Case Study: Answering Home-Buyer Questions Lightning-Fast With APIs

Want to stay in the loop?
Subscribe to this blog via email.

The ideal real estate agent isn’t merely a top negotiator who’s savvy about the marketplace. In an era when home buyers and sellers alike can manage a real estate transaction without an agent at all, it’s become increasingly important for real estate agents and their brokerages to become trusted advisors in the process — and to respond to consumer inquiries quickly and accurately, whether they’re issued before noon or at midnight.

That means agents should be able to give buyers and sellers details and answer questions about any address in the neighborhood. And as consumers have become increasingly sophisticated and able to research purchases on their own, those questions have become more difficult to answer. A buyer 20 years ago might want to pinpoint the number of 3-bedroom homes for sale in a neighborhood; today, that buyer wants to know how many 3-bedroom homes are for sale and whether 3-bedroom homes are plentiful or scarce in that neighborhood’s housing stock. Buyers and sellers want to know about schools, crime, how local home prices are growing, which homes are most exposed to natural hazards, and much more.

Open Listings Property Detail Page.jpg


Consumers clearly want granular information about homes they’re considering, but how can a real estate agent realistically provide that information and manage actual sales transactions for their clients? One brokerage, Open Listings, is leveraging HouseCanary’s API and HouseCanary Value Reports to provide lightning-fast responses to buyer questions on openlistings.com, giving consumers the detailed real estate data they crave while freeing up agents and brokers to focus on closing deals.

“By leveraging HouseCanary’s tools, we reduce inbound questions and give our agents the ability to quickly answer intricate value questions about numerous homes,” explained Open Listings Director of Growth, Kevin Miller. “Our agents can send their potential or current clients a scannable, transparent report that answers many of their questions upfront, significantly reducing our overall customer response time for questions submitted online or over the phone.”


Open Listings Feed Mobile+Desktop.jpg


“The data is just flat-out more accurate,” he added. “We have compared other options, used other options, and come back to HouseCanary.”

The API was installed on Open Listings’ website in one day with one engineer. “The data is at the fingertips of every single user on our site,” said Miller. “For the first time, humans are not the bottleneck in getting property info to the potential home buyer — now, they request it and they get it, immediately.”


screenshot-1.png


Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 5.04.27 PM.png


Miller and his Open Listings tech staff note that the HouseCanary API is reliable, with no downtime, and “coverage has been as good as title companies.”

The search is also forgiving, Miller noted. “It will find an address even if it’s not an exact match,” Miller said. “It works with ‘fuzzy’ search.”

And HouseCanary’s products also make it easier for Miller and his brokerage to send buyers more detailed information in smaller files, which is a bonus for everybody. “Before HouseCanary, we had only bland PDFs,” he said, and they were sizable, often landing in a spam filter. “Now we can send multiple addresses at a time in one email.”

Key takeaways: 

  • Increasingly educated consumers want more detailed information about neighborhood and individual home value and hyper-local real estate statistics when they are considering buying or selling a home.
  • Open Listings is leveraging House Canary’s API to unlock information that previously was only in the possession of the traditional real estate agent and supplying it to the consumer. Now, that data is readily available, and informed home-buying decisions can be made with no friction.
  • Answering those questions in a timely manner is increasingly difficult for real estate agents, who also have to manage transactions.
  • Real estate brokerage Open Listings uses HouseCanary’s API to answer detailed buyer questions about specific properties on openlistings.com.
  • Using HouseCanary’s API to provide detailed property information allows Open Listings agents to focus on managing transactions instead of nurturing leads.

Use the HouseCanary Analytics API to leverage our industry-leading real estate data for consumers, investors, and more on your own website.