If you are wondering how to kick-start a successful career in the real estate industry, you’re probably going to ask yourself: What is IDX?
IDX for your real estate website is one of the most important technologies for new real estate agents to learn. IDX or Internet Data Exchange covers a vast array of software products developed by third-party vendors, including us. IDX is the umbrella term used to cover standards, policies, and software regarding the display of real estate listing information on various real estate brokerage websites.
It’s a policy given by real estate agencies permitting each institution to exchange property-listing data. IDX vendors can offer their customer base of realtors quick and easy access to IDX data feeds, providing them with the opportunity to take advantage of this synchronized exchange between real estate brokers. In essence, this means that your listings including your brokerage listings and many other listings will automatically populate on your website daily.
Over the years IDX applications and policy standards have drastically changed, as brokers and real estate agents utilizing IDX services, as well as other companies providing IDX services, have concentrated on the integral capability to optimize websites with IDX-focused listing content. A vast array of options for showing IDX content on individual websites has been developed, including the practice of inserting IDX content into web pages to iframe-driven applications (outdated tech), or a full plug-and-play integration by using an API for pulling IDX data into native templates and functions to create a fully cohesive real estate website experience for your prospective leads.
In summation, for brokers and real estate agents, Internet Data Exchange is what allows MLS members (Multiple Listing Service) to connect and display listings from the comprehensive MLS database into their real estate websites.
The Beginning of IDX
In looking forward to the continued increase of website use of various real estate agencies in early 2000, the leadership of the National Association of Realtors organized a special working committee made up of members of the Multiple Listing Issues as well as Policies Committees, the Professional Standards Committee, and the Risk Management Committee. Their purpose was to regulate how internet applications related to the real estate industry could be enhanced, for realtors to be able to inform and serve their clients more effectively. At the same time, they wanted to guarantee that this new platform would not become an exploited medium that could undermine the professional relationships and duties that every realtor is ethically and legally bound.
After careful consideration of various issues, technology, and the fast-changing marketplace, in 2000, the NAR Board of Directors, approved modifications and improvements to the existing policy that authorize MLS members to show on their websites the listings of other members, but subject to specific requirements and limitations.
How IDX Works
The use of Internet Data Exchange among real estate agents has become a common practice, especially for marketing homes, attracting leads, and closing more sales among others. By showing listings online, real estate agents can reach a larger audience and get a much better match of available homes to potential buyers.
A specific set of rules applies to the real estate companies’ ability to display every detail about a certain property. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) organization sets these “display rules”, which normally creates its policy around the recommendations and endorsements given by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Pricing for every IDX service is established by MLS boards including third-party vendors.
Integrating an IDX feed into a real estate website is a lot easier than most new agents think. A beautiful thing about Internet Data Exchange is that it’s zero maintenance, all the listings will update automatically, hourly, or daily depending on your provider. Installing the IDX feed only takes a couple of minutes and provides new real estate agents plenty of options to display their listings and thousands of other listings. Furthermore, by incorporating SEO, new real estate agents will be able to create an increasing amount of traffic to their real estate websites.
How does it work? Internet Data Exchange starts a data connection between a website and the MLS. It then imports listings and displays them on the website. The listings are automatically updated every few hours or daily, allowing your prospective buyers to access the most recent data for their market. From there they can contact the real estate agent for information about the available properties, it’s an excellent lead capture tool.
What can IDX do for your business?
Having IDX on your real estate website offers many advantages:
- Agents & Brokers: Consistent flow of MLS listings on your website to attract prospective leads in your targeted markets.
- Buyers: Able to browse the most recent listings on the market and have the confidence that the information is 100% accurate.
Adding IDX to your real estate website, not only gives you new content that’s pulled every 5 minutes, but also makes your real estate website a valuable trusted source, and you an expert in your community. According to the National Association of Realtors, 44% of all buyers search online for property listings as the first stage of their quest for their new home. That means agents who don’t integrate MLS listings into their website via IDX end up at a disadvantage when compared to agents who do display MLS listings.
Want to start attracting more leads to your real estate website? We’ve developed an exclusive IDX system with MLS data coverage across all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Canada. That’s 650+ MLS Markets and we’re adding more all the time.