Open API: The Future of Estate Agency Software

24.02.20 09:29 PM Comment(s)

Having an open API in your estate agency software is the way forward for real estate business. For the benefit of your client base, Property portfolio, Agents and Tenants, An open API can connect with ultimate technologies to create seamless workflows for your Estate Agency.

The adoption of APIs in estate agencies is not a technical problem, it’s a cultural one. After all, the principals and technology behind these fabled APIs have been with us for more than 20 years. For many, an API is a common piece of day-to-day tech lingo, but the possibilities of an API (particularly an open API) are often unrealised. 

APIs (application programming interface) allow different programs and pieces of technology within your CRM (customer relationship management) software to communicate with each other effectively. For estate agency software, an API enables different property management systems to communicate with each other within the CRM to make your life easier. 

It’s not dissimilar to a restaurant where your server carries orders from your table to the kitchen. The API acts as mediatory by connecting different information together so you don't have to switch between applications to do different tasks.

Why Dezrez?

At Dezrez, when it came to Rezi, we decided to start from the beginning; building a platform with full integration of open API (public API) technology from the ground up for agents in the property market. We are the only leading CRM software in the estate agent industry with such technology.

We want agents to have the power to build an application network of Proptech with secure, reusable, third party software integrations and APIs designed, built and managed on our Rezi platform.

Having open APIs in your estate agency software enables your agency to provide exceptional customer service as all of the tools and data your agents need is readily available in one centralised software system. 

For instance, estate agents can post property listings to social media from within the CRM using an open API integration. This connects landlords and properties to more potential tenants in just a few clicks as social media apps can integrate with the open platform. 

Open API vs. Closed API

Open API is an application program interface of which consumers have public access to. An open API helps your teams manage and build estate agency software to suit your agency by allowing third-party softwares and developers the opportunity to integrate with your software. 

Closed APIs are not open to any developer as the background procedures of the platforms have limitations of sharing assets.A closed API is the legal property of the proprietor, so there are a lot hoops you have to jump through to integrate different apps as you have to grant permission to each party due to user security and management technicalities.

Server Station
Power and Influence of Data.

If we acknowledge that having different systems communicate with each other is going to help the estate agents, why hasn’t this integration been done already?

The crux of the problem of open API in estate agencies is less of a technical problem and more of a cultural one. In open banking, retail, healthcare and education API connectivity are mainstream. However, estate agents in property have been slower adopters.

After all, if your power and influence are located within your own data it surely makes sense to take API security seriously and protect it by preventing outside influence, right? Any risk of tenant or landlord data from estate agent software being leaked is a risk, so open platforms can seem off-putting. However, API developers do not have access to sensitive client data as it is encrypted within the CRM.

Giving access control to third-party softwares and developers may seem daunting for some, but the benefits can be clearly seen. Once estate agent software is integrated with an open API, the functionality of the platform increases. 

Different sectors are already reaping the benefits from the power and efficiencies of opening their data and allowing other systems and users to interact with it. Estate agencies have been slow to pick up on this although there is a slow, but encouraging, realisation of the benefits of property management software.

Pick The Benefits
Changing thinking is the real test.

Throughout the value chain of the estate and letting agent industry, the ability to allow different software and API systems to interact via an open-source will surely become a true differentiator for the property industry and estate agents. 

This is tempered where many agencies have made significant investments into their own API systems and interfaces, echoing the defensive nature of protecting one’s data.

The head scratcher is: many of the actors in the value chain of a property need much of the same software. Agents lose hours to manual data handling, as information is re-keyed or passed across in a non-computer readable format requiring human interaction to transfer back into another system.

For the techies, the solution is easy –  APIs. It’s just about getting those systems talking with each other through open API. Rezi provides the ideal solution for your agency.

So, why doesn't everyone use an open API software?

There are some technical hurdles to overcome when onboarding new estate agency software, especially those with less nimble legacy systems. At Dezrez, we have established patterns and solutions to cover these challenges, making you transition as simple as possible. Once you're set up, the benefits of open APIs for your CRM are outweighed.

The bigger test is that change in thinking, to consider those automated open API systems that communicate between each other are going to provide transformative benefits to property management, just like they have elsewhere.

Book a Demo with one of our team to see for yourself the capabilities of open API software