TO IDX OR NOT TO IDX? SHOULD THAT BE THE QUESTION?
It really bugs me when someone uses that famous Hamlet soliloquy. It's soooo overdone! And yet, here I am using it for the title of my blog. Lol! But it precisely capsulates the topic here: Is an IDX a must on your website? Or can we, should we, focus on other areas to generate leads and business?
Is an IDX a Must on Your Website?
Many here on ActiveRain already know what an IDX is and what its used for. But if you don't, the acronym "IDX" stands for Internet Data Exchange. Its main function is providing the transfer of data from an MLS to a predetermined location for presentation. Basically, an IDX allows you to put MLS listings on your website.
And that is exactly what many agents and brokers have done. Most of us consider it heresy to even suggest that an agent should NOT include an IDX in some form or another on their website. But in my never-ending quest of IDXs offered, I've repetitively come across opinions suggesting focusing an agent website on other resources for buyers and sellers and ignoring IDX listings. This does not exclude all listings. An agent would and should still include their listings on their website through posts and other articles, just not their entire local MLS.
"IDX" Stands for Internet Data Exchange
The idea to exclude and IDX stems directly from websites like Zillow, Trulia and REALTOR.com. The thought is that these big websites spend so much time, effort and resources consistently improving the user-interface day after day, that there's just no way a lone agent website can compete, and users and clients will always prefer the big websites over small agent websites.
I agree with the sentiment above that most will use the big Zillows of the web, but I still cannot accept an IDX-less website. Real estate listings are at the core of what we do. Yes, Zillow dominates the Internet and listings on it, but I refuse to take my foot out of offering listings. I can't bear the thought of a client, or potential client, going to our website and not finding a Search Homes button or another active listing, should they be looking for it.
Is it futile to compete with Zillow?
But where do things go from here? Is it futile to compete with Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com? Does it even matter? What focus should an agent's website be on if it doesn't offer an IDX? Should it still offer an IDX, yet focus on other resources still?
I've got so many questions that only writing them down has helped me digest them! :) I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Please comment and let me know what you think!
-Todd J Garrigus / Broker