I was contacted recently by a “High End” luxury real estate agent in Southern California. They did not have their own website, only a domain pointing to their bio page on their brokers website. This agent decided it was time to get a website as this agent was going to be on local television quite a bit and already had guest slots on local television news with an extensive video library on Youtube.
With this type of publicity, of course you need to have your own website with your own unique branding. A website you own! I started out with an enthusiastic assistant and then a few hours later, got to speak to the agent. They had spoken to another company that was offering a WordPress real estate website but with a monthly management fee of only $50 per month.
I asked if this included an IDX and the agent told me they did not want an IDX. What? I was taken aback. Other then listing agents that just want to feature THEIR properties, all Realtor websites have to have an IDX.
An IDX is the “Internet Data Exchange” and is how MLS listings end up on a website.
Also known as Broker Reciprocity, IDX encompasses the policies, rules, and software that allow listings from the MLS database to be displayed publicly. Anytime you see properties on a website that came from an MLS, it was made possible through IDX.
Most real estate agents and brokers use IDX to simply display MLS listings or home search tools on their website, but as home buyers have become more Internet-savvy, IDX has evolved to encompass more. Agents today have the option to use basic home search tools provided by their MLS, or build more advanced IDX solutions; usually with the help of an IDX vendor.
As a professional real estate marketing provider, I see websites as tools. Statistics show the highest percentage of first-time site visitors just want to search for a house. This is why the Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia’s of the world exist. If you do not give your site visitor the opportunity to search for a home on your website, you are either cheap or have no understanding of how to utilize the internet to market your business.