In order for your real estate website to be successful it needs to over deliver on content and give your site visitors all the information they need to develop an interest in one of your properties. This includes tactics like offering many photos and providing a visual tour of the properties. Other essential tools for your real estate website are IDX and MLS.
You probably already know how valuable MLS is. MLS stands for multiple listing service and has been an important tool for real estate agents for decades. Before the Internet became commonly used, MLS listings were distributed in print form once a month with weekly updates added. Today MLS listings are available online and can be updated almost instantly.
To serve your website visitors well you need a large inventory of homes for them to browse. Of course you should feature your own properties prominently on your website. After your visitors view those, don’t let them leave without offering a search through the MLS listings. You never know when you might get a lead or sale through those even if your visitor had no interest in your featured properties.
You can instantly add hundreds or thousands of homes to your website’s inventory by adding MLS listings to your website and it is not difficult to set up. This is where IDX comes into play. MLS listings were a way for real estate agents to share listings privately and IDX allows them to share the listings publicly on the Internet.
Internet Data Exchange (IDX) is also known as Broker Reciprocity. It is a platform for displaying MLS listings on your website. Real estate agents can display each others’ property listings on their respective websites. IDX gives you full control over which properties from the MLS database to display. Brokers can even opt out of participating in IDX if they so choose.
IDX offers your web visitors full access to all of the local real estate listings in your market. Or you can prequalify your visitors by only displaying real estate that meets certain criteria. IDX also has a built in system for communicating with your site visitors so you can collect leads and follow up on them.
IDX was developed by and is approved by the NAR or National Association of Realtors as a means for brokers to share listings in order to benefit everyone who participates. IDX benefits the real estate agent because he can display more properties and potentially close more sales. IDX benefits the home buyers because it gives them instant access to a large database of available properties. IDX benefits home sellers because it allows their homes to be viewed by a lot more potential buyers. Home sellers should always inquire if their broker uses IDX otherwise their home will not get as much exposure at it could.
IDX and MLS are two powerhouse tools that any real estate agent with a website needs to utilize to their fullest benefit in order to get more leads and sell more homes.