A Few Major Drawbacks to Using IDX Broker Platinum

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 3:48pm. 84,636 Views

Which Local Real Estate IDX Websites Actually Rank On Google in 2019?
Click the link to see see the results from our latest study.

IDX Broker Platinum ReviewI'm in the very last stages of flipping a house, but today rather than finishing up, I decided to stop everything to write this post because of the phone call I just had with IDX Broker. I wish someone would have written a post like this when I first started building my real estate website 4 months ago.

I have personally invested hundreds of  hours into my site, GreatColoradoHomes.com. It has only been live for a few months now, but is currently receiving over 60,000 page views each month. That may not seem like a lot compared to some veteran sites, but for just a few months of SEO, I'm very pleased with it. As I continue to invest even more hours, those numbers keep steadily rising.

One of the most important parts of my website is the IDX feed. I am using IDX Broker Platinum to supply my IDX listings through the Denver Metrolist MLS and Colorado Spring's Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. Since I have started using this service, I have experienced issues each month, to which the most common statement I receive from IDX Broker's tech support is, "I'm sorry, you'll just have to deal with it. It's not us, it's your MLS". Then I talk to my MLS and they say that it's my IDX providers responsibility. As I learn more about the RETS and IDX feed, I realize that most of these issues are IDX Broker related. They have so many websites setup on their service that they really aren't concerned with my site when there are issues.

IDX Broker Reviews

 


MAIN ISSUE #1

A couple of months back, the Denver Metrolist MLS switched over to the Matrix System. It's a nice upgrade to our MLS, but it changed some things on my website that I now have to "live with". The main thing that has been changed is that the data feed automatically adds properties that are "under contract" to all search results. This really screws up the user experience when  searching for homes, because many of the homes that they find on my site are "under contract". No one wants to look at homes that are not available for purchase. Seriously, who searches "under contract" listings?

My users now have to perform a custom search and choose to only receive active listings from the advanced menu, which is a major inconvenience. This option is not even available in the maps section, so the map search is now swamped with "under contract" listings. In areas like Briargate and Broadmoor where homes are only on the market for a few days, these "under contract" listings really botch things up.

IDX Broker told me that this is a Denver Metrolist issue, but when I  search other websites in the area using different IDX services, they do not have this problem. I know that IDX Broker can change whether the "Under Contract" data appears, or not. They really don't care though. Many agents who use the service are not even aware of this problem. I reached out to a few of them and tried to get some social buzz going around this issue, but I had no luck.


MAIN ISSUE #2

IDX Broker IssuesLast week, the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors also switched over to the Matrix System. I noticed yesterday that there have been no new listings from Colorado Springs on my website since last Tuesday (6 days ago). I just called IDX Broker to resolve the issue. I was told that they have to manually change over each agent's website to start receiving the new data. I asked if I could have some sort of estimate on how long that would be, or how many sites they have to go through. I was simply told, "no". Then I stated that I receive more than 60,000 page views per month on this site and that I can't just sit around waiting for a service that I am paying for to randomly start working one day in the future. I was told, "that's just how it is"This is the phone call that sparked this blog post.


OTHER ISSUES

One of the reasons I decided to go with IDX Broker was that I liked their integration with Google Maps. I spent time customizing the CSS code to make it responsive and I worked hard to implement the maps on most of my pages. A few weeks back, I noticed that my maps weren't working right. Then a couple of days later I received a message that IDX Broker was not using Google Maps anymore and decided to use MapQuest. I didn't even know MapQuest was still around! When I called and asked about it, I received another "just deal with it" conversation. Now all of my maps are through MapQuest. Yay. (slight sarcasm)

Some days I'll be working on my site and the CSS coding will simply stop functioning properly on the property listing pages. At first I freaked out and started re-coding it to look right, but then I noticed the next day that everything went back to normal and I had to change my CSS code back. I've learned that if my pages look funky, I should wait a day before I work on them because IDX Broker is usually just screwing with the page templates for the day. I expect and require a much higher level of service than that for my website.

I have to use my site daily to know when it's not functioning properly as there is never an email giving notice of these changes. I'm sure IDX Broker was hoping that I am just an agent who has a website on autopilot for brand recognition, and that I will probably never know that all my users receiving property updates and all my pages displaying new listings have stopped working. Unfortunately, I use my website everyday as the major foundation of my business. Today I noticed the the load times were extremely slow on my IDX pages. When I checked the load speed on Pingdom, it showed that the DNS connect time to IDX Brokers servers took around 9 seconds. This is a new problem that I will have to look into tomorrow, because it may just be a temporary problem for today. All my site hosted pages are running fast. The problems just seem to never end.

Real Estate Website HubAs Bobby Carrol from Dakno Marketing recently stated in a great discussion on Google+, a website is" the hub" of a Real Estate professional and all the social platforms and external posting sites are the spokes that point back to it and hold it together. I have hundreds of hours into linking and promoting this website which I have spent many late nights working on. My personal investment into this site goes beyond money and time. It is something that I firmly believe I should be focused on as the foundation for my business and future advancement. The only 3rd Party involved in my success is my IDX Provider. After the last few months of issues, I am fully aware that I have to figure out a better solution to this problem. I would have benefitted greatly from a post like this when I first started my website. I probably would have spent more time looking for an alternative.


