Beginners Guide to Web Scraping Real Estate Data

Real estate is currently one of the most attractive investments, with more and more people getting involved every day.

This is so for multiple reasons, with the most obvious attraction being how it offers the highest returns on investments with minimal risk levels.

This provides several opportunities for several businesses and start-ups to spring forth. You can easily start up a brand today to provide real estate services, and you can be sure to find a market waiting for you.

However, the place of relevant market data in all of these cannot be overemphasized. Everything hinges on how much decision-making is based on accurate data collected in real-time.

For instance, it would be impossible to detect what the real estate economy will bring soon or even tell something as simple as the value of a property without using sufficient data.

Therefore, it goes without saying that if you are starting a real estate business, you will need a constant supply of data not only to help the business take off but also to help it grow.

An Overview of What Web Scraping Is

Web scraping can best be explained as the process of using high-end machines to extract data from multiple sources simultaneously repeatedly.

The process uses sophisticated tools such as proxies and scrapers to interact with destinations containing the required data and then extract the publicly available information before parsing, processing, and storing it for immediate analysis or future use.

Regardless of how you choose to use the data, the extraction process needs to continue as data is always being added to the internet.

And because the process is repetitive, it needs to be automated to remove the struggle from performing the task manually.

Beginners Guide to Web Scraping Real Estate Data
Illustration by Brian Dixon via Dribbble

How Web Scraping Can Be Used In Real Estate

Web scraping real estate supplies you with the necessary data to make impactful decisions that will grow your start-up, and below are some of the ways that this operation can be used in real estate.

#1. Competition Monitoring

Monitoring the competition is a familiar tactic that cuts across every industry and niche, and this is because your competitors are likely doing things that you also need to be doing. By keeping a close eye on them, you will learn these things and develop ideas to outdo them.

Web scraping real estate data should be seen as a crucial exercise to collect all the necessary data about the competition and monitor all they do.

#2. Real Estate Aggregation

Some aggregators gather and publish data for real estate buyers in real estate. The data is published to make it easy for anyone to understand.

Old and new real estate investors can take one look at this data and tell the conditions of the market.

Web scraping real estate data is used to provide the data that aggregators need to publish for the benefit of the buyers.

#3. Forecasting Market Conditions

Predictions are also a very integral part of real estate investments. While no one can accurately tell the future, it is often possible to analyze a large expanse of data and know what will happen in the market shortly.

Gathering real estate data is done by buyers and sellers to forecast future market trends. And this, in turn, is used to make certain decisions.

Types of Real Estate Data That Can Be Scraped

Several types of data can be gathered from the different real estate markets, and the following are some of the most common data types:

  1. Property listings in the market
  2. Property information including location, building details, property prices, monthly rental prices, property amenities and so on
  3. Foreclosure and auction listings
  4. Urban planning and permits for constructions
  5. Safety statistics

Challenges of Web Scraping Real Estate Data

Web scraping real estate data, as we have seen, is beneficial to both businesses and real estate investors. However, the endeavors are not without their challenges and below are some of the most common challenges:

#1. Some Websites Don’t Allow Bot Activities

Specialized bots carry out most data scraping activities, but the target destinations are still at liberty to decide whether or not to allow bot activities.

And sometimes, some websites go all out to detect and ban bots, thereby putting a strain on the data collection process.

#2. Frequent Website Changes

Some websites allow bots but often change their structure to match the advancements in technology.

However, this may also be a challenge for some bots who cannot adapt to the new changes.

#3. Geo-Restriction

This challenge is often very common and witnessed when servers and websites restrict access to their content based on physical locations.

In this case, people from certain regions are denied access to these servers and hence cannot perform web scraping.

The solution to These Challenges

Fortunately, we know some specialized tools that can be used to solve the above challenges.

One of these tools is a proper proxy. A proxy server is a designated tool that can interact with any website to extract publicly available data and easily adapt to any structural changes.

Also, proxies are great at supplying multiple IPs and locations, bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing content from any part of the world.

Conclusion

As a start-up real estate business, the market is usually wide and highly receptive but can enter it the right way and eventually dominate it. There is always the need to make your business decisions backed by sufficient data.

And this is where web scraping real estate data comes to play. It supplies you with a consistent flow of real estate data in a fast and automated process.

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