What Does IDX Mean in Real Estate?

As digitization takes over the real estate industry, there are certain concepts that real estate agents, brokers, and other real estate professionals struggle with. IDX integration is one of these concepts. In this article, we will discuss IDX in detail, and after reading it, you will have expert knowledge of IDX and an understanding of how IDX integration relates to today’s real estate market.

Are you wondering how to become the most reliable source of real estate listings online in your local market?

You might think this is possible primarily because real estate professionals are now used to customers doing their home search on huge listing syndications. How can you possibly get an advantage over these huge companies? The first step is IDX. But you need to understand the term.

Not only can you display your listings through your website and IDX integration, but you can also tap into the power of the whole MLS database to generate leads and expand your company. How? Continue reading to learn!!

What Is IDX Real Estate?

IDX is an abbreviation of the words Internet Data Exchange. It is a concept used on websites that cover guidelines, policies, and software relevant to the display of a real estate listing website.

IDX is a regulation of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) framework. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has explained that agents who engage in local listings may share details of their listings online. 

Although IDX is a NAR regulation, most Realtors and marketers use the word IDX to refer to the instruments and software that:

  • show MLS listings on agent websites, 
  • provide a means for customers to check for active listings, and 
  • facilitate client contact/budget details by encouraging clients to select which real estate professional to share their information with.

This reality implies that through their platforms, Realtors will provide customers with access to all MLS info. IDX keeps them on the platform instead of referring prospective clients to a third-party listing provider or even the nearest MLS. 

IDX is not a static portal that forces a one-size-fits-all framework to be utilized by the customer. Instead, it is more of an MLS listings database that can be viewed in numerous ways. That is why IDX’s correct implementation means a lot in the real estate world.

How Does IDX Work?

IDX can be applied across four key technologies: IDX Framing, RETS, RESO Web API, and FTP. Each of these IDX technologies functions differently. 

IDX creates a data link between the MLS and your website, imports listings, and shows them on your website. The listings are changed regularly, so your audience already has access to the most up-to-date listings and can email you for updates on the properties accessible.


RETS is an acronym for the Real Estate Transaction Standard. It is an Internet Data Exchange mechanism based on XML that was created to replace the older FTP-based data exchange process in the real estate industry. RETS enables MLS servers and local real estate websites across the county to speak the same language for successful transmission and mixing of property listing info.


RESO Web API offers a structured MLS database interface that enables IDX applications and websites to query and return listings live for search results via the application programming interface. With Web API, there is a streamlined access point to MLS data and Realtors can make direct calls to MLS servers.

IDX Framing

IDX Framing, also known as iFrame, is a popular application that shows MLS listings on Realtors’ individual websites. An iFrame is an HTML feature that is used by copying and pasting code to insert HTML documents, such as MLS search windows, into an organization’s website. IFrames are cost-effective and easy to use, but provide little to no SEO value.


FTP is an abbreviation for File Transfer Protocol. It is a way of sharing data between computers that were once used by default to transfer real estate listings to local real estate websites from MLS. Other quicker, more interactive technologies for the sharing of internet data have come into use since FTP is burdensome and slow.

What Are the Advantages of IDX for Real Estate Websites?

  • Improved user-experience

Integrating MLS listings on your real estate website will effectively boost user engagement by permitting them to have a smoother home-buying experience, eventually contributing to further leads and more closed deals.

  • Website search engine visibility

The second benefit of introducing IDX to your real estate website is website search engine visibility. IDX feed incorporation on a website will theoretically draw more search engine visitors, which is every Realtor’s dream.

However, it is not correct that by merely applying the IDX feed, it is possible to achieve SEO benefits for a website. One must understand that some requirements must be fulfilled here, such as;

1. Properly implemented content architecture

2. Added unique content

3. Promoting content constantly.

In a Nutshell

In recent times, most clients expect real estate websites to have listings. Reports from the National Association of Realtors indicate that virtually all buyers’ first step in their journey to get a new property is on an online search engine. So, when you compare agents who display listings with agents who do not, the latter end up at a disadvantage.

Do you want to attract more buyers to your brokerage? Read RealtyFeed and RESO: How the New Real Estate Social Network Is Built On Cutting Edge Technology Standards and How to Earn Additional Income as a Real Estate Agent.