The importance of data cannot be overstated. After all, everything we have now started with data analysis. Data is what genius ideas come from. The way we do business has changed with it.
The real estate market is slowly expanding, real estate agents and companies are trying to find new solutions to determine their future. Plenty of real estate websites are useful for buyers, vendors, and agents alike. For example, houses are only on the market for 37 days. Why do you think that is? Thanks to timely, relevant and structured information and the Internet, buyers can quickly find a favorable offer in a short time.
However, finding and retrieving data manually can be a long and tedious process. What changes are in store for prices? Which districts are in high demand? There are a myriad of questions real estate agents ask, but without information, they can’t answer any of them.
Today we’ll talk about what role data plays in real estate, what tools and services are used to extract it, and why it’s needed in the first place.
Role of Data Scraping in Real Estate
Real estate is a business that generates significant commercial profit with minimal risk. More and more people are looking for real estate online, and it is a good opportunity for vendors to create customized property listings and broadcast them to the right audience. As the National Association of Realtors report states, 92% of people visit websites when searching for homes. It also demonstrates that technology played a huge part in transforming the processes and policies of the real estate industry.
A well-performed and reliable real estate site has a huge database of listings, including property details, buyer, retailer, and agent information. It is this vast amount of data that helps make more informed decision easily and quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors, 52% of home buyers say the main purpose of a real estate agent is to find their desired property and 75% of home buyers choose the first agent they interview. Can we then conclude that agents are providing the necessary credible information to users? Definitely.
However, there is also a high competition level in this field – hundreds of realtors in each region with hundreds of different offers. According to HomeLight statistics, there are over two million real estate agents in the United States alone. Here web data scraping comes into play. It allows analyzing valuable business information to develop strategies with higher profitability and competitiveness, collect data from retailer and buyer profiles, real estate listings, trusted real estate agents, and so on. Realtors cull, sort, and analyze large amounts of information and user searches for practical applications, such as providing relevant real estate listings and properties.
Read more about Web Scraping: Web scraping: explaining where, why, and how
What Benefits Have Real Estate Data Scraping?
The industry is rapidly evolving and businesses need innovative solutions to stay ahead of the competition. With scraping real estate data, realtors can evaluate potential buyers and get sales leads. As well as gather the following information:
- Property Sites
- Property Agents
- Monthly Rent
- Parking Spaces
- Property Types
- Sales Price
Access to Updated Strategic Information
Web scraping provides large amounts of updated information, even from hard-to-reach places, revealing various business websites to create business solutions and stay ahead of the competition.
Realtors use data from websites to identify properties with the highest rental yields based on location. This is how investors determine which properties to invest in. It’s also a way to see if the information on a realtor’s website is complete and transparent.
Real Estate Agent Information
Realtors extract detailed information about real estate agents and list them on a website to increase the tide of business activity through up-to-date and updated information. Forums, directories, agency profiles, etc. are used to get more information.
As stated earlier, obtaining accurate and up-to-date real estate data is a necessary process, otherwise, an investor makes blind financial investment decisions. However, with web scraping, information helps one make better-informed settlements rather than relying on incomplete or outdated data.
As for the purchase of real estate itself, given the complexity of the process of buying a home and resolving legal issues, 43% of homebuyers search online before contacting an agent.
Tracking Property Values
Scraping provides data to track the value of various properties, for example, homeowners can determine the price of similar premises. In this way, anyone wishing to sell a property can set a price that will attract potential buyers, but also ensure a best deal.
Real Estate Data Use Cases
Forecasting Real Estate Markets
Forecasting is extremely helpful for investors, real estate agents, and brokerage firms. Analyzing real estate data enables predictions of market conditions and changes in strategy in the right direction.
Also one of the most outstanding points of doing business. Scraping gathers real-time price data so companies can react to changes to stay competitive at all times.
Real Estate Aggregators
Scraping gathers vast amounts of information so businesses can understand what’s going on in the overall market, identify the best ones, and align goals.
Monitoring Vacancy Rates
Scraping data allows to analyze negative and positive rental cycles of the market and obtain business insights to identify investment opportunities.
Services & Products Development
Product and service development relies heavily on web scraping data, where businesses get information to track emerging possibilities in the real estate market. For example, OpenDoor used data scraping to create algorithms to provide “instant offers” to homeowners who wanted to sell properties quickly.
Why Outsource Real Estate Data Scraping?
Hiring an outsourcing company to scrape real estate data can be a scary decision, given that it’s not known how positively or negatively it will affect your big data project. The fear itself is reasonable – the insights and search results you get from the data are only as good as the data itself. However, we suggest figuring out why it’s worth outsourcing a scraping company and what to look for when outsourcing your data collection requirements.
No In-house Team Organization
Because you outsource all data mining responsibilities, you don’t need to maintain a full-time team and spend huge resources on maintaining them. A scraping service provider will take care of all that.
Working with Experts
When scraping, one of the biggest challenges is collecting them. Some sites are difficult to extract data from, others have a complicated structure and template, some are constantly updating data, and some require registration. That’s when experts come to your aid and help you. Companies that specialize in data collection do web scraping every day, know all the nuances and can offer the best solution. With extracted data by experts, you can both start a new project or continue to improve on an old one.
