A quick refresher on APIs – what are they?
In simple terms, an API (Application Programming Interface) is a tool which enables different software (such as applications) to connect and communicate with each other. APIs are useful because they simplify software integration, in layman’s terms, they allow one to “copy and paste” parts of applications they would like to integrate into their own application.
Imagine two pieces of software, one will be named software A and the second, software B. Now imagine that software A is trying to use software B’s design layout. Thanks to an API, the developer of software A can use software B’s design without needing to know how software B’s design was made or how it was coded.
The example above can apply to a wide range of features offered by different applications. We can take another example of an iPhone app developer, who wants to include the use of the phone’s camera. Instead of having to recode the whole interface between the camera and his application, the developer can simply use an API (which Apple has already developed for its iPhone and its camera application) which integrates an iPhone’s camera into his app.
So how can APIs apply to sourcing properties?
1. Seamless integration
APIs are of great use to property sourcers for many reasons. Property sourcing often relies on many platforms such as Gumtree, Zoopla, Rightmove and other apps on which properties are listed. Each of these programs or applications have their own ways of functioning, compiling data and displaying content. APIs can therefore help make use of all the features provided by these platforms, from property data libraries to ROI estimates, rental yield and many other data points.
2. Doing most of the hard work
A good example of this is dealsourcing.co, software and platform which combines all of the main property listing websites into one and is able to find BMVs (below market value properties) thanks to its powerful algorithms. Dealsourcing.co uses APIs to integrate other platforms’ databases into its own, in order to sort and compile the best property deals possible.
What’s more, a membership to dealsourcing.co gives you access to the platform’s own API, granting you instant access to all of its data and algorithms (including estimates, calculations and deals), which means you can very easily integrate all of this into your own custom software or app. Brilliant isn’t it?
To summarise, let’s say you want to develop your very own software to source properties. Instead of having to manually recode everything from scratch, you can simply reuse parts of dealscourcing.co, such as our database and algorithms, all through our API access. Moreover, you don’t have to go through the trouble of using Zoopla, Gumtree and Rightmove’s APIs (amongst others) as these databases are already compiled into our software, saving you a lot of time and energy!