Building an IDX site can have a huge impact on your business and personal life. It’s an essential step to boost your online presence and generate leads. But what systems and technologies should you choose?
In this article we will break down the main IDX technologies available on the market and compare them to MLS API offered uniquely at Realtyna.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR IDX?
IDX has grown from a niche option for some tech-savvy agents to one of the foundations of the industry. Within this growth we have seen the development of several technologies to help agents get connected.
One of the earliest technologies was the iFrame. Still around today, an iFrame is a design feature that allows a website to display information that resides elsewhere on the web. As an IDX technology it is known for its quick set up and low monthly fees. But it comes with a major drawback: low SEO value.
Another early technology was FTP. FTP offers more robust SEO than iFrames because it physically transfers the listing data to your website. But FTP has taken a niche role in the industry since the emergence of faster technologies.
RETS is one of the most popular and advantageous IDX systems available for agents today. Like FTP, RETS involves a full data transfer to your site, providing a significant SEO boost. But RETS outperforms FTP in download speed and update frequency.
There are of course mixed IDX systems that incorporate several technologies at once. One of the most popular is to use RETS for the listing data and iFrames for the images. This provides a streamlined data transfer with only a minor reduction in SEO value.
We like to think of MLS API as the best of both worlds. It allows for third party hosting like framing, while preserving the SEO benefits of RETS.
6 WAYS MLS API CAN IMPROVE YOUR IDX PERFORMANCE
- Less Coding
MLS API connects your site to your MLS via API, or application programming interface. You can think of an API as a gatekeeper for some stock of information—in this case property listings. API’s provide the rules and processes for the retrieval of this information.
By packaging this information in a single component, an API simplifies the task of connecting to an MLS, reducing the development time for you an your web team.
- Smaller Hosting Burden
MLS API also works by making direct calls to the listing database instead of rebuilding it on local servers. This can reduce your hosting burden and save you money.
- Less Maintenance
Not having a database of 10,000+ properties on your site certainly will reduce the maintenance load for your site.
- Fewer Compliance Concerns
Whenever an agent hosts MLS data on his or her site, there is a list of display rules they must follow to ensure they are not abusing the MLS property. Since local hosting is limited with MLS API, so are the compliance concerns.
- Known in the Development Community
APIs have been around for years, and they have been used in a range of professional applications. As a result there is a large development community with the know-how, to work with them.
- Fewer Security Concerns
Less physical data on your site also means less that can be hacked/stolen.
Many real estate agents don’t have the time to do hours of maintenance/web mastering on their site per day. They want a simple solution that just works.
For more IDX options from Realtyna, check out Organic RETS Integration and Organic IDX.