IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is a way for real estate agents and brokers to get access to and display MLS listings on their websites.
What is IDX?
Simply put, IDX is a blanket term covering policies and software allowing for the sharing of real estate listings among agents and brokers. The policy stemmed from the original Broker Reciprocity policy adopted by the NAR (National Association of Realtors). It may sound complex but the implementation and use on an agent/broker’s site is not – here is how it works:
A listing entered in the MLS is either flagged for inclusion in the IDX program or withheld from the IDX program. If a listing is flagged for inclusion in the IDX program, the data for the listing can be downloaded from the MLS and displayed on other participating members’ websites. WolfNet downloads this data and makes the data available via a property search solution that can be included on real estate websites.
IDX Rules and Regulations
Most of the rules pertaining to the use of IDX have been influenced by the NAR. Here is a list of the NAR’s rules for IDX use. However, each MLS will have its own policies pertaining to how data needs to be displayed on your site. There are several general no-no’s when it comes to IDX:
- Not keeping IDX data on your site up-to-date.
- Changing IDX information (e.g. square footage)
- Showing listings which haven’t been opted into IDX
IDX came to be in the early 2000s when the internet was in its early growth. Agents, brokers and MLSs had realized that they weren’t able to effectively promote their listings online. Initially called Broker Reciprocity, the policy and the software technology has evolved since then, with vendors like WolfNet providing comprehensive real estate website and property search solutions.
IDX/VOW; a powerful combo
Integrating IDX and VOW data together can be a very powerful tool for agents and brokers – it is a way to provide a more complete view of any given property listing, while also having more accurate data than real estate portal sites like Zillow and Trulia. Integrating VOW data into IDX property search allows for prospective clients to get access to exclusive, in-demand property information, while enhancing user engagement and lead capture. WolfNet’s IDX/VOW Combo Solution does just that:
- VOW calls-to-action are incorporated directly into IDX property search listings
- A user must create a profile with a valid email address to access VOW data