SO WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?

My current thoughts on my IDX feed are moving towards using a service called RETS Cloud. This is a new service which takes the RETS feed and maps it out in a way that makes the data manageable for a web designer to implement into a MySql Database from a cloud. I've been learning about this for weeks, and this phone call I had today with IDX Broker is further motivating me to move in this direction. I would be able to completely control all the RETS data on my site. There will be a learning curve, but I have already had to learn CSS,  some PHP, and some HTML coding to get my website setup. If RETS Cloud doesn't work right, I'll keep going until I learn how to code it myself.

the keys to your websiteI am drawn to this option because I can work on it myself and I no longer have to rely upon a 3rd Party service anymore. I have used Diverse Solutions (no longer available in Denver), iHomefinder (seems dated), and Displet (had multiple issues) IDX services. All of these are limited in some aspects. There are other website options, such as RealGeeksMarket Leader (which I used for years but has lost it's luster), and Real Estate Webmasters. My main problem with these services is that you pay a setup fee (from $100 to $10,000+) and then a monthly fee, but you never actually own your site. If you stop paying your monthly charge, your site disappears and all your content goes with it. I want my site's content to be secure and in my possession for years to come. That's a non-negotiable point for me.

I also looked into KunversionBoomTown, and TigerLeads. I would have to say that I like their websites the most. The design and functionality of these systems are quite nice. My problem is (once again) that there is no long term ownership here. These sites are designed to use Google Adwords and other methods to capture instant leads and force them into a registration page. This is an effective strategy that I have used in the past, but I do not see it as a long term solution to internet leads and authorship credibility. I remember a friend of mine saying that he was looking at homes and every website that he went to was trying to get his email address so that they could spam him with listing alerts. He hated it. At the time, I was using this strategy and it was hard for me to hear him.  I had over 5,000 people signed up on my Market Leader site and I spent hours managing those leads, but most of them were low quality. My gut feeling is that the best home buyers are smart enough to keep looking for websites that do not force their registration. They want responsive websites that offer nice, clean resources to use without any pressure. This is what I love about Wordpress. There are so many options to make very clean sites. The longer the real estate webspace is filled with sites that force registration, the more annoying they will become. I wanted out of that space a long time ago.


THE TAKE-AWAY POINT

real estate website DIYThe more agents that can learn about websites, coding, social integration, IDX feeds, etc., the more likely we are to adapt to the coming waves of new ideas online. If we rely on a 3rd party service to create, manage, and/or promote our business, we're not learning. When I get busy managing and closing deals, I have less time to do these things and I start to lean towards hiring people, but I am committed to managing these parts of my business so that I can stay in the practice of learning and growing with technology. It's like exercising- no one really wants to do it, but once you get started it's addictive and life giving. It's also like learning another language; it seems impossible at first, but the more you interact with people who speak the language, the more you naturally function in the conversation. Real Estate websites are major conversations that I want to be a part of for years to come. I would rather hire people to manage my real estate transactions than my online presence.

I'll update this post as soon as I have figured out a fix to my IDX Broker issues. May the force be with me.......

In the meantime, are there any other Techie Real Estate Professionals out there dealing with these issues?

UPDATE: I have recently switched to Real Estate Webmasters and have wrote a follow up post on my long journey through the IDX labryrinth that I have recently struggled with. You can read it here: http://www.greatcoloradohomes.com/blog/my-journey-through-idx-options-and-a-quick-review-of-real-estate-webmasters.html. Please feel free to contact me directly if you need advice or have questions about your IDX options.

Photo Credit to http://sxc.hu/


 

IDX Broker tried to reply to this post at the end of September, but my blog would reject their comments as Spam, so I asked them to send me their response so that I could post it here. It was nice to hear from them and to know that they have address some of the issues above.

A Response from IDX Broker

Andrew,

Thank you to everyone who has provided us with this valuable feedback. This is a great opportunity for us to clarify a few things.We take our client's concerns to heart, so allow us address them directly -

  1. “My users now have to perform a custom search and choose to only receive active listings from the advanced menu, which is a major inconvenience. This option is not even available in the maps section, so the map search is now swamped with "under contract" listings... They really don't care though.”

No longer an issue. Now, all clients can globally hide listings that have a specific status attached to them.

2. “I noticed yesterday that there have been no new listings from Colorado Springs on my website since last Tuesday (6 days ago). I just called IDX Broker to resolve the issue. I was told that they have to manually change over each agent's website to start receiving the new data.”

This has been addressed. We have already built several tools to resolve this issue.

3. IDX Broker was not using Google Maps anymore and decided to use MapQuest.”

Google Maps was requiring an expensive licensing agreement so rather than pass the expense on to our users we switched to MapQuest.  Its easier for clients to customize, and helps keep our prices competitive. This solution has also enabled us to develop new Map features quickly - like Polygon Search and Pin Clustering.

