Are real estate prices going up or down this fall? How can you make this property attractive to the right buyer? What is the next prominent neighborhood to invest in? Even the best realtor doesn’t have all the answers. The good news for everyone in the industry is – a good web scraper does.
What Is Web Scraping & Why Does It Matter in Business?
Web scraping allows you to collect data from websites at scale. Individuals and businesses from various industries can use it to automate online research and inform their decision-making.
Being equipped with accurate and up-to-date information about the customers and the market is crucial in business. It allows organizations and companies to identify needs and opportunities, optimize prices, and make better decisions for the long term. In a word, scraping accelerates growth.
How Is Web Scraping Affecting the Real Estate Industry?
While properties stay in the same place, the real estate industry is on a constant move. Even though there are ways to predict where the market is going next, many realtors and real estate owners are only guessing the outcome. Information is vital to understanding future real estate trends.
The trouble is – you need lots of information to be able to contrast and compare accurately. That’s precisely why every agency in the business needs a tool like a real estate scraper.
The ability to scrape the web at scale and automate data collection is incredibly beneficial. It’s only natural, then, that web scraping is rapidly changing the real estate industry. Here’s how:
- Real Estate Aggregators
Sites like LoopNet and Apartments.com, where you can research and compare properties and prices, exist only thanks to web scraping.
- Assessing Property Value
Anyone with some technical knowledge can use a scraper to track property value and determine market trends and fair pricing.
- Monitoring Vacancy Rates
Like with property value, scrapers allow you to monitor vacancy rates and predict periods of rental growth in the market cycle.
- Competition Monitoring
Are other agencies buying or selling? Competitor behavior can tell you a lot about the market patterns and help you be better than your rivals.
- Analyzing Market Trends
Current demand, property value, and rental rates are only a few metrics used to analyze and predict market movements using a web scraper.
- Targeted Advertising
Web scraping can tell you what’s currently “trending” with different types of real estate buyers. You can use this data to tailor targeted ads.
- Identifying Opportunities
Not only can a good scraper tell you where to invest next, but it will also take the risk out of the equation and help you maximize profit.
How Real Estate Scrapers Identify Lucrative Opportunities
How does a web scraping tool recognize a lucrative opportunity? Technically, it doesn’t – you do. A web scraping tool only collects data from multiple sources and extracts results in an organized way. It’s up to you to analyze this data and spot the right opportunity.
For example, a typical scraper can look at real estate markets and aggregators, listing sites, and property management sites and collect different kinds of information available there – from the number and type of amenities to the sellers’ profiles.
A typical scraper can collect all types of data:
- Monthly Rent
- Number of rooms
- Number of floors
- Parking Space
- Property Agent
- Property Size
- Property Site
- Property Type
- Rental Sales
- Sales Price
To get the best results, you should tell your web scraper where to look and what kind of information to collect. Typically, you’d do that in code. There’s quite a lot of coding involved in web scraping, but you can avoid most of it if you buy a real estate scraper.
Essentially, you can scrape the web for real estate-related data in three ways. You can use an in-house tool that will be custom-built for your needs, an out-of-the-box scraper that you can customize, or a web scraping API, another popular option.
Depending on what kind of opportunities you are looking for, you should instruct your scraping tool to collect relevant data from the following websites:
Marketplaces and Listings
Locations and Amenities
- US Census Bureau
- National Center for Assisted Living
- Fitch ratings
- National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts
These are all excellent places to look for data that will help you determine the best opportunities.
Web scraping technology has the potential to completely transform data-reliant industries such as real estate. For the time being, it is a valuable aid to every agency, professional, and individual looking for the best time to buy, sell, or invest in real estate