Wednesday, 6 November 2019

How to Create an IDX Real Estate Website Using Wix

How to Create an IDX Real Estate Website Using Wix
A successful real estate website is not just about stunning object pictures, slide shows, and galleries. The project should be well-designed. Moreover, it is supposed to feature comprehensive IDX functionality to ensure proper object listings. While Wix comes as a flexible website building solution, it will also let you build real estate sites in minutes. It will be well-designed and have numerous handy features.
The main obstacle is that the platform does not have its home-grown solution to integrate IDX functionality. It means you will need to handle the process yourself or hire professional developers. The article below describes several ways of implementing IDX features in your Wix website as well as describes what IDX is, why it is important, and how it may help to create a successful IDX real estate website using one of the most popular website building platforms.

What Is IDX?

Once you have decided to build a real estate project, IDX integration is the first thing you need to consider. It guarantees some distinct benefits that will let you stand out from competitors. It will let you create not just a simple website but a comprehensive project with an increased level of interactivity, simple access to the objects’ database, flexible navigation, and other relevant services required by potential customers.
But what is IDX? The abbreviation stands for the Internet Data Exchange. IDX – is the blend of software, policies, and data combined in a single feature used to display the necessary info on the website. It comes in form of a system designed for agents and realtors making it possible for them to display the listing of their MLS properties.
For example, you get a chance to create a detailed listing of all objects as well as the ability to sort them out by price, sizes, location, and other crucial points.
Why is it so necessary? IDX ensures maximum customers’ interaction and integration. According to the National Association of Realtors report, “44% of all customers start their journey on the real estate websites with property listing”.
The lack of IDX functionality will leave you aboard. Moreover, the functionality comes with a set of extra features to grow your business. Before we start discussing them, let’s figure out how IDX works.

How IDX Works

The key idea of the system is to ensure a strong connection between the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is actually the listing of all your properties, and the website itself. To have it displayed on the project’s front-end, you need to not only import the listing but also update the info to keep it relevant.
Once you have decided to use IDX functionality, you will need to consider its Terms of Use and policies. It comes with state regulations that govern the real estate policy and identify the info that you may or may not display on your real estate website.
We are not going to dive deep into formalities. We only care about the technical aspect of the implementation process. Let’s stay focused and find out some practical benefits of having IDX integrated with your real estate website.

How Can IDX Help Your Real Estate Website?

As we have stated before IDX ensures website interactivity and user engagement. Moreover, it lets agents deliver additional relevant services. The key advantage is a comprehensive search and navigation functionality. The system has evolved over the years and additionally offers social media integration, the ability to create personalized offers, customized property collections, etc.
Here are the top benefits of having IDX on your real estate website:
  1. Comprehensive navigation.
  2. Social Media Integration.
  3. SEO optimization.
  4. Advanced Property Listing.
  5. Exclusive Collections and personalized offers.

#1 – Comprehensive Navigation

None of the available geolocation widgets or add-ons will ensure the same level of searching flexibility. Some IDX solutions come with the ability to display the map of the customs area. Moreover, you may implement search by neighborhood to let customers find the best-matching property as fast as possible.
For example, users may sort out objects by the location considering:
  • Schools accessibility.
  • Distance to work.
  • Green area around the property and more.
An efficient way to grab customers’ attention right at once.

#2 – Social Media Integration

Modern IDX systems have evolved. They are not just a simple tool to display property listing. They have turned into an enhanced marketing platform to boost agents’ projects. For example, social media integration lets real estate agents connect with their customers through Facebook or other social platforms as well as deliver more appealing and engaging content.

#3 – SEO-Friend Real Estate Sites

Most IDX systems come with editable property titles and descriptions. Moreover, the website builder itself comes with baseline page SEO settings. This fact ensures a better and more effective ranking for the list of your vital keywords and phrases.

#4 – Advanced Property Listing

This is what the IDX system was designed for. Display your properties in the most appealing way. The interface comes with multiple filters to sort out objects by categories, prices, and other key parameters.
The system may show optimal variants in the borough depending on your location (Google Map integration required). Users may take advantage of brief or more detailed property descriptions combined with object images (galleries or slideshows) or even videos for maximum engagement.

#5 – Personalized Offers

The real estate niche requires a personalized approach to every customer. Having IDX on your site will let you create exclusive property collections for premium customers, sort the objects by activities and clients’ preferences, send personalized offers to make the most of your email campaigns, etc.
Once we have learned the benefits of having IDX on your real estate site, it is high time we have defined the key features of the project itself.

