For real estate agents today, the Internet is invaluable in building brand awareness, reaching potential clients, and making sales. Your online presence is critical in achieving these goals: a great website shows the areas of your expertise, the neighborhoods you serve, and includes your latest listings.
For the latter, you can benefit from Internet Data Exchange (IDX) software, which enables you to display Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings allowing visitors to search for properties in a broad database, directly on your website.
If you haven’t thought about building an IDX website yet, now is the time! It will be a game changer for your business as it can boost your online presence and help get you more leads. But how does IDX work, and what are the benefits of having an IDX website for real estate agents? Find out from our article below:
Table of Contents
- What is an IDX Website for Real Estate Agents?
- How Does an IDX Work on a Real Estate Website?
- The Benefits of Having IDX for Your Real Estate Website
- Factors to be Considered with IDX
- What is the Cost of a Website and IDX?
What is an IDX Website for Real Estate Agents?
IDX is the technology that allows real estate agents to access listings from MLS databases and display them on their websites.
An IDX website for real estate agents simply means a website that uses IDX software to display MLS listings. It is designed to allow real estate agents to display properties on their website, with search functions, filters, price range, availability dates, and local listings. All this information is delivered through the MLS database.
How Does an IDX Work on a Real Estate Website?
IDX creates a data connection between your website and the MLS, imports the listings, and displays them on your website. These listings are automatically updated so your website visitors will always have the most up-to-date information about available properties.
This is the opposite of how portal sites work: Zillow or Trulia get their website listings through brokers, making their data less comprehensive and less reliable than IDX. Another difference between portals and IDX is that portals tend to send leads only to agents who sponsor individual listings. A real estate website with IDX, you will get all leads from your website’s listings.
Here are all the steps to an IDX connection:
- Real estate agents enter listings into the MLS database. The data is provided by cooperating real estate agents.
- The listings become visible in the MLS. Each MLS has its policy on what information can be shared through IDX. Listings not exclusive to the agent may not be used for marketing purposes.
- IDX creates a connection between the MLS and your real estate website. IDX displays listing information upon a search query. It also allows real estate agents to display exclusive listings of others in the MLS.
- Listings are displayed on real estate websites. Listings on the real estate website are updated every few hours with new information from the MLS.
- Buyers can search listings on your website. Realtors can start connecting with potential buyers as they search for properties.
The Benefits of Having IDX for Your Real Estate Website
A real estate agent website with IDX has countless benefits. It gives a better experience for buyers while keeping the maintenance tasks to a minimum on your end, helping you optimize your workflow.
» Real Estate Leads
IDX helps attract more buyers by providing information about properties in their area—not just your exclusive listings—giving them more reasons to contact you. You can facilitate this process with lead capture forms. After filling out a form, a customer is brought into your CRM system, where you can take over with automated follow-up and conversion strategies.
» Automated Feed
Since real estate agents have to update the IDX regularly, your feed will always provide buyers with up-to-date information about listings in their search criteria. The automated feed requires minimal effort, allowing you to focus on building relationships.
» User Engagement
An IDX integration to your real estate website will give visitors countless listings they can browse, allow them to refine their searches, and use tools like interactive maps, social sharing, and saving favorites. As a result, they spend more time on your website and are more likely to contact you.
» Brand Awareness
IDX listings are indexed by search engines, driving more leads to your website. Additionally, functions like sharing via social media buttons also help drive organic traffic to your real estate site, increasing your brand awareness.
Factors to be Considered with IDX
IDX real estate websites for real estate agents are invaluable in closing more deals. However, there are a few factors to consider when implementing this system, and you may also need to change your workflow to get the most out of your IDX website.
» Following Rules and Regulations
When using IDX, you must follow specific rules and regulations governed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Each MLS has policies regarding using its data on your IDX website, which you should be aware of to avoid misuse of IDX data.
» Controlling Your Listings
One downside of realtor websites and IDX is that you have little control over what listings appear in your feed. You can’t manually remove listings (not even those already sold or with wrong information). However, knowing the market and identifying such listings will help you engage in conversations with buyers and guide them to available properties.
» Adjusting Your Marketing Efforts
Real estate agents must ramp up their marketing efforts to drive traffic to their IDX site. At the very least, you should have a solid SEO strategy and an optimized website to stay ahead of your competitors and gain visibility in search engine results.
» Implementing a CRM
IDX alone won’t tell you which leads you should focus on. Implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool helps categorize all the data coming from IDX to keep leads organized, prioritize specific leads, and set up automated follow-ups.
» Converting Leads
While IDX helps capture leads, you still handle the lead conversion process yourself. Whether phone, digital, or direct mail, you must have a system that allows for nurturing leads and closing deals.
What is the Cost of a Website and IDX?
At StrategicAgent, a website with IDX costs only $29 per month. This package includes a mobile responsive, SEO-ready site packed with countless tools such as a form builder, testimonials, and calculators. It also comes with invaluable IDX features like live MLS listings, Google Maps integration, lead capture with a VIP membership system, and a handful of useful widgets. It’s an all-in-one solution to increase your online presence to get more real estate leads.
More and more buyers are browsing the Internet for properties today. As a real estate agency, you want to connect with these buyers, enhance their browsing experience and give them all the information they need about properties in your area.
IDX makes this possible. By linking your website to MLS databases, your visitors will have a better experience searching for their ideal homes, while you can benefit from capturing leads directly from your website with minimal effort.
If you don’t already have an IDX website, it’s not too late to get one. StrategicAgent provides premium mobile responsive websites and IDX systems for realtors for only $29 per month to help you connect with more customers.