4. “I've learned that if my pages look funky, I should wait a day before I work on them because IDX Broker is usually just screwing with the page templates for the day”

No longer an issue. We are using a versioning process. This enables clients to choose to upgrade to the latest version of the template.

5. "Today I noticed the the load times were extremely slow on my IDX pages. When I checked the load speed on Pingdom, it showed that the DNS connect time to IDX Brokers servers took around 9 seconds. This is a new problem that I will have to look into tomorrow, because it may just be a temporary problem for today.”

This issue was likely a temporary problem for that day, but we have also made some significant speed improvements recently to IDX pages. We are working on speeding up pages and MLS updates even more in the future.

We have a dedicated team of developers, and our product is under continuous development. We appreciate your feedback, and will use it to maintain IDX Broker's position as the #1 most trusted IDX solution on the market. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to respond. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Cheers,

Kimmy Gustafson

-IDX, LLC

Andrew FortuneHi There! I'm the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to leave a comment in the message box below, or to share this article on social media with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to contact me anytime at andrew@greatcoloradohomes.com.



 

Our Most Recent Blog Posts:

 

GreatColoradoHomes.com Logo

Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog

59 Responses to "A Few Major Drawbacks to Using IDX Broker Platinum"

Karen Neal wrote: Andrew,

I found your post while searching the Internet for reviews for Real Estate Webmasters. We are in Texas and currently have our site with Agent Image (big mistake) and are using IDX Broker Platinum (second big mistake). I have had the exact same experiences with IDX Broker as you and have always received the exact same response from them - it's not their fault, it's my MLS system's fault and there isn't anything that IDX Broker can do to rectify the situation. I am considering switching our website to Real Estate Webmasters which, as I'm sure you know, entails building an entirely new site and having to pay once again to have a site built. In light of the amount of time this will take and the expense, I was hoping you might be able to tell me if you are happy with Real Estate Webmasters before I start this whole process again.

Thank you so much for your time!

Sincerely,

Karen Neal

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 10:01pm.

Ethan wrote: Hi Andrew,

Awesome post! Thank you for sharing. I'm researching IDX plugins and I'm leaning towards Diverse Solutions' dsIDXPress Pro over IDXBroker. I feel like the DS solution might be the lesser of two evils. Both seem to have their faults.

REW is not in the budget at this time, though it's interesting to see that you ultimately went that route. I looked briefly at RETS Cloud, but at this stage I'm looking for something a bit more plug & play. You mention that you have used Diverse Solutions in the past. Would you mind sharing your thoughts? Better than IDXBroker at least? I would only use the dsIDXPress Pro plugin (not their map based IDX product). As someone who's really put these products to the test I'd love to know your thoughts.

Thanks!

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 11:02pm.

Rick Janson, Realtor® wrote: Howdy Andrew ~ Great write up. I looked into REW and their "slimmed down" package at one point. It seemed to me that you don't own your content or design their, either. Why did you go with them? Of the companies that I've researched, Inside Real Estate looked to be the bomb but wants total control over design, etc. and is wicked expensive. TigerLeads has a great reputation but is maxed out in Denver and not taking newcomers and REW seems to have quite a bit of traction. I'm leaving Wolfnet as I have not had one new lead sign up in 6 months with them - ouch! I love tech and could use a 2nd place to refer in the Springs. Let's grab a coffee in Castle Rock some time (half way?). Rick 720-432-5595

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 8:31am.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Karen, so far I am very happy with my REW website. It's been hard to give up control, as my previous Wordpress website was completely at my control. If I need something changed, I have to put in a work order for customization and then wait a few week for it to get done. I also have to pay for it. It's an expensive process, but it's also nice to not be messing with my site all the time and just focus on adding great content. So far, I am very impressed with my new REW site though. Only time will tell how effective it is, as compared to my Wordpress site. It's been great to be detached from IDX Broker and not have to use subdomains or third party server feeds. My pages have indexed much better.

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 11:07am.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Ethan, my 2 complaints with Diverse Solutions is that 1.) their IDX is not very mobile friendly and 2.) they are more pricey that the other IDX services. It's nearly impossible to adjust the CSS code to make it naturally responsive on the DS plugin. Since it looks dated and is a little confusing for the user to figure out, I couldn't justify using it unless I could further customize it using CSS. IDX Broker is much easier to customize and make responsive for almost any Wordpress theme, which is why I initially decided to use them.

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 11:12am.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Rick, you are correct, with REW I do not own my website. I do own my content and can transfer it to another website at any time though, as I have transfered all my Wordpress content to my new REW site. The main reason I chose REW is because I find many of their websites ranking for major keywords in most large cities. People with half the content marketing that I have would be out ranking me with REW sites, so I figures that their coding must be valuable. Their sites do not have 3rd party servers. All the IDX data is hosted on one server under one domain. Google seems to love REW sites and I am mostly focused on organic rankings. If I was focused on pay-per-click, I probably would have went with a different company. You have to chose your target business model and find the company that best matches your plan. For me, that was REW. So far, it's working out well but it is much more expensive than any other service that I could find.

