The Voice for Local Real Estate


IDX Q&A

What is IDX?
IDX stands for "Internet Data Exchange." IDX is the primary means of enhancing cooperation between REALTORS® to facilitate the purchase and sale of real estate property. IDX allows MLS Participants to display each others' listings on their Internet websites. Under the real estate IDX system, brokers exchange consent to display each others listings on the Internet. Each IDX subscriber has full control over which real estate listings are displayed. For example, if a REALTOR® only wanted to display homes priced over $300,000 or homes from a specific area of the city, they may.

Why should I have IDX on my Web site?
In addition to offering site visitors access to a majority of local listings, one main benefit of the real estate IDX display is that it improves a REALTOR®'s means to obtain and maintain first contact with the consumer in the real estate transaction.

  1. All REALTOR® members become empowered to deal with the real estate consumer of the future.
  2. Members can fully market their services on the Internet.
  3. Members can take advantage of the data brokers have contributed to the MLS system.
  4. Members can obtain and maintain first contact with the consumer in the real estate transaction.
  5. Broker and agent Web sites can become the best source of listing data and compete with other popular sites.
  6. Participating brokers may display more data fields than many current real estate Web sites are allowed to display.
  7. When consumers visit the Web sites of reciprocal brokers, they will stay longer because the brokers have more real estate listing data to offer.
  8. As brokers become more innovative in offering on-line real estate services, listing displays will be a critical factor in their success.

How does a Broker participate in IDX?
By not "Opting out" of IDX, a brokers listings automatically become part of database (or pool) of listings that are available to be displayed on all IDX sites. A broker does not have to build a Web site in order to participate. They can simply do nothing; their listings will still be in the database of listings that can be displayed on other sites. If a broker or agent decides they'd like to display IDX listings on a Web site, there are a number of ways this can be done. A consultant or developer may access a RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) server and pull live data using XML programming language built directly into the REALTOR® Web site. The final way IDX listings can be displayed is for a REALTOR® to purchase a link from MAAR that must be framed within an existing Web site. Confidentiality and 3rd party agreement forms must be signed and delivered to MAAR before any data can be accessed and displayed on the Web.

Can I opt out of IDX?
Yes. Brokers may sign the IDX Opt Out Form and stating that they do no want their listings to appear on any other broker or REALTOR® Web site. Brokerages that have not filled out and signed the IDX Opt Out Form automatically become a part of the IDX program and their listings become part of the IDX database that other participants may display on their web site.

Do I need to hire a programmer?
If you want specific or customized search and results features on your Web site, you will need to contract a Web developer or programmer to build your IDX solution. However, there are many real estate Web site vendors that sell template sites and need only to gain access to MAAR's RETS servers in order to enable IDX on a site that they'd probably have sold you. MAAR also can provide a link to an IDX site which has already been developed and can be framed within your Web site.

Is IDX available to agents as well as brokers?
The Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® allows individual agents to participate in IDX under two conditions. The broker who holds their license must be a participant in the IDX program. Meaning, they have not signed the Opt Out form. The second condition is they have written permission from their broker allowing them to participate. All the confidentiality agreements must be cosigned by the broker.

How much will IDX cost?
That depends. To participate in the IDX program and have your listings in the IDX database, the cost is nothing. For a developer, consultant or programmer to access and download from the server, the cost is nothing. The costs associated with 3rd party developers, consultants and programmers are costs that they assess REALTORS®. MAAR doesn't get involved in those costs or prices. They are between the REALTOR® and the 3rd party. Our suggestion is to shop around and get several quotes; weigh the options that each 3rd party claims to provided and decide which one best matches your needs and budget. The IDX site that MAAR has developed and can provide a unique link for a REALTOR® to frame costs $8 a month. MAAR asks for a six month commitment when subscribing to this feature.

Are there any rules or guidelines that must be followed?
It's up to the REALTOR®, his or her broker and 3rd party to be familiar with all IDX rules and regulations and stay in compliance. MAAR does not police REALTOR® Web sites. The Tennessee Real Estate Commission does, however. Like with MLS violations, brokers are responsible for IDX violations on their sites and sites their agents advertise on. TREC also has specific rules for REALTOR® Web sites that must be observed.

How do I sign up for IDX?
Visit the IDX Sign-Up page for the options available and necessary forms for each. If you have any questions, contact MAAR's MLS Support Team at 901 685.2100. We'll give you a more in-depth explanation of the different IDX options.

 


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