As markets become more competitive, an online presence is increasingly becoming crucial for many businesses. There are over 4.5 billion internet users in the world. And these numbers are expected to get to 6 billion by 2022. Taking advantage of the online market can have significant benefits for any business.
But the web offers more benefits to enterprises besides providing a global market. Market research using the data available in the web benefits enterprises in areas such as:
- Delivering improved services to customers
- Creating competitive packages
- Staying up to date on technological changes in the industry
- Expanding the market to a global scale
- Creating effective strategies
- Making informed decisions
Real estate, being a largely competitive industry, can benefit immensely from market research. While the traditional copy and paste method of collecting information from the web is okay, web scraping real estate data is more efficient.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the automated extraction of data from targeted websites using a tool known as a scraper. The information extracted is put in a format that is more understandable and useful to the user. It then stores this data in a local file in the computer, database, or spreadsheet.
Websites’ security systems are keen to detect and ban scrapers from their sites. This is because web scrapers make numerous requests at a go and browse the website too fast, slowing it down. It negatively affects the experience of other users. Scrapers also visit websites like regular traffic, leading to misleading website analytics.
For these reasons, web scrapers work with proxies. Proxies prevent direct communication between the device using the scraper and the website it is scraping. They make web requests and receive responses on behalf of the device. Proxies come with an IP address and location that masks the device’s real details.
Proxies are essential in web scraping for several reasons:
- Rotating the proxies makes it possible to make numerous requests from different IPs to mimic human behavior, reducing the chances of being detected
- They make it possible to scrape data from competitor websites anonymously
- Proxies provide access to blocked websites
- Rotating the proxy IPs makes it possible to get more location-specific data by using a proxy attached to that location
How Web Scraping Real Estate Data Benefits the Industry
So, how can a business in the real estate industry benefit from web scraping?
1) Strategic Pricing
Web scraping makes it possible to collect data on the cost of property in specific neighborhoods to set competitive prices. This data is easily available in real estate listings. It becomes easier to come up with a pricing strategy that is slightly below the market baseline to attract more buyers and make fast sales.
2) Keeping Track of Market Trends
Every industry is always evolving, including real estate. Web scraping makes it possible to understand current market trends, such as changes in technology. You can detect a shift in consumer needs and tastes in real estate. It enables you to stay relevant and competitive, and you can improve your product and service development.
3) Making Market Forecasts
The real estate industry is unpredictable. Factors such as an increase in crime rate, changes in weather patterns, or the economic development of a neighborhood can drastically raise or lower the price of a property. By collecting data through web scraping and studying it, it becomes easier to make forecasts, predict changes in demand, and make strategic buying and selling decisions.
4) Lead Generation
Web scraping makes it possible to acquire quality leads fast. You can collect contact details of potential customers from real estate forums, community portals, and social media groups. You can also gather contacts of reliable partners and reputable real estate agents.
5) Rental Income
Web scraping keeps you from investing in residential houses blindly. Collecting adequate information on the rental yield of properties in relation to interest makes it easier to determine the type and size of property that can have the highest yield. You can also monitor vacancy rates in the neighborhood by extracting data from rental listing websites.
6) Real Estate Aggregators
Real estate aggregators are companies that scrape real-time data from numerous reliable sources and create a one-stop-shop for their users. Such companies heavily rely on web scraping to provide accurate data that can benefit customers.
Real estate is a massive and highly competitive industry. Web scraping real estate data enables companies in this industry to carry out vital tasks such as:
- Set competitive prices
- Stay up to date on market trends and industry changes
- Make market predictions
- Acquire quality leads
- Predict the performance of a rental property
Web scraping also helps real estate aggregators to provide reliable and real-time data to their customers. Ensure that you are getting your scraper and proxies from a reputable vendor for a smooth and successful web scraping project.