CoStar Group Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

CoStar Group Washington DC Reviews

Updated June 12, 2017
250 reviews

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Washington, DC Area

2.4
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CoStar Group President, CEO, and Director Andrew C. Florance
Andrew C. Florance
177 Ratings

250 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • great entry into CRE (commercial real estate) or a springboard to another profession (in 54 reviews)

  • Very competitive pay, good benefits, nice office, seems to be a lot of mobility (in 60 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "great place to learn"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Human Resources in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is generous to a fault. All training and equipment are top of the line. Take advantage of every opportunity and improve your skills and contacts. Good opportunity to learn corporate culture.

    Cons

    Hard to describe unless you have worked there. Weird dynamic; you just never feel secure there and yet it doesn't seem to matter. Stay for a few years and move on. Lots of CoStar alums out there!

    Advice to Management

    Treat the researchers with more respect; do not demean them. be grown-ups


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Sales Executive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Executive in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Sales Executive in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are second to none. You have all the technology to succeed.

    Cons

    It is a churn and burn mentality. They like to push their employees to the edge with high metrics. If a couple fall off, the attitude is that they can be easily replaced.

    CoStar Group Response

    Jun 12, 2017 – CoStar Team

    Thank you for five years with us, we appreciate the value you’ve created. We’re focused on attracting and retaining the best workforce and our exceptional benefits and sales-enablement speak to that.


  3. Helpful (1)

    ""Get your year in, then get out""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Transaction Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales Transaction Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Its a good first opportunity out of school.

    Cons

    Too many changes in metrics. Not enough meaningful work.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Research Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Snacks, steady employment, that's about it.

    Cons

    Entry level job with little to no growth and low pay. Metrics are frequently changing and unreachable by design, management does not listen


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Young people beware... No one retires at CoStar"

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

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They pay well. Good benefits!

    Cons

    There is always a contest or a reason to just wait a little longer before moving to your next career. They will get rid of you the first time you don't fit their mold. Young people beware! Before you know it CoStar will eat up years of your life and you will have no where else to go. Your phone will ring until 11:55pm on the last day of the month and you will be expected to answer. Don't think of traveling where you cannot be reached. I called in for conference calls from Europe, Bahamas, and Japan. Once you reach a certain point in your career you are not allowed to miss these calls... FOR ANY REASON! Missing these calls/meetings means losing your job!

    Advice to Management

    Take a breath! When is enough, enough? Let your employees enjoy their evenings, holidays and vacations!


  6. "Good place to work"

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

    I worked at CoStar Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are great. The work environment is friendly and business casual. The work is challenging but allows for a good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Working away from the DC/VA headquarters keeps you out of the loop. Decisions are made by seniors at HQ and it's hard to feel like you know what's going on when you aren't there.

    Advice to Management

    Cultivate and empower leaders in all offices to provide a connection back to the main decision-making and strategic power. Ensure that everyone is always working towards the company-wide vision.

    CoStar Group Response

    May 12, 2017 – CoStar Team

    Thank you for your time with us and for leaving a review, we appreciate it!


  7. Helpful (19)

    "Soul of CoStar"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time

    Pros

    Notice how no review, aside from fabricated five star reviews, discuss any aspect of the actual day-to-day under Pros. I'll leave it at that.

    Cons

    Let me offer a snapshot into the soul of the Research Department. While this example may appear dated, nothing has changed. If anything, the culture within this Department has worsened.

    Years ago, after New Jersey was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Our Team, despite severe objections by team members, was forced to call our market. Every day, a Researcher is expected to make an insurmountable pile of calls, and according to the Research Department, this day was like any other. Families were without homes, businesses were crippled, the state was in shock — but we were told we had to burden them with our daily metrics. Do not for one second think that our scripts were abridged to incorporate any human feeling. Our goal was to ask the same questions, harass the same people. Here is how I remember the typical script from that day:

    RA: “Good afternoon Mr. Smith, this is XYZ from CoStar Group, how is everything?”

    VICTIM: “I can’t talk my home is underwater and my business is a mile off the Jersey shore.”

    RA: “Well, do you have any other listings on the market?”

    VICTIM: “You’re kidding…”

    RA: “No, I’m not kidding, sir, I take my job seriously. We’re the #1 provider of commercial real estate. Have you heard of our subsidiary LoopNet?”

    VICTIM: “You do understand that our community is in a State of Emergency?”

    RA: “I just want to provide maximum exposure to your listings.”

    You get the picture. Scripts and bureaucracy are more important than actual human feeling. I know that sounds like a cliche, but I have worked for many other organizations and CoStar takes this notion to new definitions of the word. Hannah Arendt had a term for this. She called it the ‘Banality of Evil’. It means that in going along with what you are told, as Managers, Directors and above do, they create an atmosphere of immorality, and are capable of tacitly carrying out horrible acts. While this alludes to unspeakable atrocities over 70 years ago, the underlying psychology persists in vile, seemingly benign corporate gutters like CoStar Group’s Research Department.

    Advice to Management

    Every day after work you go home to your family. How do you look your significant other in the eye, or teach your kids morality and to pursue there dreams? You work for CoStar Group's Phone Bank. You manage, and are complicit in making, a miserable, utterly miserable group of human beings.


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Research Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent pay, good benefits, very young, offer snacks, beautiful building. The job itself does not have many pros associated unfortunately

    Cons

    Bottom line: Upper level management couldn't care less about it's researches. You're essentially given a list of brokers to call each day and verify information while shoving branding statements down their throat. If you enjoy being a call robot, this is the job for you. If you don't reach a certain number of 90 second calls a day, they have no issue letting you go, which is unfoetunate because some regions may be more open to talking to you than others.

