Friday, January 12, 2007

A Brief History of the World… of MLS - Part 2 - IDX

Okay, back to basics for a moment.

We constantly talk about real estate website IDX solutions, IDX this, IDX this, IDX that. I’m sure there is more than one of you out there saying, “HOLD UP, what exactly is the IDX, dagnammit?!”

To put it simply, IDX (Internet Data eXchange) is the tech-savvy kid brother of the MLS. To put it bluntly, IDX is literally the hottest thing since sliced bread. It’s basically the deployment of your local MLS Listings for reciprocal real estate brokers to take advantage of the information revolution and it works something like this.

Similar to MLS, the IDX allows for real estate agents and brokers to share vast amounts of real estate listings (say for a city or region). Unlike the past, where only broker listings were presented on each brokers website. With National Association of Realtors IDX protocol MLS listings can be shared mainly all brokers and agents in an MLS, IDX takes a cue from the free-source movement and allows everyone – buyers, sellers, agents, brokers, your Auntie Josephine – to view, access, and share listings and information. Well almost, all brokers within a local real estate board of Realtors must participate in the IDX reciprocal program. Once, they do, they can help to pass real estate listings information to consumers.

How does it work? Well, it’s a two way street. Brokers and agents who use IDX submit all their listings to be viewed on the website of other brokers and agents. Conversely, all those members’ listing will also be available on your own site, as an IDX participant of a local MLS. There are strict rules and regulations that must be followed, and the data integrity is protected and all must honor the privacy of the home sellers and other brokers.

What’s the advantage for real estate brokers/agents to join MLS IDX programs? Obviously you get vastly more listings on your site. This means potential clients will spend more time with you and have more incentive to stick with one agent/broker throughout the search process. Agents can also opt out of using IDX, keep their listings to themselves, and basically shoot themselves in the foot by ensuring they get the fewest leads in the market.

What’s the advantage for buyers/sellers? Buyers get a huge wealth of information at their fingertips about every listing available. IDX is a more complete source for home buying than any retail operation. Sellers get their houses seen 10x more often (if not more) than with traditional MLSnon-IDX versions, opening up their market and hopefully improving selling price.

The best part about all this is how easy it is for everyone involved. Buyers/sellers access vital information through their agent’s site. Agents and brokers can rely on quality MLS IDX website solutions to ensure that clients continue to traffic their sites. Welcome to MLS 2.0, it’s called the IDX, well no again. The web 2.0 is where you the consumers get more information at your finger tip, and IDX solutions make it possible. We have had NWMLS IDX on our website at our Seattle Washington Real Estate website since 2003. We have worked with 2 real estate idx companies and none could do what we wanted, so we just created a better solution. Our friends at North Seattle real estate experts of Keller Williams North Seattle check out their website to see the system in action.

For more information about our real estate IDX website solutions, check out,coming to a professional real estate agent near you!




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