The real estate field is one of the most rapidly growing ones. Tech startups have changed the way consumers used to buy and sell a property. Their influence is obvious, 51% of homebuyers in 2017 purchased the house they found on the Internet. What does it mean for developers? As competition is on the rise, you have to be ready for delivering more complicated products in tight time frames using real estate API and other related tools.
The following housing data API and tools can assist you in solving most of the technical problems:
- Data Rabbit API (Rets Rabbit)
- Realtors Property Resource API
- Points of Interest API
- Walk Score
- SchoolDigger API
- Google Maps API
- Yelp Fusion
- Zillow Mortgages APIs
- DataNerds Property API
The above realestate API list comes to the rescue to save your time and help you meet those deadlines! In this article, we list the most useful of them and shed some light on how to deal with real estate databases. Moreover, you'll find out more about what is API in real estate.
What is API in Real Estate: Essence and Benefits
To dig deeper into the subject, let's clarify, what is the API, and how it'll help you in building the digital solutions that will simplify your real estate business activities.
Application Programming Interface (or the API in short) serves as the software mediator enabling two applications contact each other. It typically contains protocols and terms which help the developers create software and integrate it with one another.
The most distinctive feature of APIs is clarity. James Gosling emphasizes it in the following manner:
James Arthur Gosling
the Canadian founder and lead designer behind the Java language
An API that isn't comprehensible, isn't usable.
Let's consider the APIs' other features in details as well as the notion of the real estate API.
API discoverability means that the user may learn how to use it naturally. It's also crucial for developers to figure out which of your API services they require.
Consistency is also critical for API , as you'll be able to streamline your development processes, lowering the risk of developing and deploying APIs by ensuring this feature.
Documentation. Someone newcomer will need to examine and work with your API. You'll want to make sure it's recorded in a consistent and easy-to-understand manner.
Accessibility. APIs must be developed in a way that encourages users to engage with them. A simple API with fewer features will be more successful than a complex one with more features.
After we checked the crucial features the efficient API should have, let's narrow our research and find out what is API used for in real estate. Let's get acquainted with the following definition:
A rental property API transports property listing data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to an agent website or real estate application. Real estate APIs are efficient and quick, obtaining data as needed and saving money on hosting.
Property Data API: It All Starts With Information
Before we continue talking about APIs, we should mention that much of the article rather covers the US housing market (API sets are also offered for this country), but it's still useful for software developers working on real estate projects with the focus on any country in the world.
Where Does Real Estate Data Come From?
Before you begin designing a product, you should first evaluate the data source. As with any real estate application or website, certain types of information are required, varying from a set of possible properties for sale or rent to neighbourhood data, you should definitely answer the question 'Where can I get that data from?' We're here to help you, though, offering real estate search API lists at your service further. However, the answer is dependent on how you or your customer intends to promote the product: locally or globally.
Such US business as Zillow gets the data from various feed sources which you can see below:
- Listings manually posted by users and marked as 'For sale by owner'.
- Listings manually posted by agents.
- Zillow gets listings directly from an MLS in some cases.
There are some more variants when listings are sent directly to Zillow by:
- Brokers (Realtors);
- Third-party 'feed' providers (as the company calls them).
Let's stop on MLS for now. This acronym stands for Multiple Listing Service. A community of realtors uses it to look at each other's available property listings. Realtors gain from providing this information since they receive not just the commision but also valuable information.
As you understand, MLSs are a valuable source of information. With their help, the solution you develop will have something to offer to customers right off the launch. The challenge is that they can be difficult to find, even though some MLSs allow large real estate portals to republish their feeds, such as the referenced Zillow. Fortunately, we've discovered different real estate listings APIs that may be able to assist you in resolving this issue, which we'll go over in more detail later.
What about other countries except for the US? You're likely to face the same options for accessing the real property data (through API for real estate listings as well). Additionally, you might have to work with legal institutions in some regions.
How to Implement MLS Into Your Product?
You must first establish the Internet Data Exchange before you can perform a data exchange between your product and the MLS. There are a few options for doing so:
How MLS integration works
FTP Protocol Goes First
Use the FTP protocol. This is a very inefficient approach which requires transferring complete datasets. In other words, the entire set of data has to be downloaded and then compared with a local duplicate to generate a certain query.
The Necessity of Real Estate Transaction Standard
Apply to the Real Estate Transaction Standard. This is a framework created to make the sharing of MLS data easier. Unlike FTP, REST is a more effective and convenient option that comes with a range of open-source tools that support a number of languages, which is a significant benefit for software developers.
Think About The Third-Party Services to Integrate
Use third-party services like real estate MLS APIs and plugins that can help your product normally interact with listing services. As we'll discuss real estate APIs a bit later, here are a couple of WordPress plugins you can use for a website: WordPress IDX ($39-$69 a month + $99 for a setup), IDX Broker ($39-$69 a month + $99 for a setup).
