CoStar Group Reviews | Glassdoor

CoStar Group Reviews

Updated June 17, 2018
885 reviews

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2.3
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CoStar Group President, CEO, and Director Andrew C. Florance
Andrew C. Florance
569 Ratings

885 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Good overview into commercial real estate" (in 68 reviews)

  • "If you are in field sales working remotely is a huge plus for having a great work/life balance" (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • "Management has a habit of baiting some of their top employees into staying with the hope and promise of upper management positions" (in 82 reviews)

  • "Their product isn't needed in some states (like mine) where commercial real estate data is READILY available" (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Inside Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great environment, great managers! You can't ask for a better place to work. It feels good to sell the #1 product/service in the industry and have such a great team to celebrate with. You make friends, learn how to sell, and have a clear career path to aim for. The money is really good for this position.

    Cons

    Not many at all. If you have drive and can adapt to changes, you can make a lot of money and have a long career. Complainers are for those who simply can't do it!

    Advice to Management

    Communicate the career path more often as it gets lost in the daily shuffle. I have seen numerous colleagues progress through the company and it would be exciting to highlight them more often.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Incentive, Don't Terrorize"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible opportunity to enter real estate industry and gain market knowledge. Great benefits and paid time off. Great bonus and incentive packages for top performers. Ever growing and changing company which leads to many opportunities for unique skills to be displayed in minor leadership roles. Opportunities for promotion and laterals as well.

    Cons

    The metrics. Everything you do is tracked. Accountability is important in any job, but this is next level. How many times you dial the phone. How many times you have a call over 90 seconds. How many times you said "branding statements" on the call. Everything is monitored and if you start to struggle the proposed solution is to dial the phone more. There seems to be a complete lack of understanding that to talk to someone on the phone requires another party to pick up the phone and be willing to hear you talk.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of making us fear the metrics, use them to give rewards to more than just the top performer. Make quarterly bonuses an opportunity for the researchers, not just the management. If your employees don't fear for their jobs everyday and have the opportunity to work for a bonus, or a few more vacation days, or really anything I think the numbers and quality of data would increase dramatically.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Ride the wave while it lasts..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales
    Former Employee - Sales
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    None now. Pros used to be high territory payouts unique bonus structure. But that's all been taken away since merger and company wide layoffs occurred unfortunately.

    Cons

    See above. Merger and selfish leadership cause a whirlwind. No one cares about each other. Everyone is to self.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employers more vs. following the $$$.


  4. "Technical Business Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time

    Pros

    Great team to work with and all employees no matter what department are helpful.

    Cons

    Not much growth within company.
    Roles aren't clearly defined so it is difficult to climb the ladder


  5. "Current Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great company! The location is awesome and the facility in DC is beautiful! It is located in an area that is convenient and easy to access from the metro, they even give you an incentive to use the public transportation!. There are free healthy food and snacks and the people are friendly and go through great efforts to help each other in any way that they can.

    Cons

    The negative comments on here do not reflect the company accurately. There are literally thousands of people who like the job that they have here and the work that they do.

    Advice to Management

    Keep caring about the employees and continue to work to improve the environment


  6. Helpful (13)

    "A professional quagmire of the highest order"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time

    Pros

    Before eviscerating every facet of the company in my “cons” section, I will at least attempt to put forth some benefits of working here:

    Working at Costar, especially in research, customer service, or collections, has a relatively low barrier to entry. If you have a college degree, speak functional english, and have a pulse, you can get a job here. It is an ideal environment for recent graduates to gain corporate experience or early commercial real estate experience prior to moving onto better roles. I advise staying no more than 6 months, partially because lingering here dooms yourself to daily frustration, but also because the skill-set acquired here is not all that marketable beyond other entry level jobs.

    The biggest upside I have found to Costar is the low stress environment and flexibility. I will cover some of the existential stresses later in my review, but if you are seeking a stable income with low demand, this can be ideal. The metrics, ultimately, are not challenging to meet if time is managed properly. You also build a sort of resilience to the tedium of cold calling and narrow mindedness of management that prepares you, for young graduates at least, for the status quo of old-school corporate America. I’ll pause here to remind you this is a pro of working here.

    Costar, due to the nature of the work and the structure of the work day, also allows you to schedule vacation or take a sick day at anytime you please. No project is ever so demanding that you must work from X to Y day. Unfortunately, this lack of importance also leads to a sense of professional ennui, since you largely function as a cog in what feels like a dysfunctional Rube Goldberg machine.

    I wish I had more pros to describe but unfortunately the preponderance of downsides must be addressed, and I am too eager for my long awaited catharsis by writing this review.

    Cons

    In David Foster Wallace’s infamous “This Is Water” commencement address, he notes that “there is actually no such thing as atheism...everybody worships.” For Christianity it is Jesus and the trinity, for Scientology it is Tom Cruise, and for Costar, it is calls. Calls-calls-calls-calls! Upper management displays such a fervor for calling, irrespective of its utility, that every problem, no matter what the quagmire, can be resolved by drumming up an army of researchers to dial the bejesus out of it.

    Perhaps, though, I should provide some context: Costar, among other things, provides a platform for CRE professionals to pay an exorbitant monthly fee to list their lease and sale listings, research new properties, and run market analyses. The crux of a research job at Costar is to call clients and other CRE professionals as often as possible to gather, validate, or verify information already in the database, then, explain to said clients why you are calling them when they pay you to house and accurately display such information. Management claims that clients want researchers involved to manage their listings, but the cacophony of irked clients I speak with proves otherwise. Most clients, in my experience, use the software purely to generate leads. The data is too unreliable to use for due diligence in any deal.

