These days it seems whenever there’s talk of technology, there’s also talk of APIs – or application programming interfaces.
In the simplest of terms, an API is a set of programming instructions that govern how one application interacts with another. A software-to-software interface, rather than a user interface, APIs allow applications to talk to each other without any user intervention. In short, they facilitate connectivity and allow systems to integrate.
So what does that mean? Let’s look at the Uber app.
The Uber app connects passengers with drivers using their mobile phone’s GPS capabilities. Passengers can track the location of their driver, taking the guesswork out of when their ride will arrive. But Uber didn’t build their own mapping software. No, they plugged into Google Maps using an API. After all, Google Maps is arguably the best in the world and has been developed over many, many years on the back of billions of dollars invested. But via a simple API framework, the Uber app is able to leverage this mapping technology to provide a more complete and user-friendly solution.
Imagine Uber without Google Maps!
And then imagine Uber without its streamlined payment gateway. The app processes all payments automatically – charging the passenger’s credit card, directing a commission to Uber and depositing the balance in the driver’s account. Again, rather than developing its own payment gateway, they integrated with a leading provider to ensure a seamless end-user experience.
As a user, you only see one interface – the Uber app. But behind the scenes, the applications are working together to produce the final transaction.
APIs and integrations are everywhere. Every time you go to the Sydney Morning Herald website and click on a social media icon to share an article, an API is at work. Every time you buy your groceries via Woolworths Online and enter your credit card details for payment, an API is at work. And every time you search the Bunnings website to find the location of the nearest store (and weekend sausage sizzle!) and it returns a Google Map with pinned locations, an API is at work.
Success breeds success
APIs are having a dramatic impact on our working lives as well.
Think of all the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis in your agency and you can find a piece of technology that will make the ‘doing’ easier. But, because of the mind-boggling rate of innovation when it comes to technology, it’s impossible for a single technology supplier to provide an end-to-end solution for every need their customers have. That’s why integration is critical.
Business success hinges on successful engagement with customers. And successful engagement with customers is about the successful integration of the systems those customers are using. To achieve the best customer outcomes, technology suppliers need to leverage off the innovation and success of other suppliers.
When it comes to the real estate industry, it’s essential for technology suppliers to have a healthy symbiotic relationship for the ultimate benefit of our customers. At a time when start-ups, disruptors and innovators are leveraging connectivity to establish new offerings, it’s never been more important for us to understand – and rethink – how our offering should operate successfully in this interconnected world. After all, none of us are silos.
As a supplier to the industry, it’s not our job to decide which systems you should be using to carry out every task in your agency. But it is our job to provide you with a platform that allows for the seamless integration of those systems to streamline processes, increase efficiency and save you time. That platform is Property Tree.
Property Tree has been developed with a philosophy of integration at its core and users will be the beneficiaries of the unlimited potential this offers. With APIs, our customers can harness the power of our industry-leading cloud based property management solution by linking Property Tree to other apps, software, reports and dashboards in real time.
As a customer, you can be confident that Property Tree will always provide you with the capability to facilitate all the functions you need to carry out in your agency in the most efficient and integrated way – so you can spend more time building your business.