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#410711 - 07/29/12 11:34 AM IDX integration importance
Realtor Al Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/20/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
A subject that comes to mind as I consider what kind of a website to buy/build is IDX integration. The monthly nut between the charges from your MLS and the IDX provider can easily be $80 - $100/month plus an initial setup charge. I understand that in business you must spend money to make money but at the same time you don't want to throw good money after bad. The question I have is how much benefit do you derive from IDX integration given the rise of the large search sites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, etc. where many people conduct their searches? I understand that you lose the ability for people to save searches or result sets on your site or to be notified automtically as new properties matching their criteria come on the market. This seems like an important way to make prospects into customers.

I lean towards including the IDX integration in a site and I've seen at least one survey to the effect that the number one feature sought after by users of a Real Estate website is the ability to search for properties. You can still have links to search sites but it's not the same. I'm interested in what others think.

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#410736 - 07/30/12 10:23 AM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
Mike Bouma Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
I wouldn't bother much with a website if I didn't have as many listings as possible on it. The majority of buyers couldn't care less about you, they want to view listings. If you're worried about competing with the big boys then find a niche and go after it and offer unique content regarding your niche.

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#410742 - 07/30/12 12:13 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Mike Bouma]
Willy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 11
Loc: FL
This.

If you're serious about your only presence, the cost of the IDX will offset itself with 1-2 converting leads in a given year. IDX is important, especially when you start thinking about the "flow" of your visitors and how you'll make their searching experience easier.

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#410951 - 08/07/12 06:40 AM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
ggl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 6
Loc: new jersey
I have just spent 6 months researching websites and idx integration and I hope you can benefit from some of my time. Basically you do need idx, for many reasons. The first reason is you need to provide a reason why visitors come to your website. There is a huge amount of people simply placing an mls number or an address into google and looking for a home. If you do not have the listings on your website , you will not even show up in the results. So you essentially do not even have the possibility of landing any of these prospects. another words the idx if implemented correctly should help raise the amount of pages on google and thus the amount of opportunities you have for a prospect to search on the web and find you. The next issue which will come up is how to rank on google , but for this question is idx necessary - yes it is if you want to make any real money on the web - it is necessary - and you do not want a framed idx-
Best of Luck to you,

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#414202 - 10/10/12 01:55 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
Oakland Homes Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/12
Posts: 30
Loc: Oakland, Ca US
I feel that IDX is essential...most people want to search for homes and if you dont offer that they will leave.

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#414661 - 10/21/12 12:14 AM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
JasonMb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Myrtle Beach, SC
I think it depends on your site. Ive built small niche sites offering something that seemed very exclusive if the visitor filled out a contact form. Ive got tons of inquiries this was. I think the more niche your site is, the easier it is to do things like this. but most sites and agents need an idx search

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#415551 - 11/11/12 07:35 AM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
Jack Liebsch II Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 35
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
If you can afford it, definitely add some form of IDX on your website. It will eventually pay for itself in the long run. Not only will it generate leads in the future, but you can use it to track user interest to provide better information to your existing clients. Why risk losing business to your competition by encouraging them to utilize other MLS search sites?

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#415933 - 11/20/12 01:27 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
doug Offline

Admin
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 1096
Loc: Canada
IDX listings can be placed on a website in a couple of different ways and both would qualify and being integrated into a website.

The first is the easiest and cheapest way and that is having the IDX listings embedded on the site using iframes. Often a low cost or even free IDX solution is available and can be used to integrate using iframes.

The seconds method is paying often thousands of dollars to integrate IDX listings by having a custom solution built into your site.

You will often hear that the second method is better because it is more "search engine friendly" and will allow these pages to show up in search engine results for MLS number searches and keyword searches.

A nice theory but reality is different. How do you think Google handles these listings pages that are all similar content? They don't display or list them all despite being "search engine friendly". In most cases there is no realized benefit to having spent a lot more money on a custom solution.

You can check this out for yourself. For example, I just searched for "atlanta real estate" and the first agent result is a site using a framed solution for their IDX. The second agent site uses a custom "search engine friendly" solution from the widely recommended Real Estate Webmasters. The IDX may be search engine friendly but the listings I checked are not actually listed in Google.

So neither site has their IDX listings included in Google but both achieved great rankings. One site however would have paid a lot more for their IDX.

The reason these sites rank well in one of the most competitive areas in the US has nothing to do with their IDX listings. If you check you find that it has everything to do with the links pointing at their websites.

Don't think that you need to spend a lot of money on an IDX system in order to enjoy success. You don't.
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#416094 - 11/26/12 03:26 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: doug]
Jack Liebsch II Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 35
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
A high percentage of traffic to my site from search engines come from users who searched for a specific property address or MLS#. Those clicks would have never have occurred if it wasn't for my search engine friendly IDX listings. I figure as long as one of those clicks leads to an actual sale, the cost of the IDX listings pays for itself.

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#416096 - 11/26/12 04:36 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Jack Liebsch II]
doug Offline

Admin
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 1096
Loc: Canada
I am glad you are getting good results from your IDX Jack. Is the site you are talking about pbagent.com or do you have another?

I ask because the IDX listings on that site are not what most reading this would consider "search engine friendly" because they are presented in an iframe rather than actually being pages of your website.
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My Latest Article:

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Proven effective Branded Content Marketing For Realtors - Exclusive Areas Available.

18 years as a practitioner of SEO.

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#416098 - 11/26/12 06:06 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: doug]
Jack Liebsch II Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 35
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Doug, the map search on the root page is framed. The majority of the unframed IDX content can be found when browsing communities under "MLS Search" and numerous other posts within the site. I try to steer users through the map search since it a better tool and I use the unframed IDX content to get noticed through search engines.

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#416117 - 11/27/12 08:06 AM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
doug Offline

Admin
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 1096
Loc: Canada
That is a great use of your IDX system Jack and just highlights the fact that one need not spend several thousand dollars on a custom IDX in order to enjoy success.
_________________________
My Latest Article:

Increase Your Search Positions By Building Your Brand Online And Offline

Proven effective Branded Content Marketing For Realtors - Exclusive Areas Available.

18 years as a practitioner of SEO.

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#416192 - 11/28/12 05:40 AM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: doug]
Jack Liebsch II Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 35
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Thanks! My site may not be as pretty as the expensive custom designed sites, but it is as functional. I still have much more work to improve upon it. Ideally, I would like to distribute more related content around the IDX listings to differentiate it from other sites with the same listings and to hopefully improve the overall user experience.

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#420049 - 02/11/13 10:23 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
yourwebguru Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
It's best to use an IDX that actually integrates into your site with an API or plugin rather than use an iFrame. iFrames are not read by search engines, while API or plugins are, and counted as dynamic content since it's always being updated by your MLS board.

There are two that are very easy to use with Wordpress (Which I HIGHLY recommend). One is Wolfnet, the other is iHomefinder. You can Google those names and find their website. Wolfnet is less expensive, but iHomefinder is much more comprehensive.

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#422527 - 04/10/13 02:46 PM Re: IDX integration importance [Re: Realtor Al]
Joe Hayden Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
IDX is one part of the puzzle. I would offer it if nothing more than for the added level of professionalism and user experience at your website. You don't want a potential client checking you out on the internet and being disappointed with your website.

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