The original plan when we started writing about API was a technical article. Once we looked at all the elements we decided to take a step back and give you a guided tour of what an open API can do for your agency business.
Property professionals love real estate, they can talk about amazing houses, the best suburbs and the most successful ways to market. They are amazingly talented at any number of things but software engineering isn’t the focus.
We get that - so to help explain why having an open API is a must-have for larger agencies and groups, we’ve pulled together this post about all things API - starting at the beginning.
What the heck is an API?
You’ve probably looked at Wikipedia and come away worse off for the experience. So right from the start. API = Application Programming Interface.
APIs are a fundamental building block for any successful software developer. They provide the capability to communicate between apps, especially in an integrated environment like Rex CRM. Think of an API as a food delivery courier. You go to the restaurant site, order from the delivery menu and the courier will deliver your dinner. This is called ‘reading’ data.
In the real estate world, APIs are helping agents get on with the day-to-day, all behind the scenes. They are being used to transfer property listing data from the CRM to an agent website or real estate application. They are efficient and fast, retrieving data as and when needed – allowing you to run your agency the way you want, with the tools you want.
The anatomy of an API
To understand the inner workings of an API, let’s look at some of the key components that help it work properly.
The digital doorway between two systems—it’s the place where both systems interact. An endpoint is the way the API can access the data that’s being requested. What those are depends on the rules of the API.
This is the whole reason you set up an API integration—to make requests to send or receive data. An API request happens when a developer adds an endpoint to a URL and makes a call for that data.
So why does Rex CRM talk about having an open API
Open APIs have three main characteristics:
- They are available for use by developers with relatively few restrictions (once you have registered for the service)
- They are backed by open data without restrictions from copyright
- They are based on an open standard
Open APIs are easier for apps to integrate with: there's less red tape, fewer technical requirements, and less risk because it call be managed by your technology team.
In simple terms, for Rex CRM customers, this means is a bigger ecosystem of integrations to choose from and you’re set up for the future. If your agency ever wants to build your own applications or gain granular, you're ALWAYS going to be able to get API access to your data
The API that REX CRM offers to clients and integrators is the same API the main Rex app itself is actually built on. Meaning,100% of Rex data is accessible via the API. This isn’t guarantee by; other APIs - even other open ones.
Our open API allows customers to build their own links to and from the Rex CRM Plenty of popular third party apps have built there own, including Realtair, Propps. Active Pipe, Plezzel and more.
Rex CRM comes loaded with built-integrations
This article is all about the power of open APIs to run your business. But before we go any further let’s not forget about all integrations that come out of the box with Rex CRM. Because we’ve built these ourselves we are able to offer in-depth customer support for them.
- REI Forms and Realworks
- ADL forms
- Campaign Track
- Corelogic RP Data
And for the UK
- HM Land Registry
You do you - it’s your business
Let’s cut to the chase, all this talk about open APIs can sound quite abstract. If we start with the Why?
Your real estate agency CRM exists as a central hub for sales and PM operations. And since it’s an efficiency-driven industry, where scale can drastically affect profitability, the more agents can do inside of a single platform, the more profitable they’ll be. At Rex we fundamentally believe that your business is exactly that - it’s yours.
Once you understand your process and the tech stack that you want to use to get maximum results from your time and investment, you need to be able to link them all together. So right now the first thing you need is a CRM with an open API - one that allows your developers to connect in real-time.
Check out how Bresic Whitney is using the Rex CRM open API
“Our strategy was to actually take an off the shelf product and connect it with all our other systems. Now you can't do that without an open API.
— Will Gosse, COO at BresicWhitney
Rex CRM drives high performance at BresicWhitney
Rex basically acts as a content management system, so we use a bunch of out-of-the-box integrations, but we've also built custom integrations to our website. At the moment, all the properties are fed from Rex.
We've got about 300 properties on the market at any given time. Sales and rentals and accuracy and efficiency and managing: all of those are critical.
The other integration with the website is buyers putting their information in as well as sellers, and that feeding straight through to their profiles that might already exist in Rex. Passing data through into different systems to make not only your processes more efficient, but your sales agents better are crucial to selling in the modern age.”
We’ve seen how our open API has been used by larger agencies to great effect, and we believe that it can do the same for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about our API or would like to start using it in your own projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
To see how Rex CRM is delivering cost savings and premium service for large agencies and multi-office operations check this out.