Remember, you'll need a strong server-side for your software solution to manage this data and provide stable work. That's why consider dedicated web and mobile app development services to your team in case you don't have one yet.
This case study reveals how we built a real estate mobile app at Cleveroad. Read it to learn more!
Best Real Estate APIs for Developers
It's time to provide you with a more detailed description of this list of APIs real estate sphere typically needs. We've divided them into categories so that you could easily look through them.
Listings and Real Property Information API sets
It's time to provide you with a more detailed description of this list of real estate APIs and real estate MLS listings API that can help you get precise data about properties as well as cope with the listings. So, let's get started. Our set of property listing API is divided into categories so that you could easily look through them jumping between the headlines.
1. Rets.ly (Bridge API)
Pricing: $50 per month
was acquired by Zillow and united with the company's another acquisition Bridge Interactive. The platform acts as a middleware, enabling programmers to gain a wide range of MLS listings as well as public documents containing real estate information. With the help of this real estate listing API, software developers can access and work with normalized data which is delivered through RESTful API.
In addition, this real estate API facilitates dealing with licenses for both software developers and data providers due to a standardized approach.
Pricing: $49-199 per month
This platform is focused on both agents and software developers. It assists with the development of real estate applications and websites by utilising MLS lists and market reports.. This real estate API Python supports has also the support for the following languages:
This RESTful real estate MLS listings API is designed to simplify manipulations with real estate data and speed up the software development process. It also supports a variety of queries to provide smoother work with any kind of searches, be it a basic or advanced one.
3. Data Rabbit API (earlier - Rets Rabbit)
Pricing: $150-699 per month
Data Rabbit API real estate listings take care of importing photos and listings from REST or ListHub. All the data will be saved on the Data Rabbit API's database and cloud image server. This way, you'll be able to connect your app or website to the REST API provided by this solution and integrate there all the data you need.
So, Data Rabbit API is a kind of real estate cloud MLS API (Python-supported as well) that lets you import and store all the data on their servers.
How Data Rabbit (Rets Rabbit) MLS real estate API works
This real estate giant not only grabs 70% of online property searches but gives software developers an access to a fleet of real estate APIs for various use cases.
We've already mentioned the Restly startup company that was acquired by Zillow. However, Zillow also has a variety of commercial MLS listing API developed in-house:
This real estate API helps software developers implement the US accommodation and transaction records, tax data, and so on.
With this home valuation API, software developers can get a list of recent sales for a certain property.
Zillow Group Econ Data
This Python real estate API offers all the market metrics in a convenient form to those who need to have it.
5. Realtors Property Resource (RPR) API
This database stores an impressive amount of data related to real estate all over the US. The creation of comparable properties and adding more property details are among dozens of use cases for this solution. RPR real estate data API uses XML and SOAP for requests and responses.
The main drawback is that the full documentation for this property details API isn't available for the general public.
Talking about databases, check out which one is better for Android apps: SQLite or Realm
It is not exactly API but a portal where you can find tons of sources which may be useful for your project (including various APIs of course). Data.gov contains only publicly available US government data. There are over 7,000 real estate related datasets like demographics, crime data, and much more.
If it's not enough and your project demands more precise information by cities, then you'll be glad to know that almost all the cities in the USA have their own data portals where you may find more details. For instance, here is the open data portal of New York City.
Just type your request in the search line and make use of filers if it's necessary.
The way to find more useful real estate APIs on Data.gov
Neighborhood and Related Data API in Real Estate
For this section, we've selected various real estate data APIs that can help you provide neighborhood and other related data to your application or website. It can be demographics data, education data, crime data, and more.
7. Points of Interest API
Pricing: Not specified
POI real estate data API lets your users understand what businesses function in the area they're moving to. This way, you can give them such valuable information as the number of supermarkets or coffee shops nearby.
8. Walk Score
Pricing: Free to $100+ per month
The Walk Score real estate API uses a RESTful interface. With it's help, software developers can implement such functionality as travel time from a property to nearby facilities, provide details on local public transport, neighborhood, and more. The API may be used by both web and mobile developers.
9. SchoolDigger API
Pricing: Free to $399 per month
This real estate data API opens real estate software developers an access to K-12 data collected from more than 123,000 schools. The data includes ranking, demographics, test score, etc.
10. Google Maps API
Pricing: $200 free monthly credit
It's a powerful real estate database Google's API, which that powers hundreds of thousands of solutions all over the world. Google Maps API works perfectly with both mobile devices and browsers. In addition, it comes with localization for more than 50 languages as well as region localization and geocoding. As for enterprise software developers, they have an opportunity to utilize this API within the intranet.
