What is IDX? An Introduction for New Real Estate Agents

What is IDX? An introduction for new real estate agents
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IDX or Internet Data Exchange 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. This means that your listings including your brokerage listings and many other listings will automatically populate your website daily.

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has been developed, including the practice of inserting IDX content into web pages to iframe-driven applications (outdated tech), or a full plug-and-play IDX integration by using an API for pulling IDX data into native templates and functions to create a fully cohesive real estate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.

To sum up, for brokers and real estate agents, IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is what allows MLS (Multiple Listing Service) members to connect and display listings from their local MLS boards on their real estate IDX websites.

The Beginning of IDX

IDX began in the early 2000s, at a time when the internet was still in its infancy, and real estate agents realized they could effectively market their listings online.

The leadership of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 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 to.

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 listings of other members on their websites, but subject to specific requirements and limitations.

How IDX Works

IDX 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.

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.

How does IDX 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 prospective clients to access the most recent data for their market.  From there they can contact for more information or book a showing, making it an invaluable lead capture tool.

What can IDX do for your business?

Having IDX on your real estate website offers many advantages:

  1. Agents & Brokers: Consistent flow of MLS listings on your website to attract prospective leads in your targeted markets.
  2. 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.

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. That’s 650+ MLS Markets and we’re adding more all the time.

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Plus, we'll keep you in the loop for all things new and exciting. Sign up (it only takes 10 seconds, promise)