Imagine if prospective renters/buyers were sent an update the moment a landlord/vendor instructed their agent. UK’s property portal, Rightmove, is currently testing a ‘Real-Time Data Feed’ (RTDF), allowing agents to list property instantly.
While a real-time listing API (Application Programming Interface – allows computers to talk to each other) is overdue, Rightmove’s RTDF is well produced as a thoroughly modern JSON-based API.
Rightmove is current the dominant property portal in the UK, with Zoopla quickly coming up in its rearview mirror. With both services providing near identical experiences for consumers, innovations like these could be key.
In a world of instant data and a fast-moving property market, those agents who can list live to Rightmove, will get applicants and enquiries before they return from their appraisals/valuations.
Take up of the new service will be dependant on the 350+ agency software companies that feed listings into portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. Comments on Zoopla’s public API forums indicate Zoopla has no plans to provide a listing API.
There are many property tech start-ups in London making noise about replacing Rightmove. This new listing ‘standard’ may prove an opportunity to tie closer with both portals and agency software providers, giving their own innovations easier distribution to agents.
The above article was contributed by Rayhan Rafiq Omar, founder of Wigwamm, a property tech start-up based in London, UK. Rayhan has spent 12 years overseeing a family property management business, whilst employed as a project manager flying around the world opening investment banking offices; until investment banks stopped opening offices.
As Rayhan has said we live in an ‘instantly accessible, always available digital world’ and as such the consumer expect the status of a property on the market for rent or for sale should be live and updated instantly. The consumer sees agents as being entirely responsible for their listings and be motivated to make sure the picture presented to the world is live.
It reminds me of a quote in the presentation made by Curt Beardsley from Move Inc at the recent PPW Conference in San Francisco. He stated that the ‘virtual’ world was a closer reflection of reality than the real world when it came to real estate, referencing For Sale signs and newspaper adverts being unreliable presentations of the market whereas the digital world is the single view of the truth and the latest status.