At IDX Broker, an Elm Street company, we believe whether you are an independent agent, team or broker, having a compelling online presence is crucial to your success. One key item you need to tackle in order to have an online presence that allows you to connect with your audience is to build a user-friendly and value-driven website.
To build your website, a couple of key items to understand are IDX and WordPress.
What is IDX?
Whether you are new to real estate or a seasoned pro, you have likely heard of IDX and wanted to know more. In simple terms, IDX (internet data exchange) is the software that allows buyers to search for MLS properties straight through your website. Driven by rules and regulations overseen by MLSs across the industry, MLS listings appear online using a standard format and require IDX software to establish a connection between your real estate website and the MLS listings database (this is where the “search” happens). When this connection is implemented correctly, updates between the MLS listings database and the MLS listings on your website happen dynamically and automatically throughout the day.
That said, understanding MLS listings and the IDX process is just the beginning. You need to build your website, purchase and register your domain, find a hosting company to host the files (GoDaddy or Host Gator are two popular options), and make a decision about which web platform to use when building the “look and feel” of your new digital showcase.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
There are many ways to build a website, ranging from coding it yourself to using a robust content management system (CMS).
WordPress is the most popular CMS solution for DIY web design (followed by Squarespace). But even though it’s a CMS, it isn’t just for content. It’s one of the most powerful tools a company can use. Like Squarespace, WordPress uses templates known as themes. Themes can be customized and organized based on the different components (called widgets) you would like to appear on your website. Common real estate widgets include navigation, footers, search, side bars, image sliders or glides, lead capture, custom displays (community listings or listings by price, for example), etc.
In addition to widgets which control the look and feel of the site, WordPress plugins are something you’ll want to conceptually understand while building your website. Small, standalone software packages that run to complete specific tasks, WordPress plugins can power your SEO, automatically post your content on social media platforms, help block spam, and much more.
You can install WordPress plugins through a menu that links to the WordPress store and all of that is accessed through your WordPress account (the back end, or login, to your website).
As you might suspect, there are IDX plugins for WordPress that help “feed” the MLS listings into real estate websites, capture leads, monitor search activity, and track analytics. There are also custom themes optimized for real estate websites that are configured with the most popular widgets for the real estate industry. Not to mention, companies whose primary business model is specifically geared towards building real estate websites and managing all of the technical support (running updates and upgrades, fixing broken links, optimizing the content for search engines, etc) for an additional fee.
Join us for a FREE WEBINAR on March 16th at 2PM Eastern to learn more about IDX and WordPress and how to master these in your business in order to create a powerful and strategic online presence!
If learning WordPress and IDX seems overwhelming or too time-consuming, we can connect you to one of a hundred different web Developer Partners across the United States and Canada. Each are skilled and vetted professionals who can help set you up with hosting, installation, and the most optimized SEO sites with modern designs (many partners offer additional services like content creation and email marketing campaigns).
About IDX Broker, an Elm Street Technology Company:
Based out of Eugene, Oregon, IDX Broker is one of the largest and most well established IDX services in the Real Estate industry. IDX Broker provides a robust WordPress plugin system to help manage your listings and search capabilities on your website, connects to some of the latest SEO boosting tools (like Google my Business), and integrates search widgets, listing showcases, and community pages. Our homebuyer saved search experience with our “My Listings Manager” is a must-have foundation for your website. Explore IDX Broker today at idxbroker.com.