Real estate directories are a flourishing business all around the world, but especially in the United States where the MLS rules all real estate transactions. Real estate websites utilize the MLS directly (in some cases) or through the use of IDX (where the property owners and real estate broker have provided permission).
Sites utilizing MLS and IDX have become very popular with the rise of AirBNB and Vacation Rental By Owner, as well as niche websites that sell properties in their specific area (like ski resorts, coastal towns, mountain hideaways, etc…).
However, many sites take a large percentage / cut of profit from the seller and/or lister of the real estate property or charge large fees when the listing is created. One way you could take advantage of this would be to build your own real estate listings, targeting a particular niche, and taking advantage of the MLS and IDX.
If you are a broker or a real estate agent, you can also create a real estate directory website and start making money online by providing people a platform to advertise their properties on your website.
There are two terms that you’ll come across when heading for an online real estate business. They are MLS and IDX. These both terms are related to the online real estate listing and display of your real estate properties.
What is the MLS (Multi Listing Service)?
The first thing you should know is that MLS is a huge database of real estate listings. MLS stands for multi listings service or multiple listings service.
MLS is in fact a large collection of different regional databases. It is a great way to get your property listed so as to make it available for a large range of visitors. Agents (and realtors) can upload as well as download the documents on MLS.
The access of MLS is only limited to the registered agents who pay for their membership. They can collect the data about the property from their clients and submit a detailed listing for the property. The MLS listing for the property can have all kinds of specific information about it, including the square footage of the property, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size of the land / acreage, and many other characteristics (school zones, for example).
What is IDX?
IDX stands for internet data exchange, but it can mean many different things to different users. It can be defined as a set of rules or policies as well as the system to display the MLS properties on your website. What IDX lets you do is to display the listings from MLS databases to be displayed publicly. This helps the agent to find more exposure for their property listings and helps the users to find out their ideal home/property.
MLS is a closed system where only the registered brokers or agents can update the listings and access it. If you are a casual user trying to find homes, you cannot access these listings from the MLS. This limits the scope of the real estate data stored in an MLS to be found by a relevant user.
To solve this problem, the great people of the Internet have created IDX. The IDX system allows MLS agents to share part of the listing that is available on the MLS database, and it can be shared on an agents website.
When the listings of MLS are shared on a real estate website by an agent or realtor, it can get attention on a wider and broader scope – which means more viewers for the listing, and it becomes more likely that the broker can sell the property. Visitors and viewers of the property can access and find the listings of their choice and the agents can efficiently sell a wide range of properties.
As mentioned earlier – how you can interact with the IDX system is guarded by some rules and policies. There are some rules that the brokers of IDX community should follow while uploading their listings and sharing the IDX properties on their website.
For example – A registered broker cannot upload a property listing to IDX without the consent of the property owner. Only the properties of the users who don’t mind their properties to be a part of the IDX system for advertising it, can be listed.
The next thing not allowed by MLS is to share the listings you get through IDX with unauthorized persons, the third parties who aren’t a part of IDX.
Again, MLS is a closed-loop system, but IDX was layered on top of the MLS databases to allow real estate agents share (and allow you to profit!) some listings.
Did you know?
IDS MLS compatibility is available in this Best Real Estate theme for WordPress. Use it for your Real Estate website project.
What is the advantage of a website with IDX compatibility?
Basically, a website with IDX compatibility means more property listings. It increases the amount of usable content on your website. More listings increases the possibility for the visitors to find the best property for themselves. And that ultimately increases the usability and credibility of your website.
The advantages of integrating IDX listings in your website are quite clear. More listings. More deals. More happy users!!
Real estate directories with WordPress
WordPress is a promising platform for creating online directories. If you want to start with your own real estate directory, WordPress can be your best option. How? Read on to find out.
Why WordPress for your real estate directory?
WordPress is one of the best Content Management Systems available on the market. It lets you create amazing websites without writing a line of code. WordPress has enabled a lot of non-technical people to create and manage their own websites. Here are a few reasons why WordPress is the best option to create a feature packed real estate website.
- Free and OpenSource
- Flexible, with lots of intuitive options
- User-friendly, perfect for beginners as well as pro
- Availability of themes with different niches – Directory, Classifieds, events, business websites, blogs, eCommerce, Real Estate – you name it!
- Abundant plugins(micro software modules) to add new capabilities to your website.
However, there are plenty of other options that you can use to create your Real Estate Agent Websites With IDX Home Search. You can choose the one that looks perfect to you!
Also read: Checklist for a real estate website.
What is dsIDXpress plugin for WordPress?
If you go for WordPress for creating your property listing website, you can still integrate the idx listings into your site using this
dsIDXPress is a WordPress plugin to let you embed MLS listings on your blog posts or pages using IDX. These real estate listings can be embedded into your WordPress.
The plugin is extremely easy to use. You can use the shortcodes to embed the live MLS listings into your website.
The dsIDXPress plugin is available for free download from here. There’s a pro version with advanced features to create an enhanced website using the dsIDXPress plugin.
Did you know? IDS MLS compatibility is available in this Best Real Estate theme for WordPress. Use it for your Real Estate website project.