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List of Really Cool IDX Map Solutions

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I’m spending a great deal of time investigating solutions for the Independent Agents, and this week I’m focusing in on IDX Map Solutions.  I’m not doing a review of each, I’ll leave that to the consumer.  My goal is to assist you in locating the top tier of IDX offerings. 

I will admit that I looked at nearly 20 solutions and there are some really awful ones that take no account of the principals of Web2.0, and in fact, some are not even Web1.0 and still cost the same as a modern solution.

What I require to even make my list are the following:

  • Visual first and last impression
  • Ease of search
  • Load times
  • Results pages
  • Navigation
  • Consumer tools
  • The level and quality of the information provided via results

So here is the short list:

Cevado.com


Diverse Solutions – dsSearchAgent


LinkuRealty


RealtySoft.com


I’ve reviewed and used dsSearchAgent and still believe that it is the most unique and modern idx solution around. I’m still searching for its rival!

I did this quick list because coverage for many Idx Map Solutions are at times limited by geography, so if you know of a provider that does something special with IDX Mapping for Agents, let us know!

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Richard Iarossi

    June 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for the great post, I have been a user of RealtySoft IDX and I am very happy with it, you can check out my IDX here: they include it free of charge as part of my website package which is $24.95 with no setup fees. Feel free to check out my website using the above URL.

  2. Richard Iarossi

    June 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for the great post, I have been a user of RealtySoft IDX and I am very happy with it, you can check out my IDX here: https://www.searchingmaryland.com/MD%20Properties they include it free of charge as part of my website package which is $24.95 with no setup fees. Feel free to check out my website using the above URL.

  3. Tyler, The Wealth Creation Guy

    June 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I’m going to ask a potentially stupid question. Is it possible for a mortgage lender to put an IDX feed on their website? My market is SUPER slow to adopt high tech solutions and I think I could be the all inclusive resource for clients.

    Is it possible? Is it legal? What would it cost me?

    I’m really just looking for advice. I’ve been a long time listener – I just figured I’d light a fire and make this a really interesting conversation 😉

    Thanks in advance everyone! You rock. I wish we had more agents like you in Iowa.

  4. Jay Thompson

    June 23, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Tyler –

    You’d need to be a member of the local MLS. Ours takes “affiliate” members — appraisers, title companies, etc. I don’t know if any affiliates are lenders. And I suspect affiliates probably aren’t allowed to host an IDX solution.

    One work-around would of course to get your real estate sales license, pony up all the associate fees and wha-la!

    Costs? MLS fees vary. Mine are about $180/year. And of course to get access to the MLS (at least here) one has no choice than to join the “voluntary” local, state and national Realtor associations. That’ll set you back another $350 or so annually. And of course the IDX solution itself. Expect to pay between $500 – $1,200 per year for their monthly fees. And some have set up fees, contract and the like. Some don’t.

  5. Benn Rosales

    June 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Tyler, ask your agents if they want to feature their listings on your site for free 😉

  6. Jay Thompson

    June 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Oh, and plus the cost of a website or blog to put the IDX solution on….

  7. Karen Goodman

    June 23, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    This post is perfect timing for me. I was just starting to research this topic myself last night. I definitely need a new IDX solution. I’m using the free one that my MLS offers, and my broker also uses – Immobel. It’s pretty bad and I’ve found that my listings aren’t always up to date.

    I’ve heard a lot about Wolfnet (https://www.wolfnet.com/maptracks/). Did you consider this one for your list? If so and it didn’t make the cut, I’m curious to why not.

    I’ll be following all the comments to see who everyone likes.

  8. Jim Gatos

    June 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I called Diverse Solutions and got a strange answer. If I were to sign up with them, I would have to pay an extra $100 a month for Diverse to access my MLS’s system. Something known as a “Sql” fee.. I guess the normal charge for an IDX provider is $500 monthly. I suppose Diverse isn’t interested in expanding in Massachusetts..
    Too bad…
    I can’t justify paying $150 monthly.. That’s a little too much..

    PS.. My broker would have to pay it and I would pay him.. (The $100 monthly)

  9. Benn Rosales

    June 23, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Karen, no it didn’t make the cut for several reasons, it has a very slow load on many of the random sites I tested, and it is clunky once it does load. The spinning wheel and color choices in and around the map make it very busy to the eye and does not create a comfortable searching environment.

