Do You Need an IDX Feed on Your Real Estate Website-Featured.jpg

Do You Need an IDX Feed on Your Real Estate Website

Is having an IDX feed on your real estate website right for you? The answer is not quite as simple as “yes” or “no.” Instead, the answer is more along the lines of “it depends.”

But first, what exactly is an IDX feed? IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange, and through an IDX feed, a member of the MLS (multiple listing service) can integrate real estate listings into their real estate website.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the benefits and downsides of having an IDX feed.

The pros and cons of having an IDX feed


Pro: Provide visitors with up-to-date listings

Did you know that 93% of home buyers searched online for a home? Only 7% of home buyers said that they didn’t use any websites when searching for a home. (Statista)

When someone is buying a home, the one thing they really want to see are listings. And, by having an IDX feed on your website, you can ensure that you’re providing your visitors with the latest, most up-to-date listings in your area.

This means that not only are you getting visitors to your site who are looking for a real estate broker, but you’ll also get visitors who are looking for homes for sale.

Con: It’s not easy to compete with Zillow

In 2019, Zillow was accessed by 196 million new unique visitors, and in 2018, had more than 7 billion visits on the Zillow app and website. (iPropertyManagement) It’s no surprise to learn that Zillow is, far and away, the most popular real estate website for home buyers.

Suffice it to say, it can be difficult to compete with Zillow and similar real estate giants, like Trulia. With big sites like this competing for local home searches in paid ads and organic search results, it can leave many real estate brokers believing that they shouldn’t even try.

Pro: Give home buyers an accurate search tool

People like Zillow and Trulia because they’re user friendly and give them the ability to narrow their search, but the trade-off can be inaccuracy in listings.

Zillow and Trulia do not pull data from the MLS, which means that its listings are not always up to date. According to a data accuracy study, listings on Trulia and Zillow are overstated by about 20%, Recently sold houses can also appear in listings on these sites, even though they are no longer for sale.

IDX feeds are accurate because they pull listings right from the MLS, which is updated every five minutes. By having an IDX feed on your website, you’re giving buyers in your area a more accurate alternative to Zillow and Trulia.


Con: It won’t help your organic search rankings

Many real estate brokers mistakenly believe that, by adding an IDX feed to their website, they’ll be getting a lot of updated content on a regular basis that will help to increase their organic rankings on Google and Bing.

Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. The IDX feed is not actually a part of your website, so simply having it won’t do you much good from an SEO standpoint. However, that’s not to say that there’s no benefit to your organic traffic of having an IDX feed.

Pro: Get more visitors, for longer

While it can be difficult to compete for traffic with Zillow and Trulia, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. In fact, by simply making it possible for home buyers to search for listings from your website, you’ll give a lot more people a reason to visit you online.

Furthermore, since people will be looking at available properties when they visit your website, they’ll have a reason to stick around for longer. It only takes a few minutes to learn about you as a real estate broker, but people can spend hours searching for homes online.

Of course, as I mentioned, simply having an IDX feed won’t drive traffic to your website. You’ll have to drive organic and paid leads through SEO and ads to get visitors to your site.

Con: Having an IDX feed can be pricey

From the ability to provide your visitors with updated listings to getting more visitors to your website, there are many benefits that come with having an IDX feed on your website. However, these benefits don’t often come cheap.

There are many different IDX providers out there. Some are better than others, and some are also more expensive than others. That means there are options for a wide range of budgets, but not all IDX providers are made equal.

Plus, in addition to paying for the IDX feed, you’ll also have to keep paying your MLS fees.


Pro: Collect valuable information about leads

When a home buyer is searching for listings on the IDX feed on your website, they’ll give you all kinds of valuable information. For one, they’ll give you key information about the area they are searching for homes in, what kind of homes they’re looking for and more.

You’ll also find that many people will want to sign up for updates when new homes matching their search criteria become available, or create an account for easy searches in the future.

Last but certainly not least, you’ll be able to see which properties are generating the most interest, what kinds of properties potential clients are searching for, etc.

Con: Difficult-to-understand rules and regulations

The rules and regulations for IDX are different for every MLS, which can be very confusing for many real estate brokers, and can also be a lot to keep track of.

With so many different rules and regulations for every different MLS, this can be a lot to keep track of for some real estate brokers.

Pro: Get more leads

When someone finds a listing they’re interested in on your website, chances are, you are going to be the one they call when they want to see it in person, learn more or take the next step.

Furthermore, not every real estate website has an IDX feed. That gives you an edge over your competition and helps you stand out from the crowd.

There are both pros and cons to having an IDX feed on your website, but for many real estate brokers, the pros absolutely outweigh the cons.

If you’re looking for a real estate website builder that has everything you need and can seamlessly integrate with the IDX feed, look no further than Websites 360.

Find a real estate website design template to get started.