You’ve probably come across many articles, bloggers, and some internet marketers saying you don’t need IDX on your real estate website. Their reason is that the top 10 real estate websites led by Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, account for about half of all website traffic, and therefore, it is “useless” and “a waste of money” to try to compete with them.
The term IDX gets thrown around a lot. When people hear IDX, they automatically think it’s just home search for your real estate website. While property search is the main component of IDX, many don’t realize how to utilize it to the fullest and the valuable lead-generating tools it provides.
Besides providing home search on your website, I’m going to explain some reasons why IDX is a must-have for any real estate website.
“Product” of Your Business
When speaking to real estate professionals, I always make this analogy. As a real estate professional, you are a business. You can think of your real estate website as your “store”. The MLS listings on your website are your “inventory”. The listings are all the products that exist in your “store” where visitors can browse around and purchase. What happens when you have somebody visit your “store” but you have no product to offer? That person would do exactly what you and I would do… leave and go somewhere else where there is a product to look at and possibly purchase.
These are valuable leads you will be losing if you don’t have IDX on your real estate website. Unless you are solely generating business on referrals, your website (store) must have IDX (product).
You Can Build Listing Pages
IDX gives you access to all the hundreds to thousands of listings in your MLS. Like I mentioned above, this is your inventory, and it’s like having thousands of products on your website.
Having access to all the listings, you can create listing pages that focus on specific search criteria. For example, you can create a listing page that shows all listings under a specific price. Or you can create a listing page that displays listings in a specific subdivision, area, community, or school district. These listing pages provide a better experience for users in that they help direct your real estate website visitors to listings they are looking for. Even more valuable is that these listing pages are search engine friendly which is what I will talk about next.
Generate Leads from Google Search
All of your IDX pages that a platform provides are SEO friendly and are indexed by Google, Bing, and all other major search engines. This means all the listing pages within the IDX system are indexed by Google and is an excellent source of organic leads. For example, for one of our clients, we created an IDX page that displays homes for sale in the school district of Squires Elementary.
Look at what happens when you Google
“Homes for Sale Squires Elementary School District”
Yes, our client using our website with IDX is ranked #1 out of 1,640,000 Google search results above Zillow and Realtor.com!
With IDX you can build hundreds of these real estate listings pages and all of them will appear in Google search results! Do you still think you can’t compete with Zillow?
Platform and Tools for Your Clients
IDX is much more that just property search for your real estate website. Many oversee or are unaware of the valuable tools that you will be providing to your clients. IDX takes your real estate website to the next level by providing a platform for your clients. Your website visitors can create an account right on your real estate website to utilize the IDX tools such as saving favorite listings and favorite searches. It’s an experience that your clients expect and will always come back to.
Automatically Email Latest Listings to Your Leads
An IDX system will be able to send your leads the latest listings automatically by email based on their search criteria. You can think of this as lead nurturing with listings. The user can define searches themselves right on your website in which they want to receive the latest listings for. This is a completely automated process that will stay in touch with all your leads. When they see a listing they are interested in, they just contact you.
A Place for Your Existing Clients to Come Back To
If you’ve built a relationship with your existing clients, they will use your real estate website when they are looking to purchase a home again. They already trust you and your website is familiar to them. They will already have an account within your IDX system where they can just log in to perform their searches and utilize the tools you provide. If you don’t provide home search on your real estate website where will all your clients go? Yes… somewhere else.
Landing Pages + IDX = Powerful Lead Generation
Utilizing landing pages is a very popular method of generating leads especially on Facebook. When you combine landing pages with IDX, you create a very effective and powerful lead generating system.
You can create listing pages within IDX and utilize those pages for your landing pages. For example, you can promote a landing page that gives users access to all homes under $600K in the city of Clairemont. When a lead completes the form of your landing page, you can direct them to a listing page in your IDX system that displays these listings. Without IDX on your real estate website, a system like this would not be possible.
Offering a Much More Personal Experience
Large real estate websites such as Zillow and realtor.com are very commercialized and can be intimidating to a user. Your website is much more personable and offers trust and a level of comfort. Since your website will be focused on an area, this will also be much more familiar to your website visitors as they will know you are a real estate expert in the area they are looking to purchase.
Do you need IDX on your real estate website? YES. IDX is a must-have for your website for all the reasons mentioned above. The cost of having IDX on your website is very minute compared to all the benefits you will get from it. Closing just one deal generated from your website with IDX can pay for your IDX and website service for 5-10 years!