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So you’re thinking about building your real estate websites?
You’re going to need a way to get listings on it!
Like Zillow, the #1 most important “content” a real estate website needs is an accurate and current display of what is available for sale and a way to search properties.
Integrating IDX real estate software is how you do that. IDX (internet data exchange) pulls multiple listing service (MLS) listings and displays them on your site in compliance with the display guidelines from the respective authorities like the National Association of Realtors.
A property search is likely your real estate site’s most crucial lead-generation feature. It’s the very top of the funnel when buyers aren’t ready to reach out to an agent yet but are ready to start snooping on homes.
Most tools are built for WordPress, first and foremost, with plugins that allow you to quickly implement IDX listings straight into your site. Many IDX providers also provide a full-formed website as an option, too.
A good IDX will keep current with the website design trends, including mobile responsive design, a clear call-to-action, and a minimalist display to encourage lead capture.
Below are some of the best IDX solutions for real estate agents, brokers, and developers.
$49.95+/mo plus $99.95 setup fee. Diverse Solutions was previously owned by Zillow, and now is part of Constellation Software. Their map search is built on Google Maps. They also have other connected tools like an Envoy CRM.
$55+/mo plus $99.99 setup fee. IDX Broker is the largest and most established IDX provider. As such, it has some of the best MLS coverage as well as numerous direct integrations. It has numerous features including social media integrations and highly customizable links. They also offer a complete IDX website ready out-of-the-box. Their maps are built on MapQuest maps. Consider IDX Broker if you are a website developer or a dedicated agent going DIY on their WordPress site.
$49.95+/mo plus $99 setup fee. iHomeFinder is a feature-rich IDX provider called Optima, featuring drip campaigns, marketing tools called MarketBoost, and more. They also have one of the best mobile-friendly map features in an option called Eureka search. It has an optional CRM backend called iHomeFinder ONE. They are very much worth considering if available in your market.
$59.95+/mo. Showcase IDX is a good looking IDX software, including map search, lead routing, forced registrations, and more.
In addition to those above, other IDX providers include:
Many website providers use these IDX search tools to create their sites. If you’re interested in skipping the work and setup, it might be worth considering a website company to do it for you. Some companies worth considering include:
If you want a little more control but more help, you might want to use a website designer. These folks help set up your site for you and design custom pages and themes. But the site is still yours, and you still get to play in the backend, add pages, and more.
When building a WordPress real estate site, you have to choose a theme in addition to implementing IDX. There are numerous WordPress theme creators for real estate. Having one that is IDX-friendly is useful.
IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange. The data being exchanged is the listing. Brokers, usually through their MLS and governed by the rules of the MLS, opt-in to allow their property listings to be shown on competitors’ listing pages (called broker reciprocity).
While some brokers may withhold listings from other brokers’ websites, chances are most of the listings in your MLS will be available to show on your website with an IDX feed.
IDX providers like the companies above create that data connection and then arrange the information so that you can easily plug it into your website.
VOW stands for Virtual Office Website. VOW websites are different than IDX in that they seek to access ALL of the MLS data you would typically be able to show a client. That includes Sold, Expired, and Withdrawn listings. Those property statuses are, of course, readily viewable by an agent in the MLS. And that is precisely the kind of information you would share with prospective clients in a CMA if you were in your office. Hence “virtual office website.” IDX websites generally don’t show that information.
VOWs had a tumultuous history and, as such, have generally not developed or been employed as often as IDX websites. But in theory, you can have a VOW website, usually with the restriction that a visitor must sign in to access the information.
Are you ready to make your real estate site? Are you ready to own instead of renting your online presence? Are you ready to earn organic leads and love from the search engines like Google?
Building your WordPress website is very doable and rewarding, depending on your business needs. IDX will be essential to making it a genuinely functional site ready to serve your community and customers.
Hopefully, this list of IDX technologies for agents and brokers will give you the solution you need for your business!