Is Custom IDX Worth the Expense?
Custom IDX is the process of programming display of mls listed properties on a realtor’s website. Realtors can pay a fee to their local mls provider for access to the mls database. The idx programmer can then create displayable home listings on the realtor’s site. Not all realtors have listings on their websites since it is costly to set up.
There are providers such as real geeks, realestatewebmasters and agentimage who provide the idx listing service as part of their realtor web hosting services. They often provide custom idx services too yet ongoing per hour programming charges can be very expensive. These companies know realtors need constant updates and are quite ready to bill them continuously. When the charges become too much for the average realtor to bear, you’ll have to look for alternatives – that being a freelance custom idx programmer.
A good number of realtors are choosing custom idx development on their websites and many more are considering it. An experienced, proficient custom idx programmer can make the listings work as the realtor wishes whereas realestatewebmasters and other such providers may restrict what realtors can do on their hosted sites. With realestatewebmasters as an example, the realtors site is hosted on REW’s servers which means the realtor doesn’t have complete control or flexibility. A custom idx applied to the realtors site hosted by itself, means the realtor has more freedom and perhaps less ongoing expense for idx development and website development.
More programmers are seeing the demand for custom idx and that current providers are charging excessively for the service. Competition will bring the price down.
For a dominant real estate broker or top selling agent, custom idx is wise and affordable, but for the average Vancouver real estate agent, San Diego real estate agent, or Edmonton real estate agent, the cost and risk might not be manageable. Real geeks and realestatewebmasters may set this all up for you for $500 to $2000 plus monthly hosting fees. Custom idx might take 20 hours x $100 a hour which is $2000 up front.
The key to whether to use custom idx really comes down to whether your knowledge of SEO and presentation psychology is sophisticated enough. You must know how the regular idx listings are limited and how it prevents you from maximizing exposure and listing leads. Some idx systems are awful and perform very poorly. Those who have gotten burned with them only know they didn’t work. They have no idea why.
If you’re using Realpagemaker, Agentimage, realwebsolutions, Point2Point, moneymaker4agents, realtysoft, idxbroker, mcsres, and other providers and you aren’t getting big traffic and leads, then you need a change.
Now you have the task of finding a good custom idx programmer. That’s when you find out it’s like the wild west and you may not get what you paid for. Further, you may end up ordering the wrong kind of idx format giving you the same results you had before. You must know exactly what was wrong with your current provider. And you need a custom idx programmer you can trust otherwise you’re going from the frying pan into the fire.
If you’re a client of Realty Market Leader, we help you find a good custom idx programmer as part of a powerful real estate marketing strategy. Some are available for a lower price and some are expensive. Quality and integrity don’t necessarily come with a high price so you need to structure your programming contract to limit your risk.
Given how consumers are adopting smartphones, some agents are seeking real estate smartphone apps custom mobile idx programming as well. The main benefit here is that when searchers find your site, they can download your branded, custom idx that presents listings the way you want. Some web hosting providers may offer their own mobile idx mls app which you can modify and brand as your own. The one drawback of some of them is that their app may not favor you enough. The goal of the apps is to give home searchers what they want and to ensure they contact only you.
Find out more about real estate marketing, best realtor apps, and . We can work with realtors using the Edmonton MLS, Vancouver MLS, San Diego MLS and Seattle MLS systems as well as any other mls across North America. Dedicated real estate marketing is the right choice for 2012.