The role of the internet has rapidly grown in the real estate industry since the 1990s. However, this growth has not been without some challenges – particularly for real estate investors. As tech startups have changed the way people used to sell and buy a property, this means the competition is on the rise. Over the past years, one of the most pressing challenges for real estate investors has been how to use technology to allow them to make faster and smarter investment decisions that keep them ahead of this competition. This is where real estate API comes to the rescue.
What is an API in Real Estate?
In this day and age, there are tons of real estate data available online. Thus, real estate investors will need to use machine learning algorithms to quickly interpret data and create more accurate predicting models. This might seem daunting for those just starting out and even for experienced investors. One way to automate real estate data processing, however, is by accessing APIs – short for application program interfaces. But exactly what is an API? According to Realtyna, an API is:
“A software tool that acts as an intermediary between an application and the data produced by another application. APIs package functions for retrieving this information, which allows for greater speed and agility with any related programming.”
To put it in simpler words, an API is a messenger that takes requests and tells a system what you want to do, and then returns the response back to you. Here’s an example of how an API works. Think of an API as a waiter in a restaurant. Imagine you’re sitting at the table with the menu of choices to order from. The kitchen is the part of the system that will prepare your order. What’s missing, however, is the critical link to communicate your order to the kitchen and deliver your food back to your table. That’s where the waiter, or API, comes in. The waiter is the messenger that takes your request, tells the system what to do, and then delivers the response back to you.
Now let’s apply this example to investors to further understand what is API in real estate. If you’ve been in the rental property business for some time now, you’re probably familiar with the process of searching for an investment property online (using the MLS for example). Just like at a restaurant, you have a menu of options to choose from. You choose your housing market of choice, budget, property type, and other variables. By entering this information, you’re basically interacting with the website to access its database to see if there are rental properties for sale that match your criteria and what their costs may be.
But what if you’re not using the MLS that has direct access to this information. After all, investors know that while the MLS is a good source for property listings, it doesn’t offer real estate data analytics that helps in making calculated investment decisions. Plus, it’s not possible to view listings on the MLS unless you have a real estate license. This is why it’s mainly helpful for agents and brokers. For an investor, instead, you’ll need a software that aggregates information from many public sources like the MLS and interacts with their APIs to provide you with readily available investment analysis. Hence, the API is the interface that the software uses to get information over the internet. Real estate API takes the response and delivers it to the software which, in turn, shows it to you.
Why Do Investors Need Real Estate API?
Real estate websites make it very easy for people to find homes for sale online. However, savvy real estate investors aren’t looking for just any house on the market. They’re looking for a house that can make money as a rental property and promises a good rate of return on their investment. To be able to identify such property, investors need to get data, projections, and estimates that help them analyze and compare a large number of properties to pick the best one for real estate investing. This is critical not just for beginners buying their first rental property, but for investors planning to add new properties to their real estate investment portfolio as well.
The process of comparing different properties can be a big chore if done manually. Investors need to dig deep and comb through public records to gather every piece of data that they can. This is when real estate API can be a real treasure. Instead of searching for and gathering information, you can use an API that displays layers upon layers of readily available real estate data augmented by analysis. This allows you to see the overall picture of an investment property as well as other factors that influence its value. As a result, investors can make true “apples to apples” comparisons with accurate property data that covers several neighborhoods – and even different cities or counties – in no time.
Related: Where to Find Reliable Property Data for Your Real Estate Investment
Moreover, with good real estate data API, investors can go even deeper and get neighborhood data. As a result, this allows them to understand local market trends. For real estate investors, market trends are valuable because they help them predict potential growth. Wise investors don’t get excited over national trends like home prices and home sales. As far as they’re concerned, the real estate business is hyper-local. Meaning, if prices are skyrocketing in one area, it doesn’t mean that they’re doing the same in another area in the same city. Often, investors review trends by zip code and neighborhood to understand how real estate investments are performing. So with real estate API, you can get the full picture and be at the forefront of market trends.
Which Company Provide Real Estate Data API?
