IDX – Property Search

IDX (broker reciprocity) can be highly confusing to REALTORS┬« all over the country because it differs from place to place. Because an IDX search can significantly enhance a Web site’s functionality, many people think that IDX is an item that we, as Web designers, can easily implement at individual Web sites.

The reality is, IDX is governed by and under the control of your state real estate commission, your MLS provider, and perhaps your real estate board.

If you are an authorized IDX participant, all we can do (within the rules and regulations of your governing body) is hook up at your Web site a framed authorized link for IDX. We do not process IDX data feeds. We do, however, provide Resource Links below if you need more than a framed authorized link.

To participate in IDX the normal process is:

  1. You contact your MLS to see if IDX is available.
  2. If it is and you want it at your Web site, you request a “framed, authorized IDX link”.
  3. You sign an agreement with your MLS. You may have to pay a fee to participate.
  4. To have a Web IDX link, your MLS may require us as your Web designers to also sign an agreement. Some IDX providers do and some don’t require this.
  5. You provide us with your authorized link (URL) to IDX listings.
  6. You notify us of any rules, regulations and restrictions to make your site comply before you can display IDX listings at your Web site.

While the steps outlined above constitute the ‘normal’ procedure, the process varies from MLS TO MLS. We do not know the exact steps to take for your local MLS provider. You must investigate and tell us. We don’t have the information for your MLS until you give it to us.

Data Feeds Vs. Framed, Authorized IDX Links

If you want a data feed provided for your Web site (as opposed to a simple framed, authorized link, you have a couple of options:

  • Check with your MLS. If there are companies that specialize in IDX data manipulation for your particular MLS, your MLS will know who they are and how to contact them.
  • You can add a programming professional to your staff and take care of this ‘in house’. We do not host IDX data at our Web sites.

Adding a link to your Web site is quick and inexpensive. Following options 1 and 2 above is not necessarily quick or inexpensive.

Resource Links

Not all third party suppliers provide IDX for all MLS systems. If you must have more than a framed authorized IDX solution for your Web site, we have listed some resources below where you can add IDX to a new or existing Web site. If you wish us to do any configuration in the control panel at a third party IDX provider, our normal maintenance charges apply.

As with any third party supplier we link to, these links are offered only as a convenience to you. No guarantees or warranties are given or implied. Always do your own research before you commit to a financial decision. Some of the suppliers below actually host the IDX portion of your site, others require you to host it elsewhere. We do not provide IDX hosting on our server but we can help you arrange for it. All of the sites below provide different combinations of services. Compare and contrast functionality and pricing to make sure you can get exactly what you want.

Our IDX Preferred Providers

Our favorite of the full IDX providers (for searches that are not map-based) is www.ihomefinder.com which offers:

  • Up-To-Date Property Info – IDX MLS data is updated daily to make sure your clients have access to the latest data.
  • Daily e-mail updates – Keep your clients up-to-date with the newest listings on the market.
  • Property Organizer – Give each of your clients a personal property organizer to keep them coming back to your site.
  • Featured Properties and Open Houses – Customizable featured listings, open homes, easy-to-use website administrator, and much more.

To determine whether they offer coverage for your MLS, Click Here.

Other IDX Suppliers We Like

A note on Responsive Design

Not all IDX suppliers offer a solution that is compatible with responsively designed websites. If you are interested in a responsive website, you will need to make sure that the IDX provider you choose can offer you a responsive IDX solution as well.