Essential Features Real Estate Websites Should Have

Integrated IDX is not the only feature a successful real estate website should have. It is supposed to be well-designed and mobile-friendly. We should also keep in mind some tools to promote and grow the online business as well as interact with the customers. So, here are some of the key features you surely need to have on your site:
  • Clear Structure – do not try to overload your page with numerous useless blocks and elements. Try to keep it simple and clear. Introduce your agency, continue with the property listing, and indicate the contact info.
  • Social Media Integration – the best way to grow your target audience. Make sure your website has social sharing buttons while visitors have no difficulties in sharing some of the properties on Facebook or other social platforms.
  • Complete Listing – the success of your site relies on how good the property listing is. Make sure it has high-quality photos, up-to-date info (descriptions and titles), filters to sort out objects by preferences, etc.
  • Widgets and Add-ons – you will need extra tools at some point. Geolocation services like Google Maps are vital. You might also need up-to-date image galleries, slideshows, calendars, booking services, integration with payment options, etc.
  • Contact Info – apart from the traditional “Contact” section with phone numbers and emails, a good idea is to implement instant ways to stay in touch. For example, Live Chat option will be a good advantage when consulting your customers immediately.
Wix comes as an ultimate solution with enough functionality and features to let you implement all of the above-mentioned points. The website builder is perfect for real estate projects. It is easy to use. It offers dozens of relevant templates with already integrated widgets. It is pretty affordable.
The only downside is that Wix does not have a custom IDX integration solution. It means that you will need to handle it on your own.

How to Build an IDX Real Estate Website Using Wix

Users will have several options to complete the IDX integration process. They include:
The first option only seems to be the easiest one. You will need to pay somewhere around $100-$150 for a simple procedure you may handle on your own. Moreover, each and every system update will result in extra costs in the future. For this reason, we will try to connect IDX by ourselves. Some technical skills might be necessary, as well we are going to deal with short pieces of coding.

IDX Framing

This is probably the fastest way to have the IDX listing on your website. The main idea is focused around using system iframes on your website. Wix has a relevant widget to insert necessary pieces of code and display the listing on the empty page. Simply copy the code and paste it in the widget area.
The listing will be immediately shown on the page. The benefits of using this method include:
  • The ability to use IDX together with Wix listing image galleries and link them with the property listings.
  • You may additionally add a Quick Search widget available in the custom Wix App Marketplace. It will ensure fast navigation and relevant search results.
So, the steps to add IDX listing to your Wix real estate website are as follows:
  1. Sign in to Wix.
  2. Choose, edit and customize the template.
  3. Create a new empty page.
  4. Add the iframe widget from the selection of apps for displaying visual content.
  5. Insert the IDX iframe code.
  6. Check if the listing is displayed properly.
  7. Wix IDX embedding

How to Get the Iframe?

Users may choose from ready-made IDX solutions and platforms that already deliver a tailored property listing. All you need is to register, pay a fee if required and get the piece of code to have it on site. The second stage is to generate the code yourself. This path requires a bit more time and actions, as you need to become a registered Matrix MLS user. This variant does not require extra costs. It is free to use.
To get a free iframe, you need to do the following:
  1. Register as the Matrix MLS user.
  2. Find settings in the control panel and choose IDX configuration.
  3. Configure your listing, indicate the search type and mapping area.
  4. Enable your IDX and complete the activation.
  5. You will see the piece of code in the HTML spacebar. Copy the piece of code and paste it in the Wix widget for displaying iframes.
If you have done everything right, you will see the listing on the page. The process might be a bit time-consuming and hard for non-technicians. Moreover, there is a chance of having the IDX displayed incorrectly especially on mobile devices. For this reason, it might be a good idea to select ready-made customized IDX system solutions.

The Bottom Line

Having an implemented IDX listing is vital for the real estate website. It may appear to be the main competitive advantage considering the tough competition in the niche. Wix makes it easy to create any website for any business. Real estate is not an exception.
In order not to switch to another platform, users still have several options thanks to extended Wix functionality. Framing is the fastest and yet the simplest alternative with no need to code or opt for paid custom development teams. If you crave for exclusiveness and enhanced interactivity, you may choose ready-made IDX solutions as well. The choice will depend on your expectations and budget.

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