Real Estate IDX: Pros and Cons of Building Your Own IDX Software

For real estate agents, IDX integration is something that seems complex, but doesn't need to be. When really, this is something that every real estate agent needs on their website, and isn’t something that should cause concern.

In this article, we cover what IDX websites for realtors means, and why real estate agents benefit from integrating an IDX feature into websites. Real estate customers, whether they're looking for a new house or commercial property, also benefit from the use of IDX software.

IDX improves the user experience and makes it easier to search for property. It also helps to make a real estate agent a trusted source for local real estate information.

What you need is a way to encourage potential buyers, renters, and sellers, to work with you. How these web visitors find and experience your site is going to make a huge difference, even if they find your firm through a property platform. Ideally, of course, you want to leverage your website sufficiently so that they will find your listings directly.

Getting the right IDX on your website is one of the main ways to achieve these goals, which is the advantage of IDX websites for realtors. In this article, we look at what IDX is, and the pros and cons of developing your own compared to getting an off-the-shelf model.

What is an IDX?

Internet Data Exchange is the long-form phrase for IDX, which is also known as Broker Reciprocity.

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) follows guidelines from the National Association of Realtors, which they're free to interpret and implement. IDX specifically refers to the technology and agreements in-place between real estate brokers, agents, and MLS listing sites.

For example, some platforms prefer images displayed in a particular way, or for them to have watermarks. In order for agents and brokers to benefit from listings being displayed on larger platforms and their own sites, they need to stick to these rules, while also ensuring the technology used gives customers a positive experience.

Ultimately, if the technology used on a broker’s and agent’s website helps customers find them directly, that helps realtors generate more revenue. Hence the advantage of real estate software development for developing IDX websites for realtors. Growth is easier to achieve when customers find estate agents directly, then stick with them until they've found a property they want to buy or rent. With the right IDX solution, you can achieve this more easily, quickly and effectively.

Pros of developing your own IDX

With IDX, you get what you need, and more importantly, what your customers and web visitors want. No need to worry about clumsy integrations that don't look or feel right within your website, which is why you should work with real estate software development companies. Especially when more and more people are starting property searches on smartphones, this integration and the UX has never been more important.

A customised design ensures that web visitors can search quickly and easily on your website, without having to go to third-party property platforms. This also means they can reach out to you directly for information, putting you in a perfect position to assess their needs and see if you've got any listings that are suitable.

With a fully customised IDX, you can give potential customers the best possible service from the first search they perform on your website. You can also provide more information about the properties than on MLS sites and platforms.

Cons of developing real estate IDX

Some would argue an IDX website, or IDX integration with a real estate website, isn't needed. Partly this is due to misconceptions about the cost and complexity. Some say they're not needed when real estate platforms dominate the market.

And yes, to an extent those concerns are somewhat understandable. Hence the option to use an off-the-shelf real estate IDX solution.

If there are budgetary restrictions then it isn’t always possible to get a custom-built IDX solution, especially in this economy. However, real estate agents might find that is a short-term saving that comes with long-term costs. In time, it’s going to prove worthwhile to invest in developing your own IDX, instead of sticking with an off-the-shelf version.

Cost and concern over the time required to develop a custom-version are the main barriers preventing estate agents going that route. Whereas, if you work with the right partner, those concerns can be easily overcome.

Key takeaways

Getting the right real estate IDX solution improves web traffic, gives your web visitors a better user experience, and therefore contributes to the inbound sales and marketing funnel, helping you drive forward growth. Get more potential buyers and tenants with the most user-friendly and cost effective IDX software integrated into your real estate website.

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