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What Is IDX? A Comprehensive Quick-Start for Real Estate Agents

July 08 2018

hasap what is idx 1There always seems to be a lot of buzz about IDX in the real estate industry.

So what exactly is IDX? And why is it important to you, the real estate professional?

Okay, we'll admit it isn't the most interesting of topics. However, "knowledge is power" and who doesn't want to be a successful real estate agent?

Successful agents have goals, work hard and desire to learn everything they can to gain a competitive advantage. Because it is such a critical tool for agents, those who plan to succeed need to learn about IDX and all it has to offer.

So sit back, relax and find out how IDX can help you become a successful real estate agent, and a tool with which to manage and grow your real estate business.

The Power of Real Estate Internet Data Exchange

The Internet offers significant access to housing data and home listings, which has consequently changed the role of the full-service real estate agent. It has taken on new meaning and reinforced the need to invest in quality tools.

IDX is short for Internet Data Exchange. In a nutshell, it is a site that allows public consumers to search for MLS properties in an area. Sometimes referred to as Broker Reciprocity, IDX is a cooperative data exchange between brokers that came to fruition back in early 2000, due to the evolution of the Internet.

Before IDX existed, the MLS was restricted to real estate agents and brokerages. Due to the establishment and allowable use of IDX by the National Association of Realtors (the policy), real estate brokers and agents who are members of the MLS have access to virtually all of each other's listings (those members with a reciprocal agreement).

In a reciprocal agreement, the broker opts in with other members of the MLS.

As a result, all MLS members have equal access to all MLS listings. No one member has an unfair advantage, and all listings are available to all other member participants who have chosen to opt in.

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Why IDX is Game-Changing for Real Estate Agents

As a real estate professional, you may be asking yourself, "What does IDX has to do with my real estate business?"

The main reason people go to a real estate website is to search for properties. If you don't have access to this system, you're missing out on a huge proven strategy to gain more leads.

As a real estate agent or broker, an IDX feed is one of the most important property search website components. With a fully integrated system, you can:

  • Empower clients
  • Increase your conversion rates and sales
  • Build a branded experience and differentiate yourself in the market
  • Grow your real estate business

IDX provides features that will help you as a real estate professional to:

  • Get powerfully connected
  • Generate leads
  • Retain more customers
  • Reduce your workload

Think of it as your virtual salesperson who is available 24-7-365, so when prospects or clients get the inclination to search for their dream home at 2a.m., they can do so, thanks to IDX.

The Best Type of IDX System for Real Estate Agents

Today's homebuyers are savvier (and fickler) than ever, thanks to the Internet. And when it comes to purchasing a home—and making the biggest investment of their lives—today's consumers want every bit of information they can get, no matter what device they are searching from to find it.

IDX enables this, but it can and should provide much more than the simple exchange of data or searches of the MLS.

A quality IDX website should provide:

  • Quick links for neighborhood and community listings
  • Foreclosures search results
  • Ability to keep track of leads with lead tracking tools
  • Ability to quickly and easily be integrated into your facebook business page
  • A unique opportunity to connect with clients

What's Facebook Got to Do with It?

Not only should you utilize the Internet's favorite social media platform – Facebook – and tap into the more than 1 billion people active on Facebook by integrating IDX into your Facebook real estate business page, you should capitalize on it!

With Facebook IDX, you can:

  • Attract more home buyers and potential clients
  • Capture leads more easily
  • Customize MLS properties
  • Display MLS listings without having to maintain an external website

Facebook real estate marketing paired with IDX can help you dominate your market!

Skyrocket Leads with IDX Providers

You may be able to do it all yourself and cut the middle man out, but why would you want to?

Most MLS systems can provide a direct feed of data to broker members. However, converting an unrefined data feed into a cohesive feature for you to use will cost you an arm and a leg in custom software development fees.

The solution?

Look for an IDX service provider that makes perfect sense for your needs. However, keep in mind that not all providers or software are created equal. When searching for a provider, pay close attention to:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Reputable brand
  • Lead notifications
  • Full customer support
  • Features for homebuyers

The best IDX providers, whether for integration on Facebook or your website, should offer flexible and customizable options for the ideal user experience, not just a one-size-fits-all template.

Sadly, some brokers and agents may contend that IDX isn't worth the monetary investment. We beg to differ. People go to real estate sites in search of their "perfect home." Consumers want to be able to look at quality pictures of homes, read well-written listing descriptions, and learn about neighborhoods, schools, etc.

Without a home search for your prospective clients – if they can't get what they want from you – then they will almost certainly go elsewhere, whether it be Zillow, Trulia, or your competition.

An IDX powered feed in today's real estate market is the foundation for a profitable online lead generation strategy and an absolute necessity in today's information-driven real estate industry.

To view the original article, visit the HomeASAP blog.