    These are my opinions, but there are better options available.

  10. Paula Henry

    June 23, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Benn –

    I have been looking at new IDX solutions, as well and am happy to see a good review of Diverse Solutions. They are my first choice! I’m not fond of their sliding search bar – but you can’t beat the information they provide, as well as the presentation of the property and details.

  11. Karen Goodman

    June 23, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Benn,

    Thanks for the input on Wolfnet. It’s the only one I’ve seen mentioned in the Point 2 forums, and was just getting ready to start my own research. I’ll take a look at all the ones you suggested. I’m actually thinking about holding a poll on my site to try to get some input from non-realtors. I know that home buyers will have a different perspective than mine, and there perspective is really all that matters. But, I needed a list of a few sites to point them to, and you just solved that problem.

    Thanks again. I’ll be pointing them to this post when I do set up my survey.

  12. Benn Rosales

    June 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Paula, if your user doesn’t like the sliders, they can simply switch to classic… 🙂

    Karen, knock yourself out, slow load times will surely turn off buyers, and fail to impress your sellers. Definately let us know what your actual consumers have to say, I know what ours thought and would love to compare!

  13. Jay Thompson

    June 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I’m a huge Diverse Solutions fan. In addition to a killer map search, they have “modules” that you can embed directly in a post, and they provide RSS feeds for listings — there are tons of possibilities for both.

    User (non-agent) feedback has been very good.

    If anyone is interested in seeing a few sample posts of an embedable search, send me an email (don’t want to post too many links and get caught in the spam filter). jay@ThompsonSrealty.com

    Here’s an example of the DS RSS feed on my blog. Not particularly pretty, but good search engnie food!

  14. Jay Thompson

    June 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

  15. Paula Henry

    June 23, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Jay – Thanks for the link – I didn’t see this feature before. Like you said, great Google food! Where’s the link to the RSS feed on your site?

  16. Scott

    June 24, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Perfect timing – This was added to my “to do” list recently and i will check out the sites mentioned, provide feedback, and stay tuned to this thread for updates. I also checked out Wolfnet and was not impressed.

  17. Melina Tomson

    June 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    This is perfect timing. I’m a sole broker and just my MLS one for now which is minimally adequate. It was on my list for this summer to search a new solution and you just saved me a TON of time. Thanks!

  18. Troy Austin

    July 5, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I am having no luck finding an IDX solution that allows for a search by price per square foot. Please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks

  19. Karen Goodman

    July 6, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Benn,

    I finally had some time to go through all of your recommendations. Two of them aren’t available for my MLS, so I didn’t even look at them. I did spend some time on the Diverse Solutions site and am really impressed. I’m hoping that they do serve St. Louis, because I really would like this on my site. Hopefully I’ll hear back tomorrow.

    If they do, no need for me to survey my readers. I’m sure this will be a winner. Thanks for all your advice!

  20. Karen Goodman

    July 7, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Benn,

    I’m back again. Diverse Solutions doesn’t serve St. Louis, and the cost was ridiculous to set it up. They want $2700 in one time fees to cover their costs to move into my market, plus the regular annual fees. No IDX is worth that much money.

    I’ve got an email to see if Cevado serves my MLS, but your other two suggestions don’t cover my market. Any other contenders that came close to making your list?

  21. Benn Rosales

    July 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Try Cevado, and then I have a few in my pocket, none of which are exactly a top on my list, but better than others. Let me know…

  22. Karen Goodman

    July 10, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Benn,

    I haven’t heard back from Cevado and I emailed them a couple of days ago. I’m nterested in the other IDX options that have integrated map searches on your list. So far the only one I have found that works with MARIS in St. Louis is wolfnet’s mapfinder. I like it but do agree that it loads slowly at times. I would appreciate it if you could email me and give me your other suggestions.

    Thanks!

  23. Tamara Inzunza

    July 21, 2008 at 7:45 am

    I am a WolfNet subscriber and I agree that the map is slow to load. I’ve been using them for about a year now, but am starting to look into other providers. It’s all about the buyer, and they want to see the listings…quickly!

