Even if your real estate brokerage offers website solutions internally, there comes a time when most agents outgrow these “cookie cutter” templated websites. As a real estate agent, one of the most effective ways to rank highly in search engines is by using a custom-built website with an IDX plug-in. If you build your website anywhere outside of your brokerage, an IDX plug-in is required in order to display a searchable, full range of information and up-to-date data about available properties. IDX stands for “Internet Data Exchange”, and IDX services provide accurate, up-to-the-moment details on property listings such as images, property features, listing prices, and more.
Custom-built real estate websites with IDX plug-ins help you stand out from the competition and gain more traffic. The custom nature of the website will help you build brand equity and get the most buyer and seller leads possible. So, when it comes to choosing the right IDX service provider, how should you make your decision? To help you with this, check out this list compiled below, which delves into each IDX service provider, along with their pricing, pros, and cons.
1. Showcase IDX
This is the top overall recommendation when it comes to your IDX needs. It’s a bit more expensive than other plug-in options, but the features make up the difference. With advanced capabilities like polygon search for mobile, Showcase enables you to draw a search area on the map to find properties within that geographical area. Additionally, Showcase IDX also has a variety of additional information available on the property listing pages, which gives your audience a more comprehensive understanding of each home.
Monthly Price: $59.95 for Essentials Plan; $99.95 for Premium Plan
The iHomeFinder IDX service offers many features, including drip campaigns, marketing tools, and more. Their proprietary search tool called Eureka is one of the best mobile-friendly map search features available. iHomeFinder also offers an optional backend CRM system to link seamlessly to your IDX plan. Although their standard plan is cost-effective, higher fees are required if you want to have more premium widgets and capabilities.
Price: $49.95/month plus $99 setup fee for standard
3. IDX Broker
IDX Broker is the largest and most established IDX provider, offering some of the best MLS coverage and many direct integration possibilities. IDX Broker is highly customizable and allows you to enable features like radius search and polygon search. The reporting functionality of IDX Brokers is very extensive, including reports on sold data, open house information, and more.
Price: $55 per month plus $99 set up fee
4. MLS Import
If you want an IDX plug-in that looks great while saving you money, MLS Import may be the way to go. The clear, modern-looking style makes it stand out from other plug-ins, although it doesn’t offer the advanced search features you would receive with other plug-ins. Something important to note with MLS Import is that you must be MLS Ready to use this program. (Check the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) to determine whether your MLS is ready and compatible.)
Price: $49/month, or $42/month if you pay for a full year in advance
FlexMLS is another great plug-in service to use if you’re working within a budget. Rather than the usual monthly pricing, FlexMLS charges their fees annually for the plug-in and services. The look of the FlexMLS IDX listings is sleek and generally easy to navigate. Plus, it offers a wide range of widgets, search features, and listing page extras to give your clients a good understanding of each property. However, this service does not provide searching methods that rely on an interactive map.
Price: $499/year for plug-in
When it comes to creating a customized, unique website for your real estate business, be sure to pick the best IDX service to meet your needs. The monthly price will vary depending on which features you want to incorporate into your website. No matter which platform you choose, IDX plug-ins allow you to prominently display your listings, enable customers to search quickly for relevant properties, and help you to drive more traffic to your website.
Written by Rebecca Rogers