What is IDX?

Real Estate Agent with Sand Shell Realty

***According to Wikipedia.org***

An Internet Data Exchange (IDX) is a real estate property search site which allows the public to conduct searches of approved Multiple Listing Service properties in a certain area.

Site users generally gain the benefit of anonymous property searching and review. IDX sites usually provide less detailed information than the full Realtor Multiple Listing Service, limiting the data to that which is deemed publicly accessible. The benefit to realtors is that users of their IDX web site can search freely, establish some confidence, and qualify themselves before contacting the realtor.

Certain rules apply to the real estate companies' ability to display each detail about a property. These "display rules" are set by the Multiple Listing Service organization, which generally forms its policy around the recommendations of the National Association of Realtors.

IDX policy is nearing its replacement by a new Internet Listing Display policy being formed by the National Association of Realtors.

Comments (9)

Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

I would like to build an IDX site, not subscribe to one from one of the website hosting companies. My MLS has given its UK but I can't find the technology. Can you help?

Bill Roberts

Jul 03, 2007 01:03 PM
Abraham Chaffin
Sand Shell Realty - Cambria, CA
Cambria Real Estate
I can definitely assist you in building an IDX system. I have built some great IDX systems that receive tremendous traffic from Google and other search engines feel free to contact me for more information.
Jul 03, 2007 02:56 PM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Thanks. I'll be calling you soon.

Bill Roberts

Jul 04, 2007 03:51 AM
Larry Wright
nwRealty.Com - Tacoma, WA
There is a learning curve to owning an IDX website.  Before having a custom site built you may want to try an "out of the box" solution so you have a better idea of what you want and how to communicate with your developer.
Jul 24, 2007 12:54 PM
Brian Blake
Twin Falls, ID

Beware of building and managing your own IDX systems...

I feel for you, that you want to build your own IDX systems but be aware of many issues that will arise once you have it all figured out.

Photos, photos and more photos.  Huge deal.  More images are added to systems all the time and managing them becomes quite a task.  I currently manage 250,000 plus MLS photos daily and that number keeps growing every day.  It is really difficult to deal with removing old images and getting the new ones online in a timely fashion.

The task is also repeated every time each of you manage it on your own system.  The same tasks repeated by each of you will be completely overwhelming to the core MLS systems we all pull the information from. 

That is why I do what I do.  I manage the photos once for each organization and take care of the whole process for everyone equally.  This eliminates repetitive tasks that can be avoided.  The core stock of photos is shared and speeds up the whole process for all involved.  I really wish the MLS associations would provide photo hosting on their end for IDX providors and agents so we could eliminate another step all together.  This would bring costs down for everyone, but it just isn't done.

Plus what happens when the data is corrupt or unavailable and has to be delt with and you have 5 new listing appointments to attend rather than 2 hours of repair on your site.

There is alot involved with the whole process to make it work flawlessly every day.  Technology changes, security issues, and more need to be taken into consideration.

You can do it.  It is quite possible but do you really have the time to do the programming and research and daily maintenance.  Not all MLS systems provide good data feeds that are easy to manage.  They are all different and have unique properties that make them hard to integrate into any off the shelf software application.  It just doesn't exist.

You will have to manually download the data, extract it, then upload it and get it to your site.  My system runs 24 hours a day processing information from server to server, then to back up servers and DVD backup systems.  During that whole process on another computer system I have to manage the images and wait for the uploads to complete. (hours of upload time daily)

It really is a repetitive process that takes time and effort daily  to keep the systems running. I eat at least 2 meals a day on my keyboard. lol If I was to add up the 10 hours a day for the last 2.5 years and pay myself modest competitive wage I would have made over $750,000 dollars on the programming, research and maintanence alone.

You would think they would make it easy for the Agents and Brokers to use the information.  But they don't.


Mar 08, 2008 05:07 AM
Debbie York
Marietta, GA
There are many IDX services out there so does anyone have recommendations as to the "best" in terms of flexibility, price, etc.  Thanks, Debbie York
Apr 25, 2008 03:01 AM
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

I agree wholeheartedly with Brian that trying to create your own IDX solution is not for the faint-hearted. I have many years in the computer consulting business and the decision whether to buy or build your own was always a dilemma, even for companies with large IT staffs. For the typical real estate office today, creating your own IDX just doesn't make any sense at all. I have had excellent support from idxbroker.com, but there are many companies doing excellent work.

If you are thinking about creating your own IDX system, bang your head against your desk until you change your mind. Then re-read Brian's comment right above this one to ask yourself how spending years and years to do something you can buy for $50 a month makes sense.

We're in the buying and selling real estate business folks. End of story.

May 28, 2008 06:29 PM
Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate
SDW Realty of Cape Cod - Falmouth, MA

Abraham IDX rules are being changed by NAR? when? how? more info please!

Nov 27, 2008 12:36 PM
Adriana West
Home Expo Gallery, LLC (Keller Williams) - Roswell, GA

Anyone aware of any IDX solutions for *Commercial* properties out there?  Specifically with GA content?  I find it nearly impossible to find a Commercial Property IDX.

Dec 28, 2009 06:09 AM