14 questions to guide your journey to an ideal property data solution

Estated Staff Jun 11th, 2019 / Property Data Api

Need help understanding how the properties of an API and its dataset will impact your particular use case? These 14 questions will help you identify how critical each one is for your business and assist you in prioritizing the most important features in your optimal solution.

Ease of Use

Another way to think of this attribute is how complicated or lightweight an integration will be for your technical team. A particularly lightweight process can provide real benefit by reducing the time your team spends on integrating instead of using the product, whereas a more complex integration might slow you down but be necessary to fulfill your unique business requirements.

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Learn more about Ease of Use

  1. Is there a self-serve option available?
  2. Do you need to be able to test and monitor usage?
  3. Do you need to follow security, privacy or other essential business requirements?
  4. Will your integration include one or more 3rd parties?

Speed and performance

Speed is particularly unique to accessing property data through an API rather than Match and Append or Bulk File services, which are used for one-time requests of a subset of data. Just because you are looking into an API instead of these other options doesn’t automatically mean speed and performance should be your highest priority, however.

  1. Is your data being provided to a user in real time?
  2. How many records do you need to call and in what period of time?

API pricing

API pricing isn’t cut and dried. There are influencing factors that may vary from vendor to vendor. The sooner you identify your specific needs in a property data API and the factors that affect vendor pricing, the easier it gets. The following checklist contains questions on a few not-often-considered cost drivers when it comes to API pricing that should be on your radar. Visit our full guide for more.

  1. Is there a contract with an upfront fee?
  2. What is your anticipated call usage per month/subscription period?
  3. Does the API use one or multiple endpoints?
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See all your answers affect overall pricing with our cost calculator

Data coverage

The breadth of a dataset is defined by the number of property records that have essential data fields, which will vary based on how the data is used for your business. The most popular data fields include sale history, tax history and structure details. A dataset might have 90% of properties (from the approximately 140 million) nationwide, but have very insignificant depth. In other words, only 5 of 150 or 200 data fields that can be returned actually do. Coverage (the combination of breadth and depth) inherently fluctuates between providers and over time as new structures are built and new data are mined.

  1. What are your essential territories and what percent coverage is likely to be returned?
  2. What are your essential data fields and what percent coverage is likely to be returned?

Data freshness

One of the main benefits of using an API for your data output is that the information you receive could be as up-to-date as the source it is drawn from – but that doesn’t always mean it is. Understanding the factors that impact freshness and assessing the amount of risk you are assuming if your data is out of date will inform how much stock you place in data freshness.

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Learn more about the impacts of data freshness

  1. How often does the vendor refresh their records?
  2. Is a last updated data field included in the API return?
  3. How heavily will old data negatively impact your end product/user?

Your preferred partner and data solution will largely be defined by these key criteria. You’ll find that some have lower price points and others are more developer-friendly, or both! We hope you find value in using this guide to help you decide which option is right for your business.

Looking for more? Download our full guide with use case examples specific to each of the 5 criteria above – and more. Get the info you need to be up and running with property data in no time.