What is a Real Estate API?
As data providers transition to the fourth industrial revolution, in which technologies created in the digital revolution are combined to disrupt everyday business, they may want to consider the notion that shopping behavior hasn’t changed all that much despite generations of innovative advances. Whether ordering a petticoat from a Sears & Roebuck Co. catalog around the turn of the 20th century or a miniskirt off of Amazon today, the availability of information – or the lack thereof – can make or break a sale.
The same is true when it comes to buying a home. The internet has replaced classified ads and special publications as the preferred search vehicles of house hunters. At the same time, the amount of information available to potential homebuyers has grown exponentially. The same dynamics are influencing every industry connected to the sale of a home, including insurance and mortgage lending.
API: The Vital Link
But how exactly do web developers compile and organize such a huge trove of real estate market analysis and fit it into an easy-to-digest digital format for consumers and professionals? Increasingly, the answer to that question is a real estate application programming interface, or simply, real estate API. A real estate API is one of the latest technologies that allow data providers to transfer massive amounts of highly detailed property information to organizations in the real estate industry, particularly brokers that want to populate their home marketing platforms with meaningful and robust content. This data is also invaluable to insurers, mortgage lenders, researchers, attorneys, government agencies and other professionals or service providers involved in the home buying process.
By providing developers with a greater degree of simplicity in the ability to retrieve information, an API has largely become the go-to standard since its introduction in 2016 and is transforming how data is disseminated to organizations and consumers. The rules and procedures governing a real estate API allow developers to code to the API, for example, instead of some other data source, which facilitates a uniform and efficient transfer of information on a consistent basis.
Consequently, a real estate API is gaining widespread adoption within the home buying industry. ATTOM Data Solutions’ Property Data API, an industry leading technology of real estate market analysis, provides a deep dive into property, community, metro area and point-of-interest metrics and gives organizations the tools to efficiently complete tasks at every point in the sale of a home. The database covers more than 155 million U.S. properties, including tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure information, as well as local crime rates, the potential risk of environmental and natural disasters, neighborhood boundaries, school scores, and other granular data on 166,000 neighborhoods and 67,000 schools.
Importantly for real estate brokers, these are the kind of details that take homebuyers beyond the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in their home search process. The data give buyers the power to hone-in on specific property, neighborhood and metro area characteristics as they determine which houses to view or even whether to make an offer. Much of this information is also critical for lenders, insurers and others that need to underwrite mortgages and liability policies.
ATTOM’s real estate API encompasses all the benefits associated with API technology in general. In addition to simplifying data retrieval, a Property Data API gives web developers the flexibility to enhance or make changes with rapid precision, or in the case of real estate brokers, to quickly respond to requests from users searching for a home on their web site. This speedy retrieval function reduces the amount of information that organizations need to keep on their web servers as well as costs associated with hosting compliance, both of which give a real estate API efficiency gains over other traditional data transfer technologies.
By utilizing ATTOM’s property data API, real estate brokers, insurance companies, mortgage lenders and others can enhance their marketing, real estate market analysis and other services to power websites, software and apps with best-in-class property and neighborhood data. Learn more about ATTOM’s extensive real estate data here.