Your Personal Experience With Your IDX Provider

By
Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

I’m looking for answers regarding IDX sites and incorporating the home search into my existing website.  As it stands, I embed the html code into an iframe (per ihouse instructions) and it enables those on my website to Search for Hawaii Homes. 

The IDX is straight from our MLS but I have to be honest here.  This particular home search (ihouse) has not given back but a few leads and these leads (though I follow up) have not produced any ‘real’ clients.  My website and ActiveRain have given me back leads AND closed deals.

Take into account that there are approximately 18,000 licensees statewide (Hawaii) many of whom have websites with home searches. So with all of this in mind I ask you all this:

1)     What IDX home search provider do you use and why?

2)     Does incorporating a Home Search into your website (shoving it into the framework) make the user interface and layout less optimal? Why?

I do not use 3rd party sites because a home search coming straight from our mls is the only way I can provide UP TO DATE listing status’ for my viewers and potential leads.

I have researched all over the internet and I’d rather have those that have experienced their own IDX give me their personal feedback from experience.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions through experience.

MAHALO!

Posted by

                                                       

 

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Ambassador
525,339
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador

Sally,

Boo!  Just say "no" to iframes. I generate 5+ leads every day from our IDX Broker solution.

Tom

Nov 12, 2012 10:46 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,317,476
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Sally - thanks for asking this question.  I am going to check back to see what you learn.

Nov 12, 2012 11:53 AM #10
Ambassador
1,090,147
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

@ Tom....which is through what company?

Joan...me too!

Nov 12, 2012 12:11 PM #11
Rainmaker
170,718
Rachell Lara & A List Properties
eXp Realty / 619.316.7445 - San Diego, CA
A List Properties - San Diego Neighborhood Experts

Great conversation Sally, thank you for asking the question. SO far it sounds like Diverse Solutions may be the answer.

Nov 12, 2012 12:17 PM #12
Ambassador
4,298,246
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale
Sally, some of the SEO experts will surely mention that having your IDX feed incorporated in your website in an iframe is not effective - I am not an expert but just have heard so. Being an agent at Keller Williams, we do have Market Leader website integrated with the IDX - and am told that our MLS data is available there (I do send listing alerts to my clients using this system.) Not sure how effective it is - but I do drive traffic to this site by subscribing to certain zip codes - so I do pay for the leads I receive from them - and they are more than I can handle at this point. For generic solutions, I do see ListHub, Wolfnet, DS and few more that can provide the IDX solution for you (some of them are sponsors at ActiveRain). Not sure if this long answer will help you or not - but one thing you may check (Katerina should have the answer for this) about IDX in iframe.
Nov 12, 2012 12:55 PM #13
Rainmaker
249,772
Jon Zolsky
FunCoast Realty 386-405-4408 - Ponce Inlet, FL
your Daytona Condo Agent

I have used Diverse Solutions for over 2 years. What I did not like is that I could not turn off the map search, which for my purposes of showing condos is terrible, but they are not easy to work with. They just refuse to do it, so after 2+ years I am switching IDX broker. Both are indexable IDX, so both show well on Goggle, but IDX Broker listens to you a bit more than DS

Nov 12, 2012 01:21 PM #14
Rainer
234,647
David Grbich
Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

I also use and like Diverse Solutions - SearchAgent plus DSIDXPress Pro. If you have a larger budget the custom sites and IDX from Real Estate Webmasters are some of the best in the industry.

Nov 12, 2012 01:21 PM #15
Rainmaker
114,322
Rhonda Fee - REALTOR®
Luxury Property Agent, Home Sales, Relocation - Pleasanton, CA
@ Aspire Realty Services

Sally,

This is the best conversation that you've started. Like Praful, I too use Market Leader which I believe owns Active Rain (?)... I like it and do also pay for leads through that site. I'll stand by as well to read the final outcome! Thanks for bringing up this important topic!

Nov 12, 2012 01:27 PM #16
Ambassador
525,339
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador

Sally,

IDX Broker!

Tom

Nov 12, 2012 02:18 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,036,453
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Sally - As in many aspects of our business things are very different here in Canada compared to the U.S. our options and the service providers are often very different than yours.

Our Board IDX solution is fairly new as Brian mentioned above in comment #8.  I have not explored the use of it yet as I am very happy with the results from the two service provider sites we use.

These sites pull in a very large number (currently 92 out of the 107 in Uxbridge for the better one) of the Boards MLS listings based on the number of brokers who have agreed to share their data. These sites update regularly throughout the day and actually provide more up to date information than our National MLS system by up to 48 hours. 

