What Is IDX? An Guide for Beginner Real Estate Agents

by Swadesh Baniya | June 1, 2023 | blog

what is IDX for real estate

The real estate industry demands that agents be on top of the latest trends, and have robust marketing strategies to close more deals. In an industry that requires real estate agents to be unique and modern with their marketing and simultaneously bag the trust of their potential buyers, the IDX feed on your real estate website is the treasure trove of information and value-driven tool realtors can utilize to convert leads into clients.


You might be wondering what IDX is or if you’ve heard this term but are unsure how it supports your endeavor of selling more properties, this blog will delve into the IDX and the value it holds for both real estate buyers and sellers. So, let’s dive into understanding IDX better.


What is IDX?

Potential buyers browse the internet to find the property that matches their needs and budgets. They go through many listings to figure out the property that most suits them. So, it’s safe to say that property listing is the most essential requirement to run a real estate business.


Now picture this: A frustrated homebuyer scrolling through countless websites and listings to find a home that matches their requirements. And then here comes your real estate website, which has all the available properties in one place. The fact that your website becomes the hub with the current properties listed and the buyer doesn’t have to go back and forth between multiple sites makes you the ultimate destination for all the house hunting. It would make your website an instant hit and spike your leads and sales. Enter IDX- the best tool for realtors to make the property searching experience smooth.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that real estate Internet Data Exchange(IDX) is the policy that enables real estate agents to display up-to-date and correct property listing information on their sites. Under this policy, real estate agents can share one another’s listings on their websites. IDX is a revolutionary tool that has leveled the playing field for new and established real estate agents. The buyers, too, benefit from this because they now have abundant property listings to choose from. What we must understand is that IDX itself is not a website. It is software where real estate agents can share the MLS on their websites.


Understanding the Basics of IDX

Due to digitization, real estate professionals must implement strategies and marketing tactics to elevate themselves from competitors to bag more leads and business. IDX is an advancement in this area for realtors as it gives them access to the inventory of the most accurate listing and broadens the choice for your viewers. As you present a wide array of options for your audience, the more traffic you attract to your website, the higher the likelihood of getting more deals. When home buyers find the property, they like on your site, their natural instinct is to make you their go-to agent.


IDX software extracts the MLS(Multiple Listing Service), which the real estate professionals or a third-party website share on their website. Now you must be thinking about what MLS is and its role here. Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as MLS, is a platform for licensed agents and brokers to upload listings, manage the listing, and share the listings. The MLS listings are divided based on a particular locality, city, or state., and the data enlisted in MLS is extracted and shared on third-party websites.


How IDX Works

how IDX works

Now that we’ve covered the basics of IDX, and MLS, let’s get into how the listings from MLS is visible on real estate professionals’ website. The MLS system gives the IDX vendors access to the property listing data through an IDX feed. With the access, the IDX service providers can download the property listing data from the MLS platform, create a database, and display it on the third-party website- real estate agencies or realtor’s website. IDX forms a connection between the website and the MLS system to import and list the listings on the realtor’s website. Also, the best thing with IDX is that the listings are updated in a few hours, so the prospects see the most up-to-date listings and contact you for further information.


As we’ve stated before, IDX is not a website in itself, although realtors can use IDX as the main foundation of their site. For the smooth and flexible transport of MLS listing, stick with websites that integrate with the IDX. With IDX integration in your real estate website, potential buyers can search the listings that are available in real-time or browser listings based on their preferences.

Licensed realtors and agents can also get direct access to IDX data from their MLS System, but the IDX integration costs a hefty amount and requires a professional with sound programming ability.


IDX Rules for Professionals to Consider

IDX is a marvelous system for real estate professionals, which does have some rules and policies real estate professionals must strictly abide by, and many of the rules are established by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). We suggest the relators thoroughly review all the policies and regulations of utilizing the IDX system before the integration. Although made for the benefit of realtors to sell more properties, the misuse of IDX data can get them into serious trouble.

  • The following are some of the policies for data utilization that professionals should act in accordance with:
  • The uploading and sharing of property listings to IDX without the consent of the property owner is strictly prohibited.
  • Not up to date with the IDX listing on the website.
  • It is strictly prohibited to provide the IDX listing and the data to outside parties or unlicensed real estate professionals.
  • Modifying the property information mentioned in the IDX, such as property area, rooms, features, etc, to suit the requirements of the prospect buyers.


Features and Functionality of IDX

So what really makes IDX the ultimate system for the success of real estate professionals? The features and functionalities of IDX that has every big and small real estate agent interested in it are:


Property Search Tool

IDX is a tool that provides a search interface that enables prospects to look for properties based on their specific criteria. The search criteria could be location, budget, property type, number of rooms, bathroom, etc. The users can select their particular preferences and find listings accurate to their needs.


Property Listing Display

The purpose of IDX is to allow licensed real estate professionals to share property listings on their real estate websites. The listing holds the details about the property, including property description, price, area, images, videos, virtual tours, and any other relevant information. The user can go through the listing and the information attached to the listing and get a comprehensive understanding of the available properties.


Lead Generation And Management

IDX system allows users to inquire about the properties they’re browsing or seek additional information from the listing realtor. The IDX software allows real estate professionals to capture and manage the lead and follow up with their leads.


Saved Searches and Email Alerts

IDX systems allow the viewers to save their property requirements and set up an email alert to receive an email if a property that matches their requirements is up for sale. The email alerts help users stay updated on new listings, which increases the likelihood of finding the house of their dream/requirements and boosts the business of the realtor.


Choosing an IDX Solution for Real Estate

When choosing between the many IDX service providers, the quality of service and experience of the IDX vendor is the most crucial aspects to take into consideration. The factors real estate professionals must consider are listed below.



The first and foremost thing people look for when taking up any service is the price. The same goes for choosing an IDX vendor as well. The cost of IDX service, on average, ranges from $39 and $69 monthly for a single user. In addition, you also are charged with the setup cost, which costs around $100 for a single user to authenticate the credentials. Choosing a vendor that provides personalized services based on your budget and requirement is best.


Website Integration

Successful IDX integration takes a lot of work so your website can show the listings to your audience. It requires a real estate website development professional with experience because the coding must be specific to real estate listing. The web developer must be able to extract data from the IDX software to the website seamlessly.


SEO Functions

The ultimate goal of posting listings on your real estate website is for the target audience to see them. SEO gives your website visibility and exposure by improving your search engine ranking. Building an SEO website should incorporate SEO practices to make your website visible, attract the right traffic, and convert your leads into customers.


Additional Marketing & CRM Tool

You must seek IDX service providers offering additional marketing tools to get the best value for your money. Also, the IDX website with a customer relationship management system (CRM) is another feature you must make sure your IDX vendor is providing you. You must know the pulse of your audience as a realtor and have a comprehensive report of their activities on your website. CRM gives you the golden opportunity to nurture your relationship with your customers, which is key to getting more deals in the real estate business.



IDX is a boon for real estate professionals trying to get the eyeballs of motivated buyers and increase their business because it facilitates displaying the MLS listing on real estate websites. From the buyers’ perspective, IDX has made the entire process of finding properties seamless and convenient. Integrating IDX into real estate professionals’ websites will attract more potential buyers, improve user experience, increase satisfaction, and keep you ahead of competitors in the digital age.



Swadesh Baniya

Swadesh Baniya

Adept with the latest industry trends and a commitment to excellence, Swadesh is on the journey to guide fellow marketers and businesses toward unparalleled success with his valuable insights.

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