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IDX Websites 101

October 17 2014

home cell laptopIDX or Internet Data Exchange is sometimes referred to as "broker reciprocity." IDX is a set of business rules that allows agents and brokers to display another participating broker's listings on their website. In exchange, they agree to allow other participants to display their listings.

IDX-enabled sites let consumers search local listings right from your agent homepage. IDX sites are by far the most popular option for real estate websites, perhaps due to their low time and effort threshold. Today, most solutions are "turnkey," meaning that they're already set-up and ready to deploy. Your only necessary involvement is to adjust the product to your needs--adding an agent or company bio, for example, or customizing email templates.

The cost of IDX lead generation sites can vary based on the solution you choose. Some products come with features like a built-in CRM, drip marketing, virtual tours, and lead capture capabilities to help you manage your leads more effectively. Decide which tools are most important to you before choosing a solution.

To help you learn more about IDX, we recommend reading the following articles. They're a good place to get started:

Choosing the Right Solution

If you're in the market for a document for an IDX solution, there are questions you can ask to evaluate which option is right for you, like:

  • Does my MLS allow IDX access to this vendor?
  • Does my broker, MLS, or Association have any agreements with any vendors that might help me obtain this product at a discount or for free?
  • Does this vendor support my own branding?
  • What does the IDX data look like on a mobile device?
  • Will the IDX link out to another site, or stay on my existing domain?
  • How often is the data updated by the vendor? (Goal is every 15 minutes to one hour)
  • What reports are available?
  • What tools are available to property searchers (i.e. saved searches, favorites, alerts, etc.)?
  • Does the solution plug into my existing lead management solution, have its own, or both?
  • Can I customize the auto-responders?
  • Are there drip campaigns that leverage MLS data to nurture client for life relationships?
  • What happens to my client record information if I chose to switch vendors in the future? Can I export the client list along with saved searches and favorites?
  • Can I import my current client list with saved searches and favorites or do I need to hand enter them?

Find more questions to ask in our 2014 Technology Guide2014 Technology Guide. It's a free resource for real estate professionals who want to learn more about the technology products available to them.

Here is one IDX solution highlighted in the Tech Guide:

  • WolfNet IDX and VOW: Highly flexible and customizable, property search solutions from WolfNet are available in more than 430 MLS markets in the US and Canada. They also offer a mobile IDX solution as well as lifestyle, neighborhood, and school data.

For more information on the option above, download the full guidefull guide. For a full list of reputation management solutions, visit our Product Directory.

More in the "Tech 101" Series

This is the latest in a series of articles that explores the spectrum of technology products available to real estate professionals. Each post covers what a specific type of technology does, how to evaluate solutions in that category, and available options. Here's what we've covered so far:

Stay tuned for more!