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 11:17am.

Douglas Andrews wrote: @@BEWARE OF DISPLET IDX@@

Andrew we feel your pain!!

Displet took our initial $2500 and is now refusing to do the work and will not refund or return the money. We are pursuing legal action against Displet LLC! You will speak to Reuben who will make numerous promises of "The Best Coded Website" before sending you a Displet contract and wanting $2500 up front ####BEWARE#### do NOT put money down and do NOT sign the contract. They kept our money and refuse to finish our site. When we asked for refund or return of down payment they refused and will FORCE you to seek an attorney and legal action which will COST you BIG! Keep in mind, they are an LLC so if you do bring legal action against them, they are forced by law to be represented In a court of law by an attorney which means that you can also cost them money. We have spoken to ERIC BRAMLETT who is the owner and this gentleman has told us "We will not refund your money, hire an attorney & stop calling us."

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 11:22pm.

Mike Ortiz wrote: Thank you Andrew for sharing your learning experience!

I have been using Market Leader for about a year now. I stumbled on to your blog post while researching a different company to handle my website, lead generation, and CRM as I personally think Market Leader is good but the look and feel is very dated. Coming from the Telecom industry, I have created my own sites and back end work flow systems, so I can relate to your quest for the perfect system. Also as you mention, I too like Real Estate Webmasters and their products are stellar. Your website is gorgeous as well! Unfortunately, I do not have the time or money to create and host my own site. Instead, I went with Kunversion as their all in one package fits my needs now. Plus, the creators of Kunversion also created the Market Leader system, which seemed like an easy transition. Hopefully, this doesn't bit me in the butt down the road.

Again, I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. I read the G+ article that you mentioned and love the topic. So much so, that I followed you and the gentlemen that gave such wonderful advice about blog posts and content. I currently use Active Rain and look forward to having a blog on my own website from Kunversion. I have linked the blog posts to my old site and now have the pleasure of linking them back to my new site once it is up and running. Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 10:22pm.

Keith wrote: All I can say is "ditto" to your entire take on this. I too am loathe to port everything over to REW, but can understand your reasoning. It is remarkable that there is no top-quality solution that meets the needs you have outlined above so well.

Posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 8:40pm.

shawn wrote: Thanks for the great article and all the comments. I have been using diverse for about a year now with agent evolution WP template www.srpdx.com. I have been having many issues with codes dissapearing, forms not sending me emails, polygon not working on the map search. The last 3 months have been really bad. I thought about going back to IDX broker, but your article stops me. My other issue with the DS is that lead capture rate is really bad imo. I have looked into Realgeek for the conversion rate alone, but it is hard to spend $500 for setup and hard to know if their conversion rate is as good as they claim. Its nice to know other techie realtors like me are out there trying hard and sharing the ideas. So thank you.

Posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 12:08am.

jayne wrote: Mike, i am curious how is your lead generation with kunversion, do you have any solid leads yet, or closes.
thanks

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 4:57am.

David wrote: So is anyone using retsCloud? Seems pretty good because I just want the data and will manipulate it myself.

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 9:29pm.

peter wrote: Thanks much for your article! - Unfortunately, I came across it too late - I had just ordered IDX Broker today. Oh well, I'll keep a close idea on them... and bail if things go south.

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 3:00pm.

Daniel wrote: Right now my website is hosted by ihost. A salesman called warning me my site gets no exposure to google, ihost gets all the exposure. I didn't want to use his services, but he convinced me that having a wordpress based site is in my best interest.. Your blog is letting me know having your own site has many aspects other than loping good.

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 7:01am.

Michael Morett wrote: As a realtor that used IDX Broker for about 2 months, let me add some of the issues that caused me to seek out an alternative IDX solution.

1. In advanced search... schools, areas, tracts always list all the entries regardless of the city chosen. So, if you want to search for home located in certain school districts in a city, you better know what those schools are called. You can't simply choose "Irvine" as the city and see Irvine schools and then select from among those. Nope. You will chose Irvine as the city and then have to sift thru every school for every city in the MLS. Same goes for areas and builders tracts. This is useless.

2. Search by zip code? You will see every zip code for every city in the MLS in a listbox. You can't type it in, although you can place your cursor in the listbox, then type a number or two to jump to that area of the (very) long list. That's not intuitive. All they needed was a text box to type a zip code in. In SoCal, the zip codes start with 9 -- hoping that the user "knows" to place their cursor in the listbox and then type "9" vs. trying to scroll an seemingly endless list (which starts at 0) is not the right way to approach this.