    Advice to Management

    Find a different way to measure performance. Terminating someone based on brokers not picking up the phone, despite a high number of attempts is just immoral.

    CoStar Group Response

    Jun 12, 2017 – CoStar Team

    We appreciate you leaving a review and thanks for your time with us. Calling is an essential part of the research process and it obtains information that often simply cannot be obtained any other ... More


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Wouldn't Recommend"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cool if you're coming right out of college, people have either been here more than 15 years or less than 5 it seems.

    Cons

    Constant change, what is expected changes quarter to quarter, metric driven, no real room for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Change in any company will happen. But there are constant changes with little notice. Stop making us complete these surveys just to completely disregard what we have to say.


  10. Helpful (22)

    "Research Associate: The Lowest Rungs of Purgatory"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CoStar Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are virtually no upsides to the actual work you do at this company. Perhaps, if you work as a Research Associate here, after knowing the epitome of awfulness, your future decision-making will be better going forward.

    Cons

    The word ‘research’ should not be in the job title. It does not matter what industry this is – you are dealing with individual data points and have absolutely no association with a larger picture of real estate or markets. Your ‘research’ mostly includes google, maybe a couple government websites, and cross-referencing individual data points on our own websites. If you ever took a research methods class you will quickly learn that the definition of research at CoStar greatly differs from what you had learned it to be. And primarily, you are calling, calling, calling, calling – calling those who mostly have better things to do. And since your training involves little more than basic knowledge of anything in the industry, and you are used to being belittled on the phone, you come off as a scared buffoon.

    You will learn very (very) rudimentary basics of commercial real estate – and that is where the resume builders end. As we were explained to after a company wide survey (the results of which made it vividly clear that 1. No Research Associate believes there is any career growth and 2. Senior Management is awful), you learning new skills (SQL, Excel, Economics/Finance of RE) is not a business need. Although this may be true, people should not be treated as cattle. As with many businesses, concessions are made to employees to foster happiness. And I’m not talking about money – I’m referring to helping people develop careers. Further, is it not a smart business decision to maximize the knowledge of your employees?

    Every tweak to the research process introduces a new mind-numbing task. Research Associates are prevented from learning any new skills or learning about anything in their market.

    Literally, your job is data entry, following scripts, and smiling – and I can’t emphasize this last point enough. Leadership is synonymous with the perception of an uppity-up personality. Include smiles, flamboyant language in your e-mails, drink-kool-aid, and tell everyone you had the most relaxing weekend (but it was too short, though!!), and you are on your way to Research Associate II! You can taste the repressed emotions on your tongue; the attuned psychologist would have a field day here.

    Let’s dive into the culture of anti-intellectualism, shall we? Any criticisms of the research process are greeted with some pre-packaged platitude. For instance, if you state that an over-emphasis on one metric is side-lining work on a different metric, a common rebuttal is, “Just try a little harder.” Or perhaps, “Start working right away; the early bird gets the worm!” You will NEVER see actual statistics with SOUND methodology that relate the best research practices. Perhaps because what you do here is not research. At least in the military you understand that there is some kind of purpose behind what you do. 

    I love the tag-line of CoStar’s website: “Knowledge Market.” You have to be kidding me. I’ll give you a perfect example to illustrate my concerns with this tag-line: About two years ago CoStar released a new analytical product that gave insights into CRE micro-markets. Research MANAGERS were responsible for initial edits of this content. They were only the initial editors for little over a few months. Why?  The Research Managers had no idea what was actually happening in their markets (DC, NY, Baltimore) and could offer no valuable feedback. The products were horrendous and apparently upper management was naïve enough to think that Research Managers are more than glorified cheerleaders. The Research Manager’s day consists of sending out e-mails such as “this guy has 15 calls already! Who can catch him?!” I am not joking. That is actually the childish motivating tactic used by most managers at the DC Center. That and standing up and bellowing, "kind of quiet in here!" Meaning you should pick up your phone and aimlessly call admins. Kind of similar to a 3rd grade classroom when the teacher walks in and says, "why is it so loud in here?" as a way of getting the room to quiet. Or other emails Managers send out telling you to not text while working -- I haven't had this kind of discussion since high school.

    You work a kind-of-job. You have no power, real responsibility, and are, at best, a half-realized supplement to any commercial real estate professional. Lets end this review off by calling you what you really are – a secretary’s secretary. Real Estate Companies hire secretaries to deal with you. 90% of your client’s needs is extraordinarily rudimentary -- basic data points that 3rd graders can communicate to you. However, management will tell you that what you do is ‘so complex’ and brokers ‘need’ to speak with you.' False. And further, when brokers tell you that their firm has hired someone to deal with you and they don’t have time for you, and you tell your manager this, you will get the hose again.

    The CoStar responses on Glassdoor have been a real treat. “CoStar is fast-paced!” or “We’re constantly changing to make things better!” No. CoStar research is an impetuous and childish institution.

    If you loath creativity, are motivated by childish motivation tactics, and are okay with being a pawn – CoStar Research is the cubicle for you!

    Apply Today!

    Advice to Management

    After a department-wide survey that articulated very targeted, very serious concerns, I don’t expect any meaningful change from this condemned department. Apparently CoStar hires smart researchers, but these smart people are incapable of having realistic expectations of what they can at the job or their career growth. (Actual explanations). You’re shooting yourself in the foot. “So many opportunities!” “CoStar’s #1!!”

    After having a daily existential crisis for a long, long time, there are a few valuable things that I have learned: The words opportunity, success, win, and other corporate-speak pablum are pieces of flapping detritus -- they will never become part of my vocabulary. Your job is a large part of your overall happiness – the sooner you leave something as devoid of meaning as a Research Associate, the better, even if that means going unemployed. 

    Apply Today!


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