.

How CREXi Empowers Omaha Brokers

The Omaha commercial real estate market shows no signs of slowing down: a quick search on CREXi’s platform produces over 1,700 Omaha properties for sale and commercial lease, with a healthy blend across asset classes.

CREXi allows brokers to freely list properties and view leads with a fully equipped lead-management dashboard. Omaha brokers already use CREXi to list a variety of asset classes and property types, including:

  • Land parcels
  • Multi-family units
  • Industrial facilities
  • Development sites
  • Office units
  • Non-traditional properties, such as self-storage, medical offices, or senior/assisted living

The free marketplace allows brokers to conduct every stage of a CRE transaction online and includes lead contact tools, pipeline management, insights into buyer activity, and a due diligence file vault. However, the real power of CREXi’s capabilities emerge with Sale and Lease PRO.

CREXi Sale PRO & Lease PRO

The CREXi Sale PRO and Lease PRO memberships offer detailed contact information available in Omaha brokers’ leads dashboards, as well as email marketing analytics and customized lead reports. PRO subscribers also enjoy featured listing placements on CREXi’s search pages and weekly email blasts to thousands of buyers with an average click-through rate of 10-15%. 

PRO users can also take advantage of CREXi’s vast data library, with over 40 millions sales comps and a detailed Omaha MSA market report — one among 51 MSAs nationwide. CREXi obtained this data in partnership with one of the US’s largest data companies, thoroughly vetted through third-party state and local entities.

Nebraska, and Omaha in particular, is one of the areas with the highest CREXi PRO adoption. Nearly 64% of all Omaha MSA-based brokers on our platform utilize CREXi Sale PRO and Lease PRO. These brokers can connect with over 20,000 qualified buyer and tenant leads in Omaha alone, and the nearly 30,000 leads in Nebraska and Iowa, each. Not to mention over 430,000 monthly active visitors nationwide who — potentially — proactively seek to invest in a property in the Omaha MSA.

And CREXi is proud to report that Omaha PRO subscribers close six-to-eight more deals on average than non-PRO users.

The State of CRE in Omaha

The Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSA metropolitan statistical area houses approximately 25% of Nebraska’s population and serves as a vibrant, bustling city with a business-friendly climate, tax incentives, and historically steady CRE growth that shows no sign of slowing.

Omaha Regional Breakdown

The Omaha MSA consists of eight counties covering a large chunk of Eastern Nebraska and Southwestern Iowa. Omaha is the US’s 39th largest city by population, while the overall MSA is 59th. The region is characterized by steady growth: the population has grown 8.8% since 2010, much higher than other Midwestern areas. 

The city added 31,000 jobs in the last decade, growing at a 7.1% rate well above the national average (3.7%). A low cost of living and competitive wages create impressive spending power at an average of $50,481. Economically, the Omaha MSA punches above its weight class as the 49th largest GDP, despite being 59th largest by population. Per internal data, Omaha ranks 4th in per capita retail sales when compared to other MSAs. 

Omaha’s economy is diversified across several fields with no significant bias towards a specific industry sector. This balance bolsters its resistance to economic turmoil and makes it even more attractive to a variety of investors.

This collection of attributes makes the region highly attractive to investors across asset classes, especially due to its diversity and resistance to economic threats.

Omaha Industrial Market

Colliers International reported that Omaha’s industrial market rate closed at a rate of 3.1% at close of 2019, down from 3.4% in both 2018 and 2017. This amount ranks far below the national industrial vacancy rate of 4.2 % at the end of 2019. This is considered due to conservative construction procedures, as Omaha developers keep a close read on the market and don’t overbuild facilities, despite construction 1.2 million square feet in 2019.

The higher demand in Omaha has led to slightly increased rent prices over the last few years from $5.57 per square foot in 2017 and $5.80 in 2018 to a record-high average of $6.83 at the end of Q4 2019. 

Buyer activity for industrial asset class properties is flying high, with an annual positive absorption of over 600,000 square feet in 2019. This number is up from the rocky 2018 absorption of 203,170 square feet and 2017’s over one million square feet purchased. 

These statistics account for reduced construction in 2018 and the corresponding uptick in development the following year. At the end of 2019, nearly 800,000 square feet of Omaha industrial property was under construction. 

Learn more about the Omaha industrial market here

Omaha Office Market

Office vacancy rates are trending downward over the last 304 years, with a 2020 Q1 record low of 6.7%, a radical comparison to the national average in 2019 of 11.4%, per (**investor Omaha). The downward trend continues from a 2018 rate of 7.7% and a 2017 rate of 11.1%. This number, again, is due to historically conservative development in Omaha of buildings that aren’t already pre-leased.

Rental rates have slightly increased due to high demand, but have remained lower than other MSA’s, keeping Omaha a prime location for businesses of all sizes. Tech firms such as Google and Facebook expand their data center footprint with large centers in Omaha, while five Fortune 500 companies make their home in the region.

Demand for higher class office property types has become more competitive, as businesses begin to think of facility amenities as attractors for top talent. Omaha’s low cost of living and rental rates also correspond to better-paid wages, which attracts more workforce talent to the region. 

CREXi sees this in a sudden surge in the absorption rate in office properties, doubling from a historical average of 250,000 square feet to 577,000 in 2019, as well as lower vacancy rate averages of 4.1 for Class A properties. Accordingly, developers have 1.5 million square feet of office space slated for 2020 construction, after another million in 2018 and a much smaller 63,000 square feet in 2017.

Learn more about the Omaha office market here.

Omaha Retail Market

As mentioned above, Omaha’s high-income rates and lower cost of living make it a favorable target for retail commercial real estate investing despite general downward trends in national retail markets. 

Retail shopping has all but migrated from shopping malls to online stores. Still, Omaha’s retail market stays relatively healthy at a vacancy rate of 8.1%, down from 8.7% in 2018 and 8.4% in 2017, despite the closing of a regional mall and several big box stores. Asking rent is steadily decreasing, clocking in an average of below $12 per square foot at the end of 2019. 

Retail is trending towards smaller shop spaces, possibly due to tools similar to Yelp’s ability to help Omaha customers find traditionally specialty boutiques that are relatively off the beaten path. Many big box store spaces are also converting into non-traditional spaces, such as self-storage facilities.

Learn more about the Omaha retail market here.

Omaha Multifamily Market

Over the last few years, multi-family properties have commanded the lowest cap rates of all classes, per Colliers International. This tracks with the multi-family housing bloom that most of the US is experiencing, with roughly 3,500 units under development as of October 2019.

Omaha ranks 17th among MSAs in homeownership and enjoys the 9th cheapest average apartment rents in the country, as well as ranking 2nd out of our top 51 MSAs for median rent as a percentage of average incomes.

With Millennials’ preference for renting instead of homeownership, combined with Omaha’s affordability, we can speculate that demand will continue to rise for multi-family units. A 94% occupancy rate points to more development in the Omaha multi-family space.

Discover more about the Omaha multifamily market here.

Contact to learn more about CREXi’s PRO membership. 

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads CREXi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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