With our recent changes to the IDX/RETS feed, we have had many questions about how IDX works, how to set up the IDX on a website, and how to choose an IDX Vendor. In this guide, we will try to explain the basics to IDX/RETS.
IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange. RETS stands for Real Estate Transaction Standard. Essentially, RETS is a standard data dictionary used by MLS’ and vendors for the fields included in an IDX feed. IDX gives you the ability to search the MLS from your own website, allowing you to direct your clients (and potential clients) to use your website for their real estate searches, and potentially use your services as their Realtor. IDX can also give you access to a lot more. With access to the raw data of an IDX feed, and through a tech savvy vendor, you can build reporting tools, build your own version of an automated hotsheet system, and add better lead generation to your website. In today’s real estate market, it is essential to have an internet presence, to have a great web site, and to have the ability to search the MLS from your own website. But where to start?
Start with finding and selecting an IDX Vendor. Some vendors offer complete website building packages, if you want to have your website and IDX search through one company. Some vendors offer a template or frameable IDX search that you can use on a pre-built website, or when using a different web development company. It is good to find out what different vendors are offering and what they charge for their services. As of this year, fees to the MLS for the IDX/RETS feed are just a one-time, $50 domain registration fee (which must be paid for each separate domain). But fees to vendors can vary quite widely. You can see a list of vendors by clicking on Tools, IDX Listing Feeds, and then View Current Vendors.
If you have an IDX vendor that you want to use, and they are not on our vendor list, ask them to consider becoming an IDX/RETS vendor with WFRMLS. They can sign up and get full information on our vendor site.
Once you have selected a vendor, you can go through the IDX RETS Setup Wizard to set up your feed. You will need to know the vendor and the domain of your website, and will need to pay the $50 domain registration fee. Your broker will need to give permission for any IDX/RETS feed. We have a downloadable guide to Set Up Your IDX Subscription here.
Finally, some members have complained that they do not want their listings to be shown on other agent and brokerage websites. Listings shown on IDX feeds are like free advertising – more people will have the opportunity to see your listings, which will help your listing sell faster. Remember that no one will get paid until the listing closes. IDX gives you the opportunity to have your listing shown on hundreds of websites.
You can find more information and guides to UtahRealEstate.com in our Tech Tips, Training Videos, and our Help section. We also have training classes available in person and online at Praedo.com (click on Continuing Education, and look for the UTRE free classes). If you have any questions, or suggestions for future tips, please contact our Technical Support department at email@example.com, or by calling 1-800-236-1462, between 8am and 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Thanks!