11. Yelp Fusion
It gives software developers access to millions of user reviews for businesses from over 32 countries. This means you can provide your end users with more information for a particular region they intend to buy a house in due to this comprehensive house price API.
Yelp Fusion can be a good alternative to the US-focused services with similar functionality as it works outside of United States as well.
Mortgage Interest Rate and Property Value API
One of the most vital parts for many real estate project is property valuation. We've found several real estate APIs that will ease the implementation of calculators for mortgages and property valuation API features for you.
12. Zillow Mortgages APIs
Well, again Zillow on the stage! This is another pack of APIs that's designed to help real estate software developers integrate Zillow's tools into their products. For this purpose, the company has developed four different APIs with different functionality.
However, there is one catch. If you want to use these real estate APIs you first have to become a Zillow partner.
You might also find useful the following solutions from Zillow API Network to cope with property valuations and mortgages:
13. DataNerds Property API
Pricing: Not specified
This is a feature-rich platform providing software developers with data of different type. What concerns property valuation, DataNerds enables access to such data as:
- History of ownership and sales
- Tax history
Also, the company plans to launch it's own Automated valuation model (AVM) powered by machine learning. Apart from that, software developers can find different area information (e.g. demographics, crime) on the DataNerds platform.
Building Perfect Real Estate Software With Experienced Vendor
Building real estate software will be more beneficial if you apply to a qualified outsourcing software development vendor having a deep expertize in the said domain. Cleveroad is the very thing you require due to the said parameters. Let us tell you more about this company.
It is a certified software development company from Estonia assisting startups and other kinds of business organizations with acquiring of cutting-edge digital solutions perfectly fitting their needs.
For 10+ years of the company's presence on the market, some of our achievements are the following:
- 120+ certified professionals that can complete your projects in the most beneficial way for your business
- 170+ software projects successfully accomplished
During a productive collaboration with us, you can obtain:
- A profitable and attractive software solution for Real Estate domain integrated with an informative realtor developer API and totally meeting your business requirements
- A cutting-edge technology stack to give this solution a proper embodiment
- The in-depth consultation with one of our specialists (Project Manager or Business Analyst) as to your project issues
- A team of agile-minded and qualified experts that can easily adapt to all the changing project requirements
- Quality Assurance services and control at each stage of the project development
- Signing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) per your request
- Post-release support and maintenance, as well as advertisement services for our customers, etc.
Our team has successfully accomplished a lot of software projects related to various business industries. We would like to tell you about one of them - the Koralgo web solution helpful in traveling.
Our client needed a product enabling users to easily find various activities while traveling as well as finding convenient accommodations appropriate for people by different aspects.
We've built a full-fledged web platform for traveling from scratch. It is available for various consumer categories (such as admins, hospitality vendors or tourists) allowing them to create reviews as to the got UX and search for entertainment and accommodation results with the help of complex ranking algorithms simplifying search for property to rent and travel itinerary creation.
Some of the screens of Cleveroad Koralgo
They also assist people to send the most suitable search options, increasing consumer satisfaction with the platform. Such a result is handled using the Elasticsearch service, which enables comprehensive property search capabilities and enhances speed. To reduce the danger of data loss, the database is copied regularly.
Collaboration with us will lead your business to a new level allowing to obtain as sustainable and unique digital products as described above. Moreover, these products will also help you win the market competition and increase your revenue, attracting more and more clients.
It was the list of real state API. We hope you've found something worthy for your project. You can subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this right to your inbox. No spam, just one letter a week with the content corresponding to your interests.
Before you go, you may also check our video that's dedicated to code repositories and the matter of choosing the most suitable host.
Top 3 Source Code Repository Hosts
To exchange data between your product and MLS, set up the Internet Data Exchange. Here's how:
- Use the FTP protocol.
- Use the Real Estate Transaction Standard.
- Use third-party services like real estate MLS APIs and plugins like WordPress IDX or IDX Broker.
You have to choose between three Zillow APIs and implement it.
- Public Records. This real estate API helps software developers implement the US accommodation and transaction records, tax data, and so on.
- Zestimates. With this home valuation API, software developers can get a list of recent sales
- Zillow Group Econ Data. This Python real estate API offers all the market metrics in a convenient form to those who need to have it.
Home value API is a set of tools used to transfer lists of available property from an MLS to an agent software.
The best option is to use MLS (Multiple Listing Service). It's used by real estate brokers to see each other's listings. Brokers benefit from sharing this information as both parties get not only the commission but important data too.
If you have little to no tech background, it's better to contact a tech vendor. Drop us a line if you need help with implementing a real estate API data to your software.
The most popular realtor data API and house prices API sets are:
- Rets Rabbit
- Realtors Property Resource API
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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Zillow API is shut down, Data Nerds is now Estated, and the Property API is not live either! This could use an update but great blog!