Realtors are increasingly using IDX search in their websites and across social networks and in any place it can be embedded. We’ve long espoused the values of companies like AG supporters DiverseSolutions.com who recently launched mobile search to their full offering, and Displet.com who recently launched as a fully customizable IDX option built by Realtors who refuse the nickle and dime mentality of some other vendors.
There are two IDX companies on the market that are also looking to get Realtor attention- IDXPro and NeighborhoodScout.
IDXPro Facebook Application
IDXPro.com now offers a Facebook Application that is an embeddable search page widget involving copying and pasting of code into a real estate Facebook page.
Agents can install the app to offer property search inside their Facebook page with interactive Google Map searches, email registration and the company says that because it’s an iframe product, the data never leaves their own secure server and they claim they stay “in complete MLS compliance.” The IDXPro app code can be embedded anywhere and is not limited to Facebook.
Robot Workshop’s Neighborhood Suggester
Neighborhood Suggester launched this summer and founder Seth Siegler told AGBeat the backstory of how the company came to be. He said that after nine years as a Realtor and three years as a co-founder of a virtual brokerage, he found many options for real estate search to be out of their price range, so they designed their own IDX solution.
“I started thinking one day, that this had to be a problem for agents and small brokers all over the country. So as a side-project, I started thinking about ways to build an IDX that looked as good the big portals, converted leads well but could fit into the budgets of the “little guy” who wanted to compete with big brokerages. I formed Robot Workshop in mid 2010 as a place to experiment with these search apps. Kind of like a freestanding “skunkworks” department. The idea was that we would just build the best possible solutions but cost would always have to stay in check for agents and small brokerages.
We formed a partnership with Onboard Informatics in Dec 2010 and gained access to their Lifestyle Search API. That was right around the time we finished the initial version of our IDX solution: IDX Robot. I always think about online real estate search and how it compares to offline real estate shopping. Why is it so much harder to convert online leads vs the ones that call or walk into your office?
One big reason, I decided was that, while home-search interfaces (IDX) are prevalent, there really aren’t any viable neighborhood search tools. In the offline and “real world” search process, neighborhood selection and research is paramount. But online home-search is completely focused on the house. Remember “location, location, location”? When someone walks into your real estate office, they tell you about what they want in a house, but always add that the neighborhood HAS to have _____________ (good schools, nearby shopping, dog parks, etc.) In fact, how often do you have clients who settle for a smaller or rougher house just to make it into THE neighborhood that fits their lifestyle oh-so-perfectly?”
IDX is becoming a staple in the real estate industry and consumers are expecting to be able to search on a Realtor’s website. We lean toward full-featured IDX companies that offer superior customer service and a collaborative attitude, and others are coming on line that offer different takes on real estate search.