IDX Broker CEO Chad Barczak and Director of Sales Bryson Womack share insights on the past and future trends in real estate. Shot on location in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the closing of the recent Xplode conference, this video covers the evolution of data, and the future of MLS. In 5 short minutes, you’ll also learn the most important strategy Realtors need to stay competitive in this ever-changing world of real estate.
The IDX Broker Story
Bryson: First and foremost – you’ve been in this industry a long time, 10-plus years now. You’ve really seen, not only the real estate market, but software and IDX, through the highs and through the lows. How has IDX been able to grow to where it is today and weather those lows and highs during these past 10 years?
Chad: Yeah, it’s been a challenge. We started IDX Broker in 2004. We started when people really didn’t even understand Broker reciprocity, what IDX data even meant, why would they even have it on their websites. Agents were still coming off of those closed book systems, and really holding that data really close to their own chest. So, it was a challenge early on.
There were only a few vendors in the marketplace. Most of them were just local players. We were one of the first companies that took it from a national approach, but then delivered it out at a local level. So, what we did is we worked on getting a few MLSs on board and convincing them that we are going to be stewards of their data, that we protect their data, that we’re also friendly to the REALTOR. We’re going to make sure we’re giving them the tools they need in order to be successful in a changing market where a lot of the portal sites are going to be giving away this data. Whether it’s valid or not, they’re going to be giving away this data to their customers, and we don’t want them to lose business to the customers at the end of the day.
Downturn Prompts Innovation
Bryson: You know you make a good point about that valuable data. When there was recession and the housing market was falling apart, that really kind of sparked anybody that wanted to be successful – or even survive in real estate anymore. You had to have a good IDX, or you had to have a good website. And the IDX was just very, very valuable information.
Chad: That was a huge turning point for us. You know, when the market fell flat. All of a sudden, you couldn’t just put a sign up and get 10 phone calls anymore. You actually had to work, you had to market, and you had to be smart out there. And so, during the downturn, there were a lot of really smart agents and brokers out there that said I’m going to put listing data on my site. I’m going to learn about SEO, I’m going to build a friendly website for customers to actually go to, and be the resource for that type of information. And for us, IDX really took off during that time.
The Agent’s Advantage
Bryson: One of the things we talked about is the MLS. There’s been all kinds of stuff going on with the portal sites and direct feeds. You’ve got CRMLS in California that’s presenting statewide. That kind of thing. What can we expect with MLS moving forward?
Chad: A lot of changes right now, especially. I think there’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, both with MLSs, portals, and we’ve got these big billion dollar acquisitions going on in the marketplace. At the end of the day, realtors aren’t going anywhere. They’re getting smarter, they’re getting mobile-friendly, and they’re the boots on the ground. The MLS is the data supplier for those boots on the ground. That’s not going to get lost to a portal site. Now, they may compete against it, but you have to be smart and compete on a local level. So I think the MLSs are going to be even more important to the agents. It’s more important for MLSs to be working with a company like us, since we protect the data and supply it only to authorized users. We use it for good on those individual agent websites to generate leads, to generate web traffic, and really keep it at the local level. The more quality data we get from the MLS in realtime, the better we’re able to actually handle their members and assist their agents in getting leads, every single day.
From Leads to Relationships
Bryson: You made a really great point – boots on the ground. There’s been a lot of great stuff at this technology conference. At the end of the day, this is still a belly-to-belly business.
Chad: At the end of the day, That’s how you close a deal. I mean, you can only do so much via email. You can get a lead via email, but I think it’s absolutely important that you actually get into a real conversation with that person. Like some of the partners here said, get into a car. Actually go do some tours with them. You can create a relationship. It can start it online, but it has to end up offline.
Stay Tuned for More from Xplode
Bryson: Still. Exactly. That’s the cool thing, the MLSs are still in the same fights as the REALTORS because they’re made up of the REALTORS. Chad, thanks for hanging out. Xplode has been wonderful. You can always find more information at XplodeThis.com. We are a premier sponsor on all the events. So if you’re out and about, look them up. We’d love to see you – always doing the face to face thing. With that, we’re out.
Chad: See you next time.
Data is valuable. Managing can be it a challenge. Please give our Technical Sales team a call if you have any questions about integrating MLS data on your real estate website. We’re here to help. (800) 421-9668