A Guide To IDX And Its Value To Your Business


Online property searches are common for home buyers. A technology known as IDX makes this possible. Here is exactly what IDX stands for, and why it’s an important tool in the real estate industry.

A strong online presence is vital for success in the current marketplace, as is well-known. A great deal has changed because of Internet technologies.

Real estate agents are rarely contacted by most buyers until they have done their research months in advance. Among the technologies that have played a role in this is  IDX.

IDX is a technology, but how does it work? What is its purpose? Is it possible to leverage IDX to your advantage so that you can increase leads?

IDX: what is it?

Internet Data Exchange is an acronym for IDX. Realtors can display MLS listings directly on their websites by following the rules, protocols, and software that are regulated by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Buyers can search for properties on an IDX website and sort them by size, number of  bedrooms, location, price, etc.

If your website has IDX, prospective buyers will be able to find MLS information right from the site, without going to a third party site.

You immediately increase the authority of your site by including a property search function. By making your site more interactive, you encourage visitors to stay longer and to return frequently.

Isn’t that great? It is not necessary to understand every technical detail of how IDX works in order to use it, just like you don’t need to know how an internal combustion engine works in order to drive a car.

Is IDX Really Necessary?

Competing and collaborating with other industry members is necessary to achieve success.

Back in the 1880s, the importance of cooperative efforts was well known. Agents used to meet in their offices and at local real estate associations before the internet, when they wanted to exchange information about their listings.

It was a simple concept. My properties will be sold with your help, and yours with mine. We’ll both scratch each other’s backs.

Physical listing sheets were exchanged as a means of sharing information. The evolution of physical binders into computer databases, and eventually the development of the modern Multiple Listing Service (MLS), started with the development of technology.

It didn’t take long for realtors to realize the value of Internet marketing and information sharing in the 90s as the internet became more and more common. For more information check: IDX Broker vs iHomefinder vs Showcase IDX .

The benefits of having an IDX site?

Online home searches are common for many home buyers. In fact, chances are that your prospect has already done months of online property searches by the time they contact you in person. Search engines like Google and others are where they start their search.

Big data real estate portals like Zillow and Trulia are often the first place to look for top property results. Particularly, they will sell their houses better if they search for homes in Florida rather than spending more time searching for “homes for sale in Downtown Naples, Florida.”

Many times, though, the results will be gathered from the websites of individual realtors. The local search engine optimization efforts of those agents are especially important.

The agent’s website gains immediate legitimacy as a valuable home hunting tool if a buyer finds a search result they want on an agent’s site with a property search  tool.

A website of a real estate agent is expected to include the following things:

  • Videos and pictures
  • Information about the neighborhood
  • Blogs that are informative
  • Advice from experts
  • Information about the market
  • In addition, they need homes they can call their own.

Your home-based real estate business would be a joke if you don’t have IDX (and thus no property search option), upload only your own personal listings, etc.

Certainly it makes sense for you to try and sell your clients’ listings, but in the long run, it’s not the most cost-effective approach. Owning a bookstore where only your own books are sold is similar to owning a bookstore.  You’re already falling behind if you don’t have IDX integration in your real estate website.


Steven Gregory