Now you understand why property data is the lifeblood of the real estate industry and why API in real estate is so popular and necessary. The fact that you can access data for any property in the US housing market using your laptop or smartphone device is amazing. However, there are a lot of companies that offer real estate data API out there. How should you know which one will best serve your needs and provide real estate API that you can rely on? The most important question to ask when looking for the best property API is: where is this software getting its data from? In other words, what is their data source?
As an example, consider Mashvisor’s real estate API. Mashvisor’s API extracts and combines property data from a number of different public sources before augmenting it with proprietary AI-powered investment analysis. This means that you save tons of time as you get access to industry-leading data analytics without having to consult dozens of sources. So when you are browsing the Mashvisor software for real estate investments, you can quickly and efficiently identify the most profitable ones in your market of choice – within a few clicks of a button.
This is why we believe that Mashvisor’s real estate investment software has some of the best and most reliable real estate data API in 2020. Wondering exactly what kind of property data we offer to real estate investors? Below is a list of the main data that you can ask Mashvisor to provide you with.
Comprehensive List of Mashvisor’s Real Estate API
Top Real Estate Markets’ Data
Mashvisor helps real estate investors find rental properties for sale in any city, neighborhood, and zip code across the US housing market. You can study your market of choice through Mashvisor real estate data analytics and get access to the number of active listings, median listing price, price changes, comparable long-term rental listings, comparable short-term rental listings, as well as comparable rental estimates. Real estate investors will also get optimal insights regarding the city investment performance, the top neighborhoods in the city, neighborhood overview, and the top properties available for real estate investing.
As mentioned, Mashvisor provides analysis of MLS listings. Thanks to real estate API, you can use our search tools to find homes for sale and receive the following real estate assessment data:
- Property address
- Property type: single family home, condo, townhouse, multi family home, etc.
- Year built
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Listing price
- Price per square foot
- Heating and cooling system
- Startup and recurring expenses
- Airbnb and traditional rental income
- Cash flow
- Airbnb and traditional cash on cash return
- Airbnb and traditional cap rate
- 10-year payback balance
- Neighborhood analytics
Want to start and end your property search in less than 15 minutes? Click here to find and analyze the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice.
Property Ownership Data
Having access to property ownership records helps agents generate real estate leads of potential property sellers. This data is also beneficial for investors to know who owns this property they’ve seen down the street if it fits with their requirements for an investment property. You will have access to homeowner data when using Mashvisor’s real estate API. How exactly? Through a tool that we’ve designed and called Mashboard. Using our wide property database, you can easily identify and contact property owners for off market opportunities and then directly connect with them through our integrated email system. If you don’t have a property in mind, you can also look up property owners in a specific area and get a homeowners data list. Property owner data provided by Mashvisor include, but are not limited to:
- Owner first name and last name
- Phone number including area code
- Email address
- Street address
- Age range
- Marital status
- Length of residence
- Household income
In order to access Mashboard, you need to sign up for Mashvisor. You can request to book a demo with one of our experts to help you understand how to use this tool.
Learn more: How to Find Out Who Owns a Property for Off Market Deals
Investment Analysis Data
What sets Mashvisor apart from other real estate investor websites is that Mashvisor provides its user with all the tools necessary to conduct a complete investment property analysis. This enables them to make successful real estate investments help them achieve their financial goals. Click on any listing on the platform and you’ll be taken to the Rental Property Analytics Page. There, you’ll find projections and calculations related to each property and its information, characteristics, the owner’s info, and tax history.
Below that, you will find Mashvisor’s interactive Rental Property Calculator that gives you all the calculations you need for the return on investment metrics used to analyze rental properties (cap rate, cash on cash return, and cash flow). Most importantly, Mashvisor emphasizes on comparing rental strategies (long-term/traditional and short-term/Airbnb Rentals). The ROI calculations will be provided for both rental strategies. This helps investors run a quick rental strategy comparison to decide on the strategy that generates the highest returns.
Furthermore, the calculator includes a section for setting your financing method and a section for calculating all the costs and expenses related to the property (which will be filled with default values based on each area’s averages). All of these sections are linked together and any changes you make to any of these sections will affect the calculations for the rental strategy and the return on investment that you will get from the property. Of course, all of this is made possible thanks to real estate API.
