Clients often ask me about IDX, and whether they should incorporate it into their brokerage website.
For those who don’t know what IDX is, here is a quick primer –
IDX (Internet Data Exchange) allows for MLS data to be incorporated onto your own website. Think Zillow or Redfin, and having that search capability available to clients within your brokerage website.
1) The case for incorporating IDX into your website.
Having this feature available within your brokerage’s website allows for your company’s branding, and only your company’s branding, to be incorporated into the user interface. For example, if you go to Zillow and search for listings, the results will have the contact info for a variety of agents and brokerages plastered all around the website. These folks paid for that placement and, chances are, these folks aren’t connected to your firm. With IDX incorporated on your company’s website, you choose what the user interface looks like, and whose contact info is scattered around the search results.
In addition, you can choose the default method by which listings are displayed to clients. Do you want your brokerage’s listings at the top of the search results? You can do that. Do you want a certain agent’s listings to be prioritized? You can do that as well.
2) The case against incorporating IDX into your website.
While there are some reasonable arguments to incorporate IDX into your website, there are also arguments against incorporating IDX.
First, it costs money. While the fees aren’t typically outrageous (usually between $50-$250 per month), those costs can add up; and this doesn’t include the cost of designing the website itself.
It is also questionable how much use this feature will get on your website. When a potential client first starts researching available properties online, chance are high that they will start at a search aggregate site like Zillow or Redfin, and won’t be looking at individual brokerage sites.
Conclusion? I would consider IDX a “nice to have”, not a “must have” (like a good headshot or a professional Social Media presence). If you have a strong, already-established client base that frequents your site, go for it! If you’re a new agent running a bootstrapped operation, I’d suggest spending your efforts and resources on actions that are going to get you a better ROI.
Do you use IDX on your brokerage website? What sort of results have you seen?
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