3. The search forms...this was the deal breaker for me. The basic search allows you to show/hide fields, but not move them. Depending on what you hide, you might see "gaps" where a field used to be but is not there anymore. It just looks odd. In advanced search, you're limited to two columns. You can move the fields up and down within the columns and maybe across them (I don't remember), but it's still a two column list. On a related theme, out of the box, the forms are just ugly. That's subjective, but I'd like to hear someone make the case that the IDX Broker forms are attractive. There's no attempt to even get a basic Twitter Bootstrap look and feel. (In a bit of irony, it looks like they use Twitter Bootstrap for their internal admin app, but not the public search forms and results pages). I spent days mucking around in CSS just trying to get to a baseline "at least it's not ugly anymore" point. I'm a software developer familiar with CSS and that was hell...a realtor without that tech background would spend more time on that. A realtor shouldn't be tasked with the responsibility of making it "not ugly". I'm talking about basic things, like padding, margins, font size, etc. Personally, I don't like my radio buttons to have the label right next to the radio button with no spacing between them (as shown in the radio buttons for "City, County, Zip Code".

4. Forms continued. (This is that bad that I might be here a while). After days tweaking the CSS for the Advanced search, I then noticed that many of tweaks didn't cover Basic search. I then try out the mortgage calculator and notice I'll need to spend time there. (Aside: Really? You couldn't deliver a minimally presentable mortgage calculator?) I never did either. I did spend time mucking with CSS to fix up one of the details pages. After a while, I found myself spending way too much time on CSS to get a *minimally* presentable user interface. I sincerely got the impression that the developers were simply throwing shit on a page and thinking "let the realtor deal with it". It felt sloppy. It felt like they gave no importance to how the forms looked or worked. Some things didn't line up, etc. This is subjective, but you know when someone considers something important and pays attention to it. On forms, they didn't.

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 1:48pm.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Michael, thank you for your detailed feedback. I completely understand your frustration. The worst part is that IDX Broker will not address any of these issues and will act as though you are annoying them if you bring them up. I'm so glad to be past that experience. It was very frustrating!

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 1:56pm.

Michael Morett wrote: ... continuing with the issues that caused me to seek out an alternative IDX solution.

5. the My Account pages. These are the pages that a buyer/user will see when they save some searches or properties for later review. I had no choice but to hit these pages hard with CSS tweaks. Once again, they were ugly. But because the entire point of IDX is lead capture, I had no choice. If buyers were going to save searches, and I wanted them to, then they were going to see these pages and I had to provide a minimally presentable user interface.

6. Polygon search. This is nice and works flawlessly...with one flaw -- I have to create the polygons ahead of time and offer it up as a saved search. This is more work for me. I did this for a few areas and gave up. The ability of the realtor to do this is nice...the ability of the buyer to do this is mandatory. How would I know where they want to search with that level of specificity? Let them draw the polygon. For all I know, I created two polygon searches adjacent to each other and what the buyer wants is a search that includes a bit of each. This is an easy fix since the core functionality works nicely. I suspect they'll address this soon.

7. Map search. Results are limited to 50 properties at a time (I don't remember if this is configurable). More importantly, the house icons are shown sorted by price, high to low. This initially confused me. I was doing random searches for areas I knew had properties for sale, but no homes were showing up there at that zoom level -- the only homes shown (the icons) were way too the left in the really, really, upscale area. Not a deal breaker, but it made me question whether a buyer would perform a search and, due to not seeing any icons for the area at that zoom level, figure out that they had to zoom closer to get a more accurate picture of what's for sale in that area. Maybe setting number of search results to 250 or 500 might fix this, if that's possible. Even better...tell the user how it's sorted. Then, allow them to sort. Why is sorting high to low the presumed correct sorting order? That's an invalid assumption.

(At this point, I'm going to need to mention that there is a distinction between "pure" map search and advanced search where a map is placed on the top of all listings). Advanced search with the map displayed on top does allow you to specify alternative search criteria -- which is nice -- but re-running the search won't tell you what criteria is in effect. And somehow, as I'm literally performing some searches now, the display of that sort criteria sometimes shows up, sometimes doesn't. I personally cannot describe nor predict when one style shows up vs. the other. I'm sure this will drive the buyers nuts.

8. Condos. This might be related to where CRMLS places this category of residential properties (it's a property subtype). But the net effect is a deal breaker. On map search, a buyer can't simply search for condos. It's just not an option. Property Type is your only option. As a buyer, this is not helpful to them. On advanced search, it would be nice to limit it to SFR, Condos and Townhomes. You can't. It's an all or nothing proposition and IDX Broker has chosen to make Property Subtype a series of checkboxes occupying an enormous amount of screen real estate, no pun intended. I'd settle for 3 checkboxes; I have to offer them 12 (in CRMLS). How about basic search? Nope. Property Subtype is not an option there. Perform a basic search and you can't refine the search. The only options are to start a new search or save it. Nice. I'm sure the buyers on my site are loving me now. This is going to push them away, especially first time buyers looking to get into a condo. I just checked Zillow...they make it easy to search/filter by condos (Home Type).

9. The Login/SignUp widgets. It's the usual story. They looked bad, were not responsive. I had to spend time there tweaking more CSS. I never implemented the Quick Search widget because it was not very configurable.

Rather than keep going, see for yourself. Google "Data services provided by IDX Broker Platinum". That should bring up sites using IDX Broker. Poke around. Pretend you're a buyer. Validate and confirm what I've said. And take a look at the attractiveness of the IDX pieces specifically.

