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What is IDX and How Can it Help Generate Leads?

by | Mar 18, 2014

This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog:

ml_what-is-idxIf you have a website that displays listings, chances are you are using an IDX feed to get listings on your website. IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange and is how the MLS shares listing data among its members. Since it is all about sharing listings, IDX is also sometimes known as "Broker Reciprocity."

IDX enables all active listings in the MLS to be shared between MLS members and displayed on the websites of MLS participants (agents and brokers). IDX was created to make sure all MLS members have equal information to all MLS listings. Each MLS has policies in place for their IDX feed designed to make sure no one user has any unfair advantage and that all listings are available to the participants.

While the IDX feeds are designed to give all MLS members equal access to listings information, not all IDX websites are created equal. The website functionality of an IDX feed can make all the difference between having a website that generates business and one that doesn't.

What is Your Site For?

The vast majority of agents say the main purpose of their website is generating leads. If this is your goal, effective lead generation campaigns rely on content that gives your target audience what they want. The purpose of a real estate agent's website should be to appeal to potential homebuyers and sellers in order to generate leads.

So what are homebuyers and sellers looking for online?

Homebuyers simply want to look at listings. Potential sellers also often want to look at listings to check out the competition for their home. And, since many sellers are buyers too, they may be looking for a new home to buy. That's what an IDX feed on your website is for – to give these searchers what they are looking for: listings.

What do Effective IDX Websites Have?

An IDX website is a must for lead generation, but to get those leads you will need features that will make your IDX website into a business generator. Make sure your IDX website has:

1. Easy Navigation/Search - Make sure that website visitors are able to find the listings they want. Your IDX website should have simple search filters to help users get to the listings that meet their criteria. If your site doesn't make it easy for visitors to find what they want, they will leave and find the listings elsewhere.

2. Lead Capture - The goal of the IDX website is generating leads, so you better make sure your IDX website has an optimized lead capture system. This is something we are experts on at Market Leader. We are constantly testing and improving our lead capture to get the most leads for our customers. Some best practices for lead capture that we have learned include:

  • Prompt the visitor to register. Don't just wait for them to choose to register.
  • Make the registration page as simple as possible. The more information you ask for and the harder you make it for a visitor to fill out the form, the lower the conversion rate and fewer leads you have to work with.
  • Use a two-step form. If you want to ask for more information, request an email and name first and then add a second step to ask for further information.
  • Include a meaningful call to action. Don't just tell them to give you their contact information; make sure they get something out of it and let them know the advantages of registering, such as complete access to listings, ability to save favorites, etc.

3. Automated Listing Alerts - Automated listings alerts from your IDX website that are relevant to the listings visitors have been looking at are a great way to make sure they come back to your site, helping convert visitors from leads to clients.

4. An Integrated CRM - Having an integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) allows you to keep track of what your leads are doing on your website as well as your communications with them. This will help you better prioritize your leads and keep in contact with them when they are ready to transact.

An effective website is an important tool for getting leads online – make sure your site is set up for success.

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