The Ins & Outs of Investing in an IDX Real Estate Website in 2023
“You have to know the past to understand the present”, Carl Sagan, the renowned American astronomer, once said, and we totally agree.
So, let’s delve into the past real estate industry for a hot second.
It’s the late 19th century, and real estate is in the start of the MLS era – Multiple Listing Service. Local real estate agents are regularly gathering to share property listings in an attempt to strike a deal.
This friendly agreement gradually turns into a system called MLS, which exists in its glory even today, with its technology transformation.
MLS today is an online real estate listing database where brokers upload and share local listings, and other agents share them with their clients. So, the concept is still intact, except rather than accessing the properties through paper or word of mouth, agents access the database through IDX software.
So how do you integrate IDX software into your website so that you get access to the constantly updating MLS database? In this blog, we’ll walk through the basics of building an IDX website.
How to Build a Real Estate IDX Website?
1. Put Your IDX Website Planning on Paper
There are two kinds of IDX real estate websites – one that features real estate listings with simple IDX integration. And others have a fully-featured feed with IDX listings.
While the first one does the job of IDX integration to the MLS database, it lacks the branding and interactive features that can exponentially boost your reach.
So, sit and decide what kind of features you want in your real estate IDX website. It may include map searches, blogs, sliders, lead capture forms, mobile-responsive design, home valuation pages, pop-ups, and more.
2. Pick a Web Hosting Company and a Domain Name
Now you need a reliable home for your website online, so set up an account with a web hosting company. Next, choose a domain name that’s unique and memorable and aligns with your brand.
3. Install WordPress on Your New Domain
The next step is to install WordPress on your new domain account and fill in the domain name you decided on in the previous step.
4. Choose a Full-Featured Third-Party IDX Plugin for WordPress
It’s now time to add IDX plugins to your website so you can get MLS listings. They will translate the raw listing data from the database into code. Further, WordPress will turn the code into attractive listings for your IDX website with features like listings search, map search, widgets, lead capture, and more.
If you’re confused about which IDX plugin to choose, talk to a ZipperAgent expert for a free consultation.
5. Install an IDX-Ready WordPress Theme
Get together all the pieces of your website with a WordPress theme that supports your IDX integration and provides all the desired site features.
Here are the questions you should ask yourself when choosing an IDX-compatible WordPress theme –
- Is the theme adaptable to your IDX plugins?
- Does it provide desired customization options?
- What are the built-in plugins in the theme?
- Would a real-estate-specific theme align better with your brand instead of a generic theme?
- Does the shortlisted theme have good reviews?
6. Install WordPress Plugins & IDX Plugin
WordPress is home to thousands of plugins. Your first instinct might be to load up on all plugins. The more, the merrier, right? Well, not exactly in this case.
Too many WordPress plugins can affect your real estate website’s performance, SEO strategy, and conversion rates. It can also add up to the site loading time, which you can’t afford. If the load time increases even from 1 second to 3 seconds, you’re at risk of a 32% bounce rate.
Therefore, the wise decision here is to talk to a real estate IDX website specialist like ZipperAgent, who can advise you on the most functional web plugins.
7. Customize Your WordPress Theme
It’s time to breathe life into your dummy WordPress IDX website.
First, customize your website theme by adding a brand logo, site navigation, footer, widgets, hero images, sliders, contact information, and other elements. Then, build the content on the main pages of your website – homepage, about us, service pages, blog, and others. Important tip – real estate is a visual industry. Now, add property photos, home tour videos, drone views, and more to create a capturing story of a property.
That’s it. Once you have optimized your content on the real estate IDX website, your site is ready to be live.
An IDX real estate website can help you transform your real estate business from a rookie level to a professional level. Not to mention, a fully-integrated and functional website adds credibility, trust, and authority to your brand.
Follow these IDX website-building steps to get your site off the ground. If you need an experienced hand guiding you every step of the way, talk to real estate website experts at ZipperAgent.
Book a 30-min personalized demo call with our sales team now.