=============

Parting thought:

Having used another IDX provider recently, let me say this about IDX Broker: it works. In terms of search, it's accurate. In terms of speed, it was pretty fast. It has some decent features. There was value there for the money. I didn't find a single true bug other than questionable usability implementations. It's just so darned ugly. In the end, that's what pushed me to look at alternatives. I simply didn't want my IDX look and feel to resemble a 1970s mainframe terminal. And I got tired of mucking with CSS. If they fix that (read: it looks modern and attractive out of the box) and provide for greater UI flexibility, it would be a solid choice.

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 3:11pm.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Michael, I think you nailed it with your parting thoughts. There are some great attributes of IDX Broker Platinum, but it looks and feels very outdated. I think I added over 2,000 lines of CSS code by the time I was done making it look good enough to use. That's way too much customization for an IDX plugin. Have you tried iHomefinder's new responsive IDX plugin?

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 7:34pm.

Michael Morett wrote: Hi Andrew,

I've been eyeing iHomefinder, but I'm so jaded at this point. Before using them, I want to be absolutely sure I don't experience another SpotOn Connect "surprise". I will test that on actual sites using iHomefinder or whatever IDX I'm interested in, and I will test it on a laptop, iPad and iPhone.

While transitioning to SpotOn Connect, I took down the IDX Broker search, but I never formally cancelled the account. Then SpotOn turned out to be a disappointment for me with some major showstoppers. So I cancelled SpotOn after 2 days. That was just a bad situation where it had major bugs.

That leaves me without search unless I put up IDX Broker again since I never formally cancelled it. My gf is telling me to put up IDX Broker search for another month while I research other IDX options. I may have to go that route.

I'd love to go REW but I can't afford the $500,000 price tag. :-)

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 9:00pm.

Ray wrote: So what do you guys recommend as an IDX Solution to use? I was looking at ihomefinder, but their customer service sucks. I was looking at IDX Broker Platinum for their customized solutions on which gives you full control of css pages. But i am confused now from the comments.

Posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2014 at 7:41pm.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Ray, if you're looking for customer service, you will most likely never find it from an IDX service who charges $60 per month. You're going to be one of hundreds (maybe thousands) of clients on their list. Unfortunately, they don't need you to maintain their business. It's like expecting to a waiter to serve you at McDonalds. This has been my experience anyway.

Posted on Monday, September 1st, 2014 at 10:06am.

Terrence wrote: Thanks so much for this article. I recently canceled my Diverse Solutions account and after reading your review about REW I thought about trying it, but just couldn't get past the price. Sorry, but $1,000 setup fee plus $199 a month for a site I don't even own seems a bit ridiculous, and that's for their lower end product. Although REW is out of my budget, after reading about iHomefinder I decided to sign up and so far I'm really liking it. Thanks for your input, you have been a great help to me.

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 12:12am.

JD wrote: Great post! We are actually in the process of building a new site and was considering some of the companies you mentioned. Glad I found this post!

Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 5:10pm.

Elana A wrote: Hi, Andrew -
I'm currently assisting a friend who's a real estate broker in setting up her website, using Wordpress. I just wanted to take a moment to tell you what a thoughtful, thorough and helpful post this was for me, as I'm currently exploring MLS plugins for her website. Although I do understand your reasoning for ultimately going the 3rd-party route, I find myself a little disappointed -- as I read through your article I'd just been thinking "Yay! Someone knowledgeable I can "follow" to help myself and my friend through her new marketing journey!"

Despite your change in website strategies, I still believe I'm going to forward this article to my friend and follow you myself. You seem to have a great grasp on what it's going to take to compete as a Realtor in this modern, self-service, technology-driven marketplace, and I look forward to reading more of your insights and thoughts about the business, marketing and the available technology. Please do keep writing...I think you have a lot of valuable information to share!

Kudos, and thanks again. :-)

Posted on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 3:13pm.

Andrew Fortune wrote: Thank you Elana. I am starting to work on a new Wordpress website for the Denver area, so I'll still be in the Wordpress conversation for a while. If I can ever help you out, feel free to ask. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Posted on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 3:27pm.

Aaron Jones wrote: Andrew, great article. 3 years ago, I too, was searching for a solution of IDX vs RETS. Every IDX solution I found was using subdomains for the agent/broker's websites and this would hurt SEO, so I searched for a "ground-up" RETS solution, and thankful that I did. I hired a team of developers at that time to design my website with 100% customization. Yes, the work was tedious, but you have to look at the long term, because the SEO benefits fully outweigh i-frames or IDX subdomains, etc. With that being said, I have continued to hire this team of developers and we now have a full backend real estate management solution and are nearly complete with our TMS (transaction management system). I have seen the need for a full solution from web design through closing and followup. We also integrate docusign as well. We also focus on hyperlocal sites and I own 120 web domains focused on local areas (condos, communities, developements, areas of the lake) etc that are all managed without our developed wordpress multisite management system. I tell you all this not because I'm trying to sell anything, but because if you want a true longterm solution, you must put in the time and effort to customize, and have a solution that allows you to customize, and you just don't get that with out of the box solutions.

