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What Makes a Great IDX Provider?

October 06 2016

online real estateRealtors are constantly looking for an advantage in online marketing. One of the clear ways to get ahead is through a program called IDX, or Internet Data Exchange. The program is designed by the MLS and follows a pretty simple construct that allows any agent or broker to display all of the MLS's listings on their website.

The property search solution is called IDX because that is the set of MLS rules and regulations that need to be followed for appropriate display. So if you are looking for a property search solution, you will want to focus your search on the keyword 'IDX Search.'

RE Technology has hundreds of IDX providers in our Product Directory, but choosing the right one can be hard. We connected with WolfNet, one of America's largest IDX providers to agents and brokers, to find out what makes a great IDX solution.

1. Does the vendor have data in your MLS?

There are 728 MLSs in America today. Only a few IDX vendors, like Wolfnet, have data in all of them. If the vendor does not have IDX set up in your MLS, call another vendor. It's too painful to go through the hassle, and probably not worthwhile for the IDX vendor to set up an MLS data feed just for one customer.

2. Can a customer register for your IDX site?

Everyone talks about generating leads. A lead is when a consumer who is interested in buying or selling a house contacts you through your IDX search site. Vendors like WolfNet have been making a science out of maximizing lead generation for over a decade. Here are a few features that cause consumers to register to your site:

  • Ability to save a search
  • Ability to be notified when new listings match their search criteria
  • Ability to save a listing to a favorites folder
  • Ability to schedule a showing
  • Ability to ask you a question
  • Ability to be notified when the status of a listing changes
  • Ability to be notified when the price of a listing changes
  • Ability to unlock special fields like price changes over time or days on market

3. What types of search are available?

Some systems only have a form-based search – pick a city, price, etc. Other systems have map-based search. Systems like WolfNet have both, so the customer can choose the experience they want.

4. Is community information added to the listing information?

Location, location, location, right? Some IDX vendors provide community information like nearby restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. Consumers love being able to imagine the convenience of living nearby these important points of interest. Some IDX vendors even provide a drive time feature so your clients can understand their commute!

5. How do you manage your leads?

IDX solutions have back office administrative tools that allow you to view your leads and manage your lead funnel. When you are looking for a great solution, be sure to look at how you access and convert leads. After all, the main reason to have an IDX site is for online marketing, lead generation, and lead conversion.

We have just scratched the surface of the important features of IDX. Be sure to check out WolfNet in our 2016-17 Technology Guide2016-17 Technology Guide. Feel free to give them a call to learn more. They support over 70,000 real estate agents with IDX today.