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A Statement from CoStar Group Correcting Significant Inaccuracies in a Recent Real Deal Article

July 30, 2018
On Tuesday, July 24, The Real Deal published an article entitled "CoStar nearly doubles income in Q2." The article was based on coverage of our second quarter earnings call. Hundreds of people listened to the earnings call. It was recorded, there is a script, and there is a written transcript readily available on the Internet. There can be no confusion as to what is said on one of these highly visible, highly documented calls. The Real Deal attributed multiple statements to our CEO and to CoStar Group that were clearly never made. A number of concerned customers and investors contacted us for clarification because they were understandably confused by the odd statements The Real Deal said we made.

We want to set the record straight.

The Real Deal incorrectly reported that CoStar Group stated that it plans to shut down LoopNet.

No one at CoStar Group has ever stated that LoopNet will be shut down. LoopNet is the most successful online commercial real estate marketplace in the world. It generates more than $120 million in revenue, it is growing rapidly, it is profitable and we continue to invest in it. Over 65,000 owners and brokers market properties on LoopNet. About 5 million tenants and investors search LoopNet each month. LoopNet is extremely valuable to both the CRE industry and CoStar Group.

The Real Deal incorrectly reported that CoStar Group stated that it plans to fold ForRent.com into Apartments.com.

No one at CoStar Group has ever stated that ForRent will be folded into Apartments.com. The ForRent brands and its four websites are valuable components of our Apartments.com network. We just purchased them earlier this year for $385 million. More than 3.5 million renters visit ForRent.com each month. Apartment owners invest approximately $85 million a year to reach the millions of renters searching for apartments on ForRent.com. It is clear that we are not planning to shut down ForRent.com.

The Real Deal incorrectly reported that in our Q1 2018 earnings call that CoStar Group stated that it is prepared to sue 30,000 customers.

No one from CoStar ever said this; it is obviously not in any company’s interest to do so, and it is clearly not possible to do. What we did say is, "We believe that there are as many as 10,000-plus people, and perhaps 2 to 3x that number, illegally accessing CoStar." We did not say we are suing them. We never call the people stealing our product customers because people accessing CoStar without paying for it are not our customers. CoStar is working hard to stop theft because it drives up the cost of the product for the honest people who pay for the service.

The Real Deal has now acknowledged that CoStar never said the things that The Real Deal reported CoStar said. CoStar notified The Real Deal editorial team as soon as we uncovered the inaccuracies. The Real Deal posted a correction at 7:05 am on July 25 removing the incorrectly reported statements. Whether these falsehoods were intentional or simply the result of poor reporting, we do not know. It is worth noting that The Real Deal incorrectly reported this information after CoStar Group announced that it is hiring dozens of renowned commercial real estate reporters around the world to build a competing commercial real estate news service.
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