Posted on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 8:04am.

Michael Morett wrote: I think I have lost my mind. Per my earlier tome here on Aug 23, I had to jump back to IDX Broker for the time being. I had mentally given up on searching for an IDX solution and just decided to use that IDX for a while. I still face all the problems mentioned earlier, but today I decided to do something a buyer would do. I decided to see how a monthly payment would play out on a random property.

I can't post pics here, but I tweeted about it, with a pic at: http://t.co/glTsNjTCkh

The short story is that IDX Broker implemented a new BankRate Tool. Nice. That's helpful to a buyer. The bad news is, as would be typical with IDX Broker, it looks horrible. The fields don't line up (not even close) and they have grey text on dark grey background for the dropdowns.

Come on. Really? Did the developer even look at the damn screen before checking the code in? How did this get past QA? Who approved this for deployment to prod? Is there a Dev Manager there? A Product Manager? Is there someone in charge, anyone, who gives a damn?

This is the type of typical garbage we get with this product. Frustration doesn't even come close to explaining my emotions right now.

Posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 12:02am.

Don Orason wrote: If anyone reading this great article by Andrew and is also interested in voicing their opinion (good or bad) about IDXBroker...Please join the IDXBroker Users Group on Facebook and supply your opinions and suggestions. The more input, the better!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/357357214342168/

I currently use IDXBroker, Diverse Solutions, iHomefinder, and have issues with all of them.

Posted on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 12:20pm.

James Tyler wrote: I am about to sign up with iHomeFinder Cloud IDX where I am going to build a Property Seach Form from the ground up for one of my clients (Arbor Financial Group: http://www.arborfinancialgroup.net/). Do I understand from everyone here that is a bad idea? Because I just spoke to one of their representative and she was very helpful actually. Here, I am reading nothing but bad reviews about iHomefinder and other IDX providers such Diverse Solutions. Am I experiencing a good customer service just so iHomeFinders signs me up? Anyone had good experience with iHomefinder IDX Cloud or better experience with other providers? If so, can you please share?

Thanks

James Tyler

Posted on Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 7:39pm.

Anne McKechnie wrote: I have done everything listed above including Market Leader, my own blog (real geeks) IDX Broker with Evolution, my own Genesis Agent Theme, Tiger Leads when they first started, REW and many many more........ I do agree that you have to know what you are targeting in the way of PPC or Organic. Hard to rank in the organic segment these days unless you are paying someone to do that work for you. Your budget ends up like a PPC program as you are competing with giants like Zillow, Trulia, and others on the first page for major keywords. So, having one site to generate leads that has an incredible back office like Kunversion is the key.......and ranking organically with your blog (real geeks) and feeding those leads into your other site is putting them on steroids :)

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at 7:44pm.

Scott wrote: Andrew,
Great article and I completely agree with most of what you wrote. A little background before we get into the details... I was a Real Estate Agent for about two years building CMS systems and integrating their IDX (HORRRRRIBLE) in between my marketing and website development and programing jobs (most Marketing Director positions with MANY hats). Anyway, Personally I used REW IDX and hated the frames (yes even the advanced frames) which still cause issues in SEO (and I did read your comments on REWIDX and you are waaaay off on the SEO, at least for central Florda) and integration for responsive websites built on REAL CMS platforms. For the past 2 years I have been fighting the fact that every RETS / IDX system out there caters to Wordpress but doesn't tell you all of the flaws and issue with this type of CMS but that is ok we develop on wordpress too but only if the client demands it. Now a days we specialize in DNN or DotNetNuke because the ease of use for the end user, platform security and overall social functionality.
But the real reason why I am writing this post is because you suggested RETS Cloud... which "sounds" great, BUT I have been speaking with them for over a year now and in that year I have only actually got them on the phone once. All the way back in the beginning to ask a few questions and I think the guy didn't even want to answer the phone. Every time I tried to recall or email them, I left a messages and nothing, no response, no email, nothing.
The system sounds like a great deal but if there is no one to answer your call or respond to you by email then what good is the system when you go down? For now I would watch out what you wish for on the RETS Cloud.
Just an FYI.
Scott

Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 12:45pm.

Yvette wrote: Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am currently in the process of researching IDX providers and find it is a daunting task. I'm new to this whole webmaster thing for my company and it is definitely a learning curve. You have just provided some insightful comments and enabled me to provide a pretty good list of questions to provide to these companies before I commit to one. I'm interested to know how your journey with RETS Cloud is going so I'll be keeping up with your posts. Thanks again for your insight and good luck!

Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 at 11:59am.

