How much should you pay for property data?

Estated Staff Mar 12th, 2019 / Advice And Guides, Property Data, Use Case

When was the last time you purchased a product without considering it’s price? Most likely, that bag of chips at the convenience store — but not your latest product integration. The need to connect an API into your day-to-day systems inherently means it should live up to its cost to value ratio in perpetuity, not simply satisfy your craving today.

So how do you know you are getting good value for your financial commitment? Just like with any other purchase decision — do your homework and shop around! And we are here to point you in the right direction.

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Not quite ready to commit? Get our API buyer's guide to learn about other essential characteristics to consider.

API pricing isn’t cut and dried.

Learn the factors that may vary from vendor to vendor and how to make sense of it all.

Pricing

The sooner you identify your specific needs in a property data API and the factors that affect vendor pricing, the easier it gets. We pulled together a few not-often-considered cost drivers when it comes to data API pricing that should be on your radar when taking cost into consideration. And to make your checklist even easier, we have put together a simple, downloadable cost calculator to help you make a well-informed investment decision.

Primary factors to consider:

1.)
How many API calls you need

Typical API pricing plans factor cost based on the number of API calls needed per term (usually monthly). Look at your demand for the data. In standard economics fashion, the more your demand for the data, the greater the supply and the lower cost to you per API call. Predicting your call volume can be difficult and pay-as-you-go is often not an option, so monitor your usage. Are you paying for unused calls? Consider what else could you do with your data.

2.)
Overage charges

Knowing your API call demand could also tell you when it is time to upgrade your plan and lessen your risk of accruing overage charges. Your vendor may or may not be transparent about any applicable overage charges at the time of purchase so make sure to understand your obligation as well as the volatility of your demand. Then, if necessary, implement usage monitoring tools before making your purchase. Estated provides a robust internal dashboard that does much of this monitoring, as shown below, giving users maximum transparency into all aspects of their account.

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3.)
Number of endpoints needed per API call

How the data is returned to you can vary between vendors. Information requested spanning multiple data fields can arrive in either one or more endpoints. Often pricing is directly correlated to the number of endpoints needed to fill the requirements of your API call. If a vendor provides three data fields in three endpoints, you will pay 3x the amount per call than if a vendor can provide you the same data fields returned in just one endpoint.

Secondary factors to consider:

4.)
Contract obligation

Hurdles to even gain access to well aggregated and organized property records still plague the industry, which has led to customers being required to pay hefty upfront costs in addition to call-usage pricing. This might be a factor in the overall cost of your API. Make sure to ask your provider if they require a contract obligation before starting.

5.)
Restrictive Licencing

Like many products, property data can also have its permissions and limitations around use. If your contract includes reselling the data, you should understand whether your data provider authorizes you to do so. Otherwise, you could find yourself more susceptible to additional licensing fees on top of lost opportunity cost.

In practice

Cost calculator - You want the most value for your money — we get it. To help you make sense of the potential API cost factors discussed above and to better weigh your options, download and fill in our simple cost calculator as demonstrated below.

Or, if you’re looking for maximum ROI, get started with our free 30-day trial and make your first API call in less than 15 minutes with our self-serve option (no hidden fees here).

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If you have a hunch that property data could be beneficial for your business but still aren’t quite sure how, check out some additional reading on who uses property data and how.