A high-powered domain-integrated IDX website is the easily the most essential tool a real estate agent has to generate high rankings, lots of traffic, and a lot of motivated buyers. Why? Because an IDX website gives buyers precisely what they are looking for.

Why IDX is important

Providing IDX gives real estate websites the ability to allow buyers to search for homes using the data from the local MLS. Technically, multiple listing services are migrating away from IDX to a technology called RETS, but the end result will be identical; the REALTOR’s website with either one can attract plenty of buyers with live real estate listings. What many agents and brokers don’t understand is that buyers aren’t searching on Google for an agent, they are looking for property. The worst thing an agent can do is focus their website too much on themselves rather than on what the public is really searching for, which is real estate listings. Give them what they want and they are guaranteed to visit your site often.

The bad way to provide IDX search

When MLS websites are done correctly (meaning with an eye toward search engine optimization), they are major lead generation machines. When not done right, they are a complete waste of your time.

Here’s how NOT to do an IDX website:

  • Flash-based IDX (Flash looks great but is not search engine friendly)
  • Framed IDX (where search results are displayed in a frame
  • Third party subdomain-hosted IDX (username.idxcompany.com)

I’ve had calls from agents who spent over $8K on a custom website that didn’t produce leads, followed by $5500 on another one that also didn’t bring in any business. If you’re going to invest in a custom site, you’ve got to hire someone who knows what they’re doing.

The bottom line is that if your web designer wants to use Flash or frames for your IDX integration, run — don’t walk — away. They obviously don’t know a thing about real estate SEO, and chances are good your investment will be a waste of time, bandwidth, and money.

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Filed under: Real Estate

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