  24. Rachael Burger

    July 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I’ve been using Diverse Solutions on our soon-to-be-relaunched website and have found it to be excellent overall, except for the fact that it does not let you search on parking (e.g. number of parking spaces). This is essential for our urban market. Has anyone had this problem, or does anyone have a suggestion for a work-around? I haven’t gotten very far w/ them on this, and it looks like they’re close to releasing some new functionality that sounds like it will not include the parking issue . . . Thanks in advance for any help.

    –Rachael

  25. David Hubbard

    August 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for all the research, article and comments. We decided on a combination of DiverseSolutions & RealBird for our real estate search site. DiverseSolutions is a bit slow but very nice. I use it myself.

    Thanks Again,

    David

  26. Gordon Baker

    September 17, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Timely read. I’ve been using Killer IDX and was contacted by Z57 yesterday for an appointment to review their IDX. Your comments give good input on other options.

  27. Jim Gatos

    September 19, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I realize this is an older post, but I wrote a post on my blog, that I think is extremely relevant to this post and I thought i’d bring it here. There are two IDX’s I am inquiring about. The first is Blueroof, and the second is RLS2000. I use RLS2000 due to it’s extensive searching capabilities, I have tried others and no one comes close to them. Here is my post;

    https://www.massrealestateguy.com/2008/09/local-agents-lo.html

    I’d really appreciate what your thoughts are.
    Thanks
    Jim

  28. Greenville SC Real Estate

    March 7, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I know this is an old thread, but it’s been really helpful. I have been looking into Diverse Solutions, and so far, I would have to it’s the leader in my search for a new IDX provider. I sent them an e-mail for more info, but now I’m really curious about what their pricing will look like. I’ll report back with my findings.

  29. Brad

    October 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I used killer IDX. I love the diversity but found out that the owner’s wife was competing with me online as a Real Estate Agent..I dropped and I am looking for another.

  30. Alex

    June 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I am current using Diverse solutions IDX, their prices are- you can safely say double of what the other competing IDX providers. Had used it for 2 years but lately thinking about moving to another more reliable && less expensive provider – well more of the problem with their IDX Reliability.

    When I 1st started, their IDX MLS search Data return was not accurate .Some of my clients complained that many of the homes showing up on other website are not showing & I have to complaint to them several time to fix it . Their sever are also problem , there were several time I was putting my idx sites on pay per click advertising & their IDX server just went down without announcing, leaving my Pay per click ads keep running without capturing any clients.

    This is not the one time – but happen several time & they only acknowledge when you caught it. I caught it because my pay per click ads were clicking and IDX was not capturing clients in usual expected amount & I went ahead and check to find their server was down.

    Upon complaint about their unreliable server I got e-mail saying no server can be 100% up . Well that understandable that no machine can be up 100% however what is not understandable is why is there no e-mail alert broadcast to ALL clients about server being down as courtesy, just 1 e-mail why so hard. . Or how about offering to credit back some of the fees for faulty data base IDX show to my clients ( which question my site’s data trust worthiness & forced my clients to other agent’s competing sites)

    – Also Their Java register or login pop up form can not be easily integrated with the other site CSS forms to stream line the registration with min sites if you plan to use that way & worse is, though IDX has many bells and whistle plug ins – their front end GUI really do not understand user experience . Or most likely is the back end tech guy designing the front end graphical user interface page .

    I have my clients ask too many time where is the login icon or where is the place they can get property update – (why can’t they do simple fix & make these important button & features obvious) or also if you are on result page, with multiple property showings in several pages they have little arrow sign to move up & down but you have no idea which page you are on .

    Their property search button is also buggy, client must hit the search icon (which is located – all the way down) again why it is so hard to make it easy to identify. Thus upon form completion the form client must hit this search button , if they intuitively hit “enter” simply to start searching their idx do not understand .These type of annoying graphical user interface & not acceptable for IDX that cost double the competing guys. But the most annoying thing to me is : their integrity & server problem.

    Oh!! also they limit the search client database up to 1000 only. If you plan to drive in large number of home search clients online this is gonna be problem .too

    In this information age your client do not tolerate such failures, if they can not access your idx site for whatever reason or if they feel the idx data display is buggy or not trust worthy or incomplete due to programming error etc they will hit next to go to competing agent idx access. Period.