ISTM wrote: Thanks for a great post! Reading this detoured me from ordering IDXBroker Platinum. Not happy with very limited and somewhat dysfunctional DiverseSolutions IDX for many of the same reasons cited here (and more). CS is ok, but they don't resolve, just give clients 'busy work' then say issue can't be fixed. It's dated looking and extremely limited, especially on WP sites.
Tried Spatial Match, Displet, others. Did not work well at all for us, nor was CS decent.
REW too expensive and we also have issue with 'ownership' though they say they now integrate their IDX in your own site.
Seems there is no perfect solution, but looking into MRIS IDX/IDX Plus Data Products -data licensing for agents via re Data Vault.
Can't understand why the IDX providers don't have better, more up-to-date products. Certainly its possible!

Posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 at 7:16am.

Steve Mullen wrote: Interesting post.

The Rover IDX Wordpress plugin [http://roveridx.com] installs on your site. Highly configurable and customizable layout templates and lead generation. And you own the site, and you can host it wherever you would like. No subdomains or iframes. If you choose to stop paying, the website still works but you cannot search for properties. This is much more reasonable.

We also have some pretty fun mapping functionality that allows you to define search areas. Folks love it.

Give us a call.

Steve Mullen
Rover IDX
508 413-2117

Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 at 11:45am.

Walks wrote: I've been researching systems as well. As a web designer Im trying to find a solution for a few realtors in and around town but seem to be getting different opinions. I'm curious if anyone who reads this has ever had any experience with WPL Real Estate? I installed the free plugin and looks extensive but the $1000 price tag for automated MLS integration is holding me back until I learn more about it. https://wordpress.org/plugins/real-estate-listing-realtyna-wpl/

Posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2015 at 11:34am.

Tyler Collier wrote: I'm with Scott on RETS Cloud. I recommend against it. I now charge my client extra money when I have to deal with it. 1) About 0 instructions. Good luck getting it to sync properly. 2) I think it's a one man shop. The guy is decently quick to respond. But I rarely get a response that answers my questions. On several occasions I've used bullet points or numbers to make it clear I'm asking two or multiple simple questions. Rarely are there are the same number of answers. 3) Technically, it's not great, adding extra fields to the tables, and prefixing all fields from RETS with "field_". This means you can't easily switch to/from RETS Cloud and another service.. 4) The logging and notifications are just about useless. I think they stay around for 3 or maybe 1 day. The error messages are technical, and mean something to the developer, but how you'd be able to interpet it into something actionable is beyond me.

I'm looking for an alternative, which is how I found this page.

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 1:54am.

E J Howard wrote: Hello Andrew Fortune.

Thank you for the blog on IDX solutions/confusion. Although this is a late read for me, it is still very timely. I too am looking for a reliable solution for my spouse who is the broker. I am a web developer and decided to focus on helping other brokers (I too am a non-practicing broker) who seek a reliable resource for their business. This is not easy to do. It has been a problem for years. I cant imagine the time it requires to work on your website and practice real estate. And the problem I find when looking to hire someone is that they may not be up on the most current information or have not experienced enough problems to make the best recommendation. I certainly understand why you chose to do it yourself. Maybe you should teach web development for the real estate industry instead of selling real estate. It sounds as though you have the research experience which I feel is the most important piece of the puzzle.

I want to reach out to you privately to get your opinion on some ideas I have about this. There is a great opportunity to solve problems.

Thanks for a wonderful, and truly informative post.

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 11:09am.

David Grbich wrote: Great post and your path to REW is similar to my own. I used Diverse Solutions for years and did CSS customizations to make it look better but at the end of the day it simply did not convert. Poor mobile experience and essentially 2 separate idx products with dsidxpress and searchagent created a poor search experience. REW is more expensive and custom work is steep but it works and I no longer need to worry about idx issues all day long. Like your site Andrew and your blog is one of the best in the business. 60,000+ page views/month is impressive!

Posted on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 at 12:11pm.

John S wrote: This article is so TRUE about IDX Broker, they are too big to care about the agents who do most of their business through the internet. If there is a problem and you report it, they will not take responsibility...it's a numbers game to them. Most agents who use their service are not aware of all of the problems and IDX Broker knows that.

So you need to ask yourself how important each and every lead is to you. If you are internet based agent or broker, take a hard look at other idx providers Andrew mentioned BEFORE you even try IDX Broker. Do yourself a favor.


NOW TRY THIS EXPERIMENT IF YOU ARE AN IDX BROKER USER:

The basic purpose of an IDX provider is to send listing updates to your clients AT LEAST once a day, if not more. (if it meets the search criteria).

Setup yourself as a client in IDX Broker. Now create a very broad search (the whole county where you live) so you will receive listings EVERYDAY.

Now, everyday check your email for your listing updates. Some agents I have spoken with, their listing updates only go out a couple days a week, this is so bad!

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 at 11:46pm.

John S wrote: This article is so TRUE about IDX Broker, they are too big to care about the agents who do most of their business through the internet. If there is a problem and you report it, they will not take responsibility...it's a numbers game to them. Most agents who use their service are not aware of all of the problems and IDX Broker knows that.

So you need to ask yourself how important each and every lead is to you. If you are internet based agent or broker, take a hard look at other idx providers Andrew mentioned BEFORE you even try IDX Broker. Do yourself a favor.


NOW TRY THIS EXPