What Is IDX? What Beginner Real Estate Agents Need To Know


A service that displays real estate listing information on websites is called Internet Data Exchange (IDX). IDX refers to policies, standards, and software linked to web-based advertising.

IDX enables agents and brokers to integrate real estate listings from multiple listing services (MLS) into their websites and make their web presence more effective.

IDX was created for what purpose exactly? What is the process? What role does this role play in your success as a real estate agent? Are IDX listings integrated into your website at a cost?

Our comprehensive guide to IDX covers its origins, evolution, features, benefits, and how to set up an IDX feed on your website for beginners.

IDX: A brief history

The concept of IDX can be traced to the early 2000s, when the Internet was relatively new, and real estate agents realized that they could market listings more effectively online. MLSs saw a need to allow their members to view listings online because this would give each agent a chance to promote listings, solicit leads, and close deals online.

Before now, MLSs and agents could share listings, but it was expensive. In the meantime, only a select few agents and brokers – those with significant financial resources -achieved integration of MLS listings on their website.

With time, however, agents and the MLSs, and software developers that serve the real estate market saw their costs drop as standards for listing data and advances in web technology emerged. A real estate website is no longer as expensive as it used to be (sometimes tens of thousands of dollars) and can be maintained for just a few dollars a month.

Using IDX, agents can showcase homes for sale on their websites, and their audience can find the perfect home using search and filter options.

IDX: How does it Work?

MLS listings are added to a real estate agent’s website using IDX software.

Using IDX, all your website’s listings will be imported from the MLS and shown directly on your website. We update our listings every few hours to always get the most current information about the properties available and contact you if they have any questions.

In contrast, Zillow and Trulia are not IDX-based. Syndication of brokerage information is one way in which they obtain information. This is why listing data provided by portals are frequently less comprehensive and more up-to-date than IDX listings.

Research has found that 36% of the listings on Zillow and Trulia are no longer for sale, while around 20% of MLS listings are not active.

Moreover, portals are designed to contribute leads to agents who sponsor individual homes for sale, while IDX is designed to take advantage of all the listings on your site to provide tips for your office.

Whenever buyers search for properties on the Internet, you can connect with them as they add listings to your site using IDX. You can also read 2021 IDX and Home Search Report for more information.

Guidelines for Using IDX

Throughout the years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has influenced many of IDX’s rules and regulations.

If you want to use IDX on your real estate websites, you must obtain the MLS’s consent (which can be different for each MLS) before using their data via IDX. When you misuse IDX data, you can face several problems with your MLS.

The following activities are prohibited:

  • Indicating to the agent that a seller does not wish for their listing to be added to IDX
  • Your website does not have updated IDX listings.
  • Information about IDX listings to non-participating parties that aren’t involved in the exchange
  • To make IDR searches more appealing to your audience, you can alter the IDX listing information (e.g., dimensions and features)
  • An online listing that has not been cleared by the MLS or listing broker
  • It isn’t only about generating leads and getting deals closed in real estate that defines success. It is also about following the rules, so make sure you learn the guidelines and regulations associated with IDX before implementing them on your website.