In the early 2000s when IDX (Internet Data Exchange) first hit the market, it was only available to realtors and companies who could afford to spend big bucks to include it into their websites.
Fast forward sixteen years and now IDX is now available to everyone! It’s rapidly becoming an indispensable tool that gives your personal website a competitive edge.
How does it work?
IDX incorporates real estate listings from the MLS database into your website, allowing potential buyers to view listed homes without leaving your website. This really levels the playing field for realtors!
Your first step is selecting a Winning Agent theme. All Winning Agent themes are 100% compatible with IDXBroker. Integrating IDX is as simple as clicking here and signing up (and note that the setup fee is waived). Now you have a personal website complete with IDX listings.
What makes IDX so important?
The National Association of Realtors detailed the importance of IDX and it’s positive impact on your business in The Dawning Age of IDX by Joe Frey. The key takeaways are:
The buyer-consumer stays at your site
Consumers and brokers win
IDX raises the customer service bar
Keeping the Buyer on your site
When you have IDX listings directly on your website, buyers will not have to leave to find what they need.
This is absolutely critical for the buyer because they most likely find the world of real estate baffling and overwhelming. By providing them with an easy and pleasurable start to the experience you are getting off on the right foot and that will be remembered and rewarded.
Home-buyers, like most consumers in the Internet Age, have short attention spans. They want to find information they need as painlessly and quickly as possible. If your website isn’t IDX compatible, they will look elsewhere. It’s easy to add IDX and your competitors are probably doing it. By not following their lead, you are risking falling behind and hurting your sales.
Buyers will also become frustrated if your website is not 100% responsive. Responsive design means that your website re-formats to be readable and accessible on any device. Forbes contributor John Rampton wrote a very compelling piece titled Stop Your Website from Killing Sales where he discussed the importance of responsive design. All Winning Agent themes are 100% responsive so you can rest easy that your website will be compatible with IDX and easily accessed on laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Responsive design and IDX integration work hand in hand. You are providing the buyer with an easily navigable, user-friendly, informational space to begin their home-buying process.
Customer Service is Key!
IDX will generate leads for you. It’s very critical that you follow up on them and track your lead conversions.
This handy tutorial by IDXBroker will give you some tips on how to read conversion data and IDXBroker offers regular online seminars on a variety of topics. This upcoming webinar focuses on lead generation specifically.
IDX might be relatively new technology but what you do with your leads is Old School Sales 101! You need to follow up and give them the best customer service possible. Reach out, be relatable and find out their needs.
Harvard Business Review contributors James B Oldroyd, Kristina McElheran and David Elkington warn that leads that are not followed up on in a timely fashion soon become obsolete. Their piece, The Short Life of Online Sales Leads has this to say,
Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (which we defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.
Old School Customer Service and New School Technology
A responsive, personal website with IDX capability gets your customers in the door, keeps them on your website and makes the first step in the home-buying process painless, straightforward and enjoyable. There is no doubt that by doing this you’ll gain a serious competitive edge.
Once you’ve engaged them and have followed up with customer service and support, you’ll be able to convert your leads into buyers and gain referrals for the future.