Save Time & Resources
You pay for services and stop thinking about it. Instead of diligently learning the basics of scraping, you’ll spend resources and time on other activities. Having your own team, you need to keep track of your progress and communicate with the team all the time. It’s just an added hassle that prevents you from focusing on other more important issues. Outsourcing team will relieve you of all those responsibilities.
Collaborate at Any Time
Unlike building your own web scraping team, you don’t have to work with an outsourced agency for a long time. You can hire them for a project and then either continue to collaborate or decline depending on the results you get and the needs of the business. But you will have to be responsible for the in-house team, especially if most employees are hired full-time.
Constant Data Flow
Since the primary purpose of an outsourcing company is to provide services to customers you will receive all necessary data sets as often as possible. This will help you conceptualize more products or services, attract more people and increase sales.
Modern Ways of Scraping
Outsourcing companies, as discussed just above, are better at handling changing code and website layouts. Agencies constantly modify data collection methods and ensure that data quality does not suffer during the entire process.
But how to Choose a Proper Real Estate Scraping Provider?
Okay. The processing, application and success of the data are completely dependent on quality. Choosing an outsourcing company should be approached carefully. So what should you pay attention to when choosing one?
This is probably the first thing to check when looking for an outsourcing company. If the service provider you choose doesn’t have the proper technologies, you could experience data and outages loss as well as money and time wasting.
Data Delivery Methods
Changing the format of the data provided is the last thing you would do. Reliable outsourcing web scraping companies provide data in structured format to ensure compatibility and ease of use with your data analysis system.
Sometimes something can go wrong with a scraping company, even if they are the best in the market. Therefore, choose a company that has a responsive customer support system. Unresolved issues can lead to data loss.
Make sure that the service provider you choose delivers high-quality data. Poor quality data can contain duplicate records, noise, and no fixed schema. This can ruin the results that can be obtained from data analysis.
Most companies allocate an overall budget to web data scraping without considering the separate and equally important steps that are part of it. Your best bet is to understand the importance of data collection and allocate a dedicated budget so you don’t run out of money.
What is Better: Data Scraping Tools or Services?
Any business nowadays, including real estate, relies on analytical information from available web data resources. That’s why among the questions often asked is: “How are we going to get the data?” Well, there are two methods of extracting web data – web scraping tools and Data-as-a-service (DaaS) platforms provided by specialized companies.
Web parsing tools search for data manually or automatically. They retrieve changed or new data and then save it for later use. Data extraction tools perform many processes and sub-processes, from preventing IP blocking to correctly parsing the target website and generating data in a usable format.
Web scrapers can be either a web browser extension, add-on or plug-in, or software installed on your system. The tool is suitable for projects with small data requirements. Most web scraper tools offer limited monthly free or trial plans. However, even when you buy a web scraping tool, it doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Web scraping services outsource data collection. We talked about outsourcing in more detail just above. Today, there are many services designed to handle scraping issues. DaaS platforms have all the infrastructure and resources to handle even the most complex jobs. They also provide data at any time in any desired format. If necessary, they deliver weekly/monthly data via API.
Why Are Web Scraping Services Better?
First of all, web data scraping services reduce the cost of accumulating and working with tools. Not every company has access to the necessary resources for scraping. Plus, the service will save you the expense of software and the effort of learning, installing, and using it.
Also, web scraping services provide accurate data to use. A data scraping tool will certainly be able to extract a lot of listings, but its relevance and accuracy will be questionable. Whereas outsourcing will provide you with accurate data.
Along with saving money comes saving time. You have more opportunities to review the data and work through business or work-related issues.
There can also be technical issues when parsing data on your own with scraping tools. For example, the site from which you want to retrieve data may prohibit data collection. Violations of site terms and policies can lead to serious legal problems. Web scraping services will take care of all the rules and provide the necessary data, making everything legal.
There are also problems with the amount of data. They are too huge. You have to put a lot of effort into getting the information you need. Of course, the specialists in this field have a lot of experience, proper infrastructure, and are equipped with all the resources to give you the necessary data to process it in the right format.
Read more about Web Scraping: Web scraping challenges and how to deal with them
How We Can Help
We offer our services for real estate data scraping and collect all necessary information from websites for the client:
- Contacts of realtors, buyers
- Current offers on the market
- Information about brokers, homes, apartments
- Comparison lists
- Property types
- Prices and rental costs
- Property sizes
- City/State/Zip codes
- Parking spaces
- Previous owners of property
- Places close by
- Transit facility
Easily collect data from Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Airbnb, Booking, and similar sites as well as multiple listing services. We understand that accuracy and relevance are crucial factors in collecting real estate data and provide information on a regular basis. Or we can develop custom software for your unique data collection needs. Everything you’ll need for your work.
Web-based real estate data is now a sought-after resource for business intelligence organizations. There are different web scraping tools and services where each has a unique set of differences that set them apart from the others. After reading this, you will surely be able to find the right real estate web scraping service provider that can meet your requirements.
If you need web scraping services but you don’t know what would suit you best, write to us and we’ll be pleased to help.