Homes For Sale In UxbridgeThese sites also let me customize links to the listings to some degree so that I can for example display all available listings in a link from one of my other sites an email or a blog post.

Barrie has stopped using frames and uses direct links as we link to our own sites.

It is these sites, in particular the links to these sites, that we have created and how we use them that has helped me increase my business.

 

Nov 12, 2012 05:34 PM #19
Rainmaker
2,424,464
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Hello Sally...I was in the neighborhood and thought I would pull over and and stop in for a hello...so Hello Sally!

Nov 12, 2012 10:41 PM #20
Rainmaker
999,160
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

IDX that is not framed will enable each property to get indexed. That helps with SEO. Some advocate it will increase leads exponetially. For me that has not happened. For some odd reason viewers just seem to want the listing agents. That said I'll keep the SEO benefits. I am using both IDX broker and Diverse Solutions. Diverse has a better plugin for Wordpress, you can add listings to a neighborhood post or direct links if you prefer. I know sometimes it comes down to whats available in your area.

Nov 12, 2012 11:51 PM #21
Rainmaker
307,574
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

I'm curious as others have mentioned this, but why is it important to have your IDX indexed in search engines?

Nov 12, 2012 11:53 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,935,538
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The herd mls mentality when you can have a stand alone media spotlight on your listings to command front page search engine indexes means not just a idx feed but individual attention to all the listings to shine brightly. To make the phone ring round the clock, email servers to heat up.

Nov 13, 2012 12:38 AM #23
Ambassador
1,090,147
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Andrew:  Can you elaborate on the 'email servers to heat up"? 

Nov 13, 2012 12:57 AM #24
Ambassador
1,090,147
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Hi Ritchie!

Nov 13, 2012 01:01 AM #25
Ambassador
2,007,377
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I've used DS Solutions and their WordPress plugin and found it to be pretty decent.

Nov 13, 2012 01:37 PM #26
Rainmaker
82,967
Mark Menzella
RE/Advantage - Fairfield, NJ
We build websites for REALTORS®

Sally;

I am not a REALTOR but I am a IDX Provider.  We specialize in providing highly customized solutions rather than appealing to the mass market.  A lot of the comments people have wrote we have addressed.  Our search engine lies under a very flexible skin we can change for each agent.  We also do not restrict to just only a map search but rather allow the agent to choose a view.  We have widgets that allow for Featured Listings, Quick Searching (a small widget you can put anywhere on your website) and these too are customizable not only to the look but also the function (ie I want to only see Condos from $400K - 1.5M in these areas). 

We take each REALTOR as a new canvas and address their needs rather than just providing a blanket solution.  Sure you can take our standard installs but also have the comfort knowing you can change what ever you need.

As for indexing listings on Google.  First you need to realize that most solutions index IDX.  I know a lot of people say people also use iFrames and they do, but a vast also do not.  Where the really big difference lies is on how they have their website setup. So for any given site it is not only the IDX listings that are indexed that is important but also the overall attention to the entire site in terms of SEO.  Indexing your IDX listings alone most of the times is not significant.  While our listings are indexable I like to tell my clients to focus more on their listings and also their market place as the source of attention to any SEO. Let your website be the major source for traffic.  If you don't pay close attention to the SEO value of your website listing indexing is not going to do much good in the long run. Corinne pretty much has it right in her comment. IDX alone is not the answer but the way you use the listings.  You need to incorporate those listings into posts if you have a blog or into rich content if you have a website.  You will then see your leads grow.  That is some of the things we teach when we deploy a solution.  We like to show you how to use IDX as a SEO tool rather just an IDX search.

I would be happy to look at any ones site and give some specific comments on your IDX and your overall SEO strategy.  Just let me know and good luck to everyone.

Nov 13, 2012 07:53 PM #27
Rainmaker
63,769
Michelle M. Arnold
Keller Williams Realty Yuma - Yuma, AZ
Associate Broker

Gosh, I have sooo much to learn!  Please continue to update us on your finds!  Thank YOU!!  I lve the Active Rain Community! :~)

 

Nov 14, 2012 09:40 AM #28
Rainer
16,526
Steve Norris
Meridian, Idaho - Meridian, ID
Silvercreek Realty Group

Currently using RealtySoft which is OK for a regular web site but doesn't have much flexibility for WordPress. I'm plyaing with DS IDxpress now, but am not thrilled with how some of the widgets display, so I'm not sold on it yet. I've played with IDX Broker on their demo site and like what I see there, but don't know how well it plays with WordPress.

Nov 15, 2012 01:26 PM #29
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(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
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