It used to be that most home buyers checked out newspaper ads or asked their friends to find what houses were for sale. Now, 44 percent look online first.
It makes sense then that the most common feature you’ll find on a broker’s website is property listings. And those listings get there through one of several IDX solutions on the market.
If you need to add or improve the listings on your own website, an understanding of your IDX options is the best place to start with your decision.
At its core, IDX is the software brokers and agents use to add MLS listings to their websites. The software connects to MLS, imports listings, and displays them on the site.
With the integration, listings on your website stay updated so you always have access to the most recent information.
Behind the software is a policy from the National Association of Realtors that builds in exchange consent to display property listings from other brokers. This gives prospective buyers coming to your website the opportunity to search for everything that’s for sale in the area and not just what you have listed.
Looking at IDX Solutions
There are several different paths to getting the MLS listings on your website. When you compare IDX solutions, your selection is likely to depend on your comfort level with technology.
The simplest of the IDX website solutions is to build your website with a site builder specifically targeted to the real estate industry. These will not only have IDX capability but also include your subscription so you get the data on the site. This gives you a one-stop-shop way to build an agency site.
The easy-to-use website builders such as Squarespace offer full IDX integration capability. But you will have to get an IDX subscription through another vendor to have live searches and mobile responsiveness. You can get more page templates and design flexibility this way as long as you’re comfortable with a little more work to connect IDX.
WordPress is a powerful site builder that gives you a lot of control over how your site looks and functions. Several plugin options that bring in the MLS listings for your area, such as Bright MLS in the Mid-Atlantic region. The best IDX website solutions for WordPress will allow you to style the listings to match your website design, provide lead capture tools, and handle SEO.
If you want complete control, custom IDX solutions would be for you. This requires a higher level of technical expertise as you will need to work with a developer to connect to IDX and turn the feed into usable information on your site.
Choosing Your IDX Solution
If you want to market your property listings where the buyers are, you need to be able to get them on your website. IDX solutions make it possible to connect to your MLS to give clients and prospects the ability to search for their dream home.
Check out our other articles on marketing your real estate business to learn more ways to use your website to get buyers and close deals.