Founder, director, president and CEO at CoStar
Andy Florance’s CoStar has almost as much going on these days as he has titles at the company. And the CoStar chief is excited by his corporate umbrella’s prospects despite a “lumpy market,” as he said in April.
“Growth has actually picked up in apartments and LoopNet, and a number of different product variants are doing well,” Florence said about some of CoStar’s businesses. “We’ve put a lot of focus on residential right now, so we’re working hard on Homes.com. We have the fastest-growing real estate portal now.” Saying that Homes.com started as an “underdog,” Florance pointed to the “187 percent year-over-year growth and traffic to Homes.com, so we’re picking up tens of millions of new consumers using Homes.com to find a house.”
In addition, CoStar and LoopNet — an online commercial real estate portal — are expanding to every major city in Europe over the course of the next three years, said Florance. He trumpets his early decision to bring CoStar’s workers back to the office in force as COVID subsided as a major reason for the company’s growing success.
“I brought our staff back to work before any of the major brokerage firms or major owners brought them back,” he said. “Without a doubt, being a company with 1,000 people physically in the building working together and mentoring one another, communicating, innovating — it is definitely a more effective way to run an operation. I think that companies that live on Zoom are handicapped and are not as competitive. The other night I was looking through 20 of the biggest bankruptcies this year, and I would note all of them are remote cultures. So, I think there’s going to be a higher failure rate among virtual companies than there are among companies that collaborate together.”
However, Florance isn’t seeing everything through rose-colored glasses.
“Definitely there’s some grim leasing out there right now,” he said. “And getting back to pretend and extend may not be a viable strategy. And there will probably be some pain out there. But I think that this is one of those times when the next billionaire is made buying up deeply distressed autonomous properties that no one wants.”