    Costar practices a zealous worship of internal metrics that ultimately serve no practical purpose toward improving wellbeing or performance for employees, or the quality of its products. At first this philosophy is just a nuisance, but as the days drag on, participating in such a convoluted and ultimately useless practice wears down on your spirit.

    Internally, the call metrics are used by management to pat themselves on the back for a “job well done” while other glaring problems that could have real impact on stakeholder wellbeing are brushed under the rug. There is constant feedback from clients to improve the accuracy of the data, yet it's impossible when research metrics are framed around the ability to call and update listings, irrespective of the quality of the data being updated. There is call-focused cabal within upper management that dictates the fixation on calling to all the lower management trees. It's a massive system of coerced stupidity that only stands to benefit a few higher-ups in a quarterly earnings call.

    Costar is an environment where mediocrity is the norm and putting forth any effort to optimize processes is shrugged off with an air of dissuasive nonchalance. Plenty of bright and talented employees quickly become jaded to the rigid business and management structures, and the inorganic work environment becomes suffocating. Any advice or ideas for change and improvement are routinely shot down- to the degree that its a joke among employees. Costar’s best bet for improving employee well being, client satisfaction, and overall data quality, would be to supplant the call-metrics with valuable research projects to enhance data and better respond to client’s frustrations.

    Costar is by far the most litigious company I’ve worked for or heard of- to the degree that it puts Donald Trump’s legal history to shame. While the Excelligent investigation made headlines, there are scores of other suits and investigations that don’t bubble up to the outer world. Costar contracts are designed to limit the opportunity for clients to unsubscribe and maximize the ability for Costar to pursue legal action. The sales team emboldens this shady effort by deliberately misdirecting and mis-marketing products to sow as much confusion as possible. This confusion also spills into the realm of customer service: one routinely receives calls from clients trying to rectify simple errors with their accounts- missing log-on information, inaccurate subscription packages, removing old users- but research has no sway over these issues, and we have no choice but to toss them into the maw of the sales and customer service teams. While these practices may not directly affect my day-to-day, my association with a company that endorses such behavior feels like a slow-dripping poisonous thorn in my side.

    I could go on, but I’m sure at this point I am straining the average attention span for a Glassdoor review. I can only hope this review dissuades those looking to working here, or at the very least, sheds some insight into what to expect.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to re-evaluate every level of the organization and shift to a model that benefits all stakeholders. The company is clearly driven by the quarterly stock cycle instead of the wellbeing of employees, middle managers, or even upper management.

    A paradigm shift in research and sales practices is needed in order to foster a better working environment, and improve client satisfaction. Places to start: give clients more flexibility over their contracts, remove the call-metrics from the research and sales teams, shift the emphasis of research to data correction instead of production volume, and create a more organic environment for middle-management to offer feedback and ideas.


  7. "Good Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, fellow employees, work environment

    Cons

    the grind, the metrics, monotony

  8. "System Support Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Systems Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great team, great benefits, good amount of technology to learn and get involved in. The more you put into the role, the more you'll learn, you have a great opportunity to work with multiple teams and lots of projects you won't get at many other places in a help desk role.

    Breakfast, snacks, and office are all great for DC.

    Cons

    Specifically for the help desk team. The DC management team is worthless, and never in the office. The other management is in Richmond and hard to handle some slacking team members based in the DC office.

    Projects come out of no where from management with tight deadlines and no clear guidance on how to tackle it effectively. Over time was cut down and not allowed unless approved, 2 hour call rotations daily on the help desk line is not helpful for more senior team members.

    Benefits have gotten more expensive over the years, corporate culture is hurting from Andy tightening the budget to get the higher margins he wants for the shareholders.

    Pay is okay for industry standards, raises are depressing (low single figures). Promotions are dangled in front of you for years, but if you're good at your job your current manager will sandbag your promotion as long as they can to keep you on their team and know a replacement is ready.

    Advice to Management

    Clear the entire help desk management team, and most senior level technicians that have been coasting for years, none set good examples for new hires, and they kill the overall team morale.


  9. "Good first job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time

    Pros

    Good structure. Good contacts with real estate professionals.

    Cons

    Lots of employees - difficult to stand out.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Wish I could love it more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Collections Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Collections Specialist in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks lots of activities given to us. More than other employers give as far as I’ve experienced. I like that I’m not subjected to going out to waste money on food and that I don’t need a gym membership because we have a gym and a fitness studio with an in house trainer and classes! That’s really great and generous of the company.

    Cons

    Work load or expectations are not evaluated realistically...by that I mean we’re expected to accomplish so much by managers that do not realize the actual time we do have to complete them. The micro managing is a lot and the job is exhausting especially with the kind of calls we get every day. I applied thinking this was not a call center job— it is. I wouldn’t have applied if I knew it was and it wasn’t mentioned during the interview. I feel a little bit played there. I wish the environment was a little ‘laxed’ considering the demands of the jobs and how we are treated on the phones and just allow people to enjoy their job. I believe people will work harder especially by choice. We’re on the phones all day everyday plus the files we have to do and notations AND emails. In my opinion it should one or the other. Or make phones a little less of a high priority to hinder our work. I wish I could enjoy my job more. I kind of like it here, but sometimes I dread leaving for work. I wish it could be better...oh well

    Advice to Management

    Consider that people really know what they’re doing and to allow them to show off to you rather than make them feel like they’re really replaceable.


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