Here’s a list of all the investment analysis data that Mashvisor provides:
- Traditional and Airbnb rental income: the expected monthly rent if the property is rented out traditionally or is listed on Airbnb
- Cash on cash return (Traditional and Airbnb): measures the returns of a property based on the amount of cash put down
- Cap rate (Traditional and Airbnb): measures the expected income and potential return of a property without taking the property financing into consideration. Meaning, it gives return as if the property is paid off
- Traditional vacancy rate: the expected number of days the property won’t be rented per year
- Airbnb occupancy rate: the expected number of days the property will be rented on Airbnb per year
- Down payment
- Loan type
- Interest rate
- Payment type: loan, or cash
- Max bid: sets the property listing price to its value
- One-time startup cost: closing costs, repairs, inspection costs, furniture and appliances
- Monthly expenses: maintenance costs, management costs, property tax, insurance, etc.
- Total Expenses
Related: The Best Investment Property Return Calculator for 2020
Mashvisor real estate API lets you find out an estimated rental rate for any specific location. You’ll get access to rental rates either for long term rentals or for short term rentals. These estimates are categorized by the number of bedrooms of the property you’re trying to get the estimates for. Mashvisor’s estimates are also based on the 12-months historical performance for the target area. They are calculated over several similar listings rented in the area or are currently available for rent. All of this assures investors that they’re receiving accurate real estate data API for making smart investment decisions.
This is a unique function that only Mashvisor offers to real estate investors as it was built over machine learning algorithms and a developed mathematical formula by our data engineers. First, there’s our Investment Likelihood. Our Property Finder tool is built over this machine learning model. This gives you a score of each listing that determines whether or not it’s suitable for a real estate investment. You could easily browse through listings that are suitable for investment in multiple areas (up to 5 different areas simultaneously). To introduce high-quality investment listings for our customers, our data scientists are always working on best machine learning algorithms with the help of multiple real estate brokers and agents who are using the product.
There is also the Mashmeter. This is a unique Mashvisor-designed score that shows an overall evaluation of the neighborhood investment opportunity as a percentage. This simply shows you if buying an investment property in a certain neighborhood is a good or bad decision. The next tool is the Property Recommender. With only your email, name, and phone number, this Mashvisor tool predicts the most preferred property specifications for you in terms of property type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and home value. Then, it applies these specifications to the search filter of the Property Finder. As a result, this tool will pull out a list of the properties which meet your preferences and are most likely to be purchase for real estate investing.
To request more information about Mashvisor’s tools and real estate API, click here.
Real Estate and Rental Comps Data
Before real estate APIs, investors used to spend weeks running a comparative market analysis to get a list of real estate comps. Using Mashvisor, that becomes unnecessary in 2020. As part of the investment property search, Mashvisor’s real estate investment tools offer recent sales of similar properties. This information allows investors to estimate the current market value of the rental they want to buy and evaluate how close it is to the listing price. Real estate comps data also helps investors analyze the market’s overall investment performance to see if it’s a good place to invest in real estate.
Rental comps are another type of comparables that’ll help real estate investors decide how much to charge for rent. This data shows the rental income that other similar rental properties generate every month in the surrounding area. This will help you understand how different properties are performing by comparing them to one another. Similar to real estate comps, rental comps are traditionally obtained through rental market analysis. In 2020, however, you can find them readily available online on a real estate software such as Mashvisor. Using Mashvisor, you’ll receive rental comps data that includes both traditional listings and Airbnb listings in the neighborhood.
Additionally, Mashvisor gives the user an option to export a number of Excel sheet reports for each market or neighborhood based on the filters that they have selected. This Excel sheet report will include all the listings in the area that you’re looking at, their info, zip codes, size, ROI metrics, and all the other info that you can use when comparing properties to find the one that suits you best for making money in real estate.
The Bottom Line
This is the era of real estate data analytics. As an investor, getting access to real estate API can be an important part of your success in the industry. Say goodbye to wasted time spent gathering data, storing it in multiple spreadsheets, and updating it every time you land on an investment opportunity. Instead, use real estate data API that does all that work for you. In order to access Mashvisor’s API, register for a new account from here.