    At this point it’s my honest opinion that if Diverse solution do not get this bread and butter of IDX i.e data integrity & reliable server problem & hose simple user interface issues fixed, those bells and whistle do not matter & not worth paying money as your idx site will be shy away by your clients & you are wondering why your clients are using other people’s site for home search .

    Well this is just my personal experience.

  31. Curtis Reddehase

    March 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Our office has mastered over 15 idx solutions and are currently using about 6 or 7 different ones.. As of right now I would have to say the most reliable one I know is Ihomefinder. You can get it through linkurealty.com or 888-99-linku. I will not say anything bad about anyone else, but I will say some of the observations made in the remarks above are right on with respect to lack of reliability with some solutions mentioned.

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Social Media

Reels: Why Instagram can’t compete with TikTok… yet?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The future for Instagram Reels is uncertain, since even Instagram has acknowledge that TikTok is far ahead of them, but what does it mean for their future?

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Phone camera on stand in foreground with two women filming for TikTok or Instagram reels in the background

If you’re a TikTok user, chances are you’ve scoffed at Instagram’s attempt to compete with the hype. Yes, I’m referring to the Reels feature.

In an attempt to step in and absorb all the TikTok user run-off in August, when Trump announced the TikTok ban, Instagram launched Reels. Short, catchy and sharable clips, Reels are almost exactly like TikTok videos – but are they catching on?

In an interview with The Verge’s “Decoder” podcast, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri says that he isn’t yet happy with Reels, stating that TikTok is still “way ahead”. While Reels is growing in terms of shared content and consumed content, it’s not nearly where Instagram hoped it would be by this point. Perhaps this is because TikTok is still alive and well. Or perhaps there’s something else to it.

It’s interesting to note that some of the most popular Reels on Instagram are simply reposted TikToks. This poses the question: Is Instagram’s Reels simply a channel where the ‘cream of the crop’ TikTok videos can get posted in a second location and exposed to a new audience, or is it actually a platform for creators?

Mosseri also hints at some sort of consolidation across Instagram’s video features (i.e., IGTV, in-post videos, Reels). Without being entirely sure what that will look like, I’m already skeptical – is this all just another example of Facebook (via Instagram) trying to hold a monopoly on the social media sphere?

My opinion? As long as TikTok is still in operation, it will reign supreme. While the two apps have a ton of overlap, they are simply different cultural spaces. TikTok is a trend-heavy, meta-humor creative space that relies on engagement between users through effect, duets, and other TikTok-exclusive features.

Adversely, Reels is a space for Instagramming millennials and Gen Xers who might be choosing to opt out of TikTok (which has sort of become the cultural epicenter for the younger Gen Zers). The feature might also be used by Insta influencers and creators of all ages who toggle between the two apps (i.e., reposting your viral TikTok on Instagram to gain more traction).

Whatever the reason is for engaging in Reels, I’m fully certain the feature will never amount to the success of TikTok – but I guess we’ll have to wait to see what Instagram has in store for us next.

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One easy way to organize your influencers inbox, get paid for fan DMs

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Superpage is a contact page for influencers that also allows users with a fanbase to charge fans money for guaranteed attention on their message.

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Demo page of Superpage, a contact page for influencers that lets you filter DMs across social media platforms.

At times, our inboxes can get out of control. Besides email from our family and friends, marketing and spam emails wind up in there, too. While for some of us, it isn’t too bad to handle. Some people might find it a little harder to manage because of the great influx of messages they receive. And, some of those people are influencers.

Well, that is one company’s target – if you have a fanbase, you have an influence. Superpage is a “contact page for influencers.” According to the company’s website, their product will help influencers declutter their inboxes and offer them a better communication setup.

“DMs & e-mails were built for generic human communication. With huge follower-base & more people seeking their time, influencers need a slightly different communication setup – designed just for them. That’s what we’re building at Superpage – a communication system uniquely crafted for influencers,” wrote Superpage Founder Srivatsa Mudumby.

Who can get Superpage?
Superpage is meant for influencers, creators, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and just about anyone with a social media presence.

