Every well-built real estate website is configured with MLS listings from a 3rd party IDX provider. IDX, short for internet data exchange, is the technology used to pipe in data from a regional MLS database. Despite the type of content management system a website is built on, an IDX plugin allows real estate agents to display data on their websites through a feed a real estate data. The data includes anything input to the MLS like price, the property’s description, images, etc.
There are a handful of IDX providers on the market that plug into an agent’s regional MLS to send a data feed into the agent’s website. Some providers have access to multiple MLS databases, others focus solely on their region’s MLS. In almost every case there are technical issues to overcome and custom configurations that need to be considered.
What Is the Best IDX Plugin for Wordpress?
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Specifically, I have integrated IDX into a variety of Wordpress-driven websites. There are a few really good plugins available and there are a few I would recommend avoiding.
Here’s my evaluation of 3 Wordpress IDX providers I’ve worked with recently:
At the top of the list is Diverse Solutions, the provider of the WP plugin DSIDXpress. This handy plugin taps right into your local MLS database and is a relatively light plugin on the Wordpress backend. The setup in WP is easy and the Diverse Solutions team handles everything required with real estate boards with a one-time $99 fee.
The cost of DSIDXpress is very friendly too. Plans start at $59.99 and move up depending on the features you would like to see on your website. You can set up a clean maps integration (great for users who prefer to search by map), allow users to save listings, add a CRM to manage client information and more.
The one thing Diverse Solutions lacks that is also common with other IDX solutions is the ability to fully inherit a theme’s styling. Don’t get me wrong, it does a great job 99% of the time. I’m just really picky and prefer to fully style IDX pages to my clients’ branding.
Lastly, the support from Diverse Solutions is hands-down the best in the business. They are quick to respond via email or by phone. Any issues I’ve ever had have been resolved in the same day.
IDX Broker is another easy-to-integrate MLS solution. It’s available as a WP plugin with a very simple setup and the team at IDX Broker handles the technical pieces. IDX Broker has partnerships with most MLS databases in the US, making it a viable option for real estate agents everywhere.
The cost of IDX Broker starts at $39.99 for an individual agent and moves up for teams or brokers. Like most IDX plugins, there is a one-time $99 set up fee — this covers the process for IDX Broker to connect with a regional MLS and file the required paperwork. It’s a hands-off process for real estate agents, which is really nice.
While $39.99 to get started seems great, there is a drawback to the great price. The default designs of IDX pages are really plain and in my opinion, boring. They feature the basic MLS data, but that’s about it. If you have a professional Wordpress theme that you have paid a few thousand dollars to develop, IDX Broker’s pages will most likely not be consistent with the rest of your site. You’ll need to hire a developer to make additional customizations, which in turn makes the $39.99 fee a little less attractive.
Support from IDX Broker is also A+. They are responsive and resolve any issues with the plugin as quickly as possible.
Next up we have the visually-appealing IDX Boost. This plugin is by far one of the most presentable Wordpress IDX plugins as it displays real estate data in a beautiful format. Additionally, this is one of the only plugins that allows you to hyper-target the data for specific buildings (ideal for cities with high rise condos; i.e., check out Chicago’s Luxury Real Estate) or precise neighborhoods. Other plugins attempt to do this, but tend to fall short.
The cost of IDX Boost is difficult to say, which is one of its major drawbacks. For the WP plugin alone, I’ve been quoted $59.99 (per month) up to $3,000 which makes zero sense. The sales reps are overly aggressive and don’t seem to really understand the product, therefore quoting a wide range of prices. They also really push their pre-made Wordpress layouts that start at $3,500 — helpful hint: you don’t need to pay $3,500 for a small, regional real estate site.
One other drawback I’ve found with IDX Boost is the support, or lack thereof. If you ever run into an issue with the plugin, be prepared to be charged $150 / hour to diagnose the issue (even though its their plugin). If it’s not one of their costly layouts, they immediately say it’s an issue with your website and not the plugin. Lastly, the company’s support is located in Peru, where English is not the primary language.
While these are just a few of the many Wordpress IDX providers available, there are several more. And if you prefer to be completely hands-off with your website, there are solutions for that too — expect to pay a higher monthly bill, but you’ll see leads delivered to your inbox without ever having to touch your website.