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Utilizing IDX to Improve MLS UI and UX

By: Paul Bracht

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Utilizing IDX to Improve MLS UI and UX

Since the late 1800s, local real estate agents have worked cooperatively to improve customer service and increase their chances of making a sale. Multiple listing services are depositories of local real estate listings that member brokers can access. This resource allows them to offer the most up-to-date information to their clients.

When real estate moved to the digital age, MLS data was a natural fit for adding listings to broker websites. The National Association of Realtors established standards for passing digital MLS information known as Internet Data Exchange. IDX puts that agreement into practice by establishing the connection between a multiple listing service and local broker websites.

Well-designed IDX will improve the appearance and functionality of a real estate site. Brokers must keep MLS information current, so IDX-integrated sites have the latest information for potential home buyers. In addition, a real estate software provider can offer a product that will display listings in a clear, user-friendly format. Filters and other search tools will streamline the user’s experience. IDX can also address SEO concerns by eliminating the use of iframes for listings.

Major Benefits of Integrated IDX

Real estate is a competitive business, and real estate agencies are in the market for software solutions that give them an edge. Integrating IDX with real estate software offers a next-level online experience.

Capture Client Attention

When someone relocates, they often desire a fast home-buying experience. Real estate websites will satisfy this need when they can provide information that is both relevant and accurate. Software that includes map-based searching and other helpful tools will keep potential homebuyers engaged.

Increased Lead Generation

IDX integration helps generate leads as potential clients search for a home. By integrating this software with a CRM solution, an agency can capture client preferences and send alerts when relevant properties come on the market.

Responsive Design

Incorporating responsive design is a necessity as more consumers access websites through smaller mobile devices. A responsive approach maintains the functionality of the site across devices while optimizing the display for different screen widths.

Advanced Integration Options

Integrating IDX along with other marketing and communication tools will increase user engagement with a website. Making data connections with social media platforms can create broader outreach. IDX data connected to a CRM solution can help a broker keep track of buyers interested in specific listings. By adding integrated options, software vendors can increase the marketing value of a client’s website.

 Man in suit standing over tablet and laptop

IDX: An Essential Tool for Real Estate Sites

The internet has empowered consumer research. Before people make large purchases, they will go to the web to look for options, reviews, and price comparisons. Purchasing real estate is no different. When it is time for a new home, people may spend hours on the web doing independent research before contacting a broker directly.

If a homebuyer searches on a popular engine like Google, the results will favor large real estate portals. Sites like Zillow and Trulia offer access to a wide variety of real estate listings. However, these sites do not have direct access to local listings, and their information is often inaccurate. Consumers working with these sites discover that many of their active properties are no longer on the market.

Local realtors need authoritative sites that will show up higher on search results. An IDX connection is part of the solution. Access to up-to-date real estate data improves the chances that brokers will be able to sell their personal listings as well as other local properties.

IDX versus Listing Syndicates and Portals

When homebuyers log onto Zillow, they are greeted with a display of attractive properties. Most consumers do not understand that there is a significant difference between a listing portal and a local real estate site. In reality, these larger sites are marketing tools in the real estate space. They get their information from individual realtors and public databases instead of more reliable multiple listing services.

The primary revenue for these services does not come from home sales. Instead, they make money by selling ads and gathering and selling the contact information of prospective buyers. This business model is frustrating for consumers who deal with inaccurate information and miss out on relevant local listings.

A local real estate site with IDX integration is a more powerful tool for both realtors and home buyers. With a well-designed setup, local real estate agencies can have a user-friendly display and ample information like the larger sites. However, IDX connection to the local multiple listing service provides a comprehensive look at available listings and current information about each property.

 Hacker trying to steal information on laptop with lock sign

The Security Benefits of IDX Integration

Consumer information is valuable. Listing portals exist to gather personal data and sell it as potential leads to local real estate agents. Many consumers believe that they are doing free research by avoiding a realtor, but entering an email and other contact information provides an adequate payment for these companies.

Connecting a website to a multiple listing service with IDX is a safer option. Customer information does not go on sale when using a local real estate site. Instead, the agency can use that data to create a secure customer profile.

When a software vendor works with an experienced IDX integration team like Chetu, they can offer additional layers of security. Our team can make certain that encrypted, authenticated connections keep both consumer and broker data safe. We can also help with risk management as threats emerge over time, keeping websites productive and secure.

Integrated IDX for an Optimized Real Estate Website

The real estate market is full of brokers trying to stay ahead of the local competition. They also need resources that help them stand out when compared to large listing portals. The real-time local listing data provided by IDX integration gives greater authority to a client’s website. From there, a software vendor can add user-friendly features, helpful search options, and a responsive display. IDX integration allows software vendors to offers real estate products that will engage customers, improve data security, and promote property sales.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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