What does it do?
The platform allows fans to directly connect with influencers by letting them send a message through the influencer’s Superpage. So, instead of hoping to receive a reply from the DM they sent on Instagram or TikTok, Superpage guarantees a reply, as long as it isn’t illicit or spammy of course.

But, while Superpage lets fans communicate with their idol, it doesn’t do so for free. Fans “pay what they want” to send a message. However, the website doesn’t make it clear whether what you pay makes a difference. If someone pays more, will their message get prioritized? I doubt a $10 ticket gave anyone the chance to choose between general admission or VIP.

How does it work?
You sign up and set up your personalized page by adding a bio, display picture, cover photo, topics you’d like to discuss, etc. Once you link your bank account to your Superpage account, you can share your page on social media, website, or blog post. Through your unique “Superpage link” anyone can send you “Super texts” (messages).

In your Dashboard, you can view, manage, and reply to your messages. Superpage uses “restricted messaging”, which means each sender receives a limited number of messages to follow-up. Once you’re finished replying, the conversation will automatically close.

Fees and Payments
There is no monthly fee to use Superpage. The company makes money by charging a 5% commission plus credit card fees. And, it uses Stripe to process payments directly to the influencer’s bank account.

“People want to talk to influencers of the world but because of huge volume of messages & poor incentivization, influencers can never respond to everyone mindfully. We spoke to a ton of influencers and almost everyone complained “my inboxes are spammed,” wrote Mudumby.

Superpage does provide a new way for fans to reach out to their idols, but is it more like a way for them to charge for office hours? One thing is for sure, it’s a way for influencers to reach out to fans, but make money in the process, too. It’s up to you to decide if it’s something you’d put your money into.

As for a decluttered inbox, it does seem like all those emails and messages might not end up in your messy inbox. Instead, they will live on the platform’s dashboard in a, hopefully, more organized manner.

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If you’re not on Clubhouse, you’re missing out – here’s why

(SOCIAL MEDIA) What exactly is Clubhouse, and why is it the quarantine app sensation? There’s a few reasons you should definitely be checking out right now!

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Clubhouse member hanging out on the app, on a couch with mask on their face.

The new exclusive app Clubhouse is challenging what social media can be – and it might possibly be the best thing to blow up during quarantine.

Developed by ex-Google employee Rohan Seth and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Paul Davison, Clubhouse has only been gaining in popularity since lockdown. Here’s why you need to join immediately:

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is like if subreddit pages were live podcasts. Or maybe if niche, topic-centric Zoom chatrooms could connect you with people from all over the world. But it’s ONLY audio, making it perfect for this period of lockdown where no one truly looks their best.

From networking events to heated debates about arts and culture to book clubs, you can truly find anything you want on Clubhouse. And if you don’t see a room that peaks your interest, you can make one yourself.

Why is it special?

Here’s my hot take: Clubhouse is democratizing the podcast process. When you enter a room for women entrepreneurs in [insert your industry], you not only hear from the established experts, but you’ll also have a chance to listen to up-and-coming users with great questions. And, if you want, you can request to speak as well.

If you click anyone’s icon, you can see their bio and links to their Instagram, Twitter, etc. For professionals looking to network in a deeper way, Clubhouse is making it easier to find up and coming creatives.

If you’re not necessarily looking to network, there’s still so much niche material to discover on the app. Recently, I spent an hour on Clubhouse listening to users discuss the differences in American and British street fashion. It got heated, but I learned A LOT.

The celebrities!

Did I mention there’s a TON of celebrities on the app? Tiffany Haddish, Virgil Abloh, and Lakeith Stanfield are regulars in rooms – and often host scheduled events. The proximity to all kinds of people, including the famous, is definitely a huge draw.

How do you get on?

Anyone with an iPhone can make an account, but as of now you need to be “nominated” by someone in your contacts who is already on the app. Think Google+ but cooler.

With lockdown giving us so much free time that our podcasts and shows can’t keep up with the demand, Clubhouse is a self-sustaining content mecca. Rooms often go on for days, as users in later time zones will pick up where others left off when they need to get some sleep. And the cycle continues.

Though I’m still wrapping my brain around it, I can say with fair certainty that Clubhouse is very, very exciting. If you have an hour (or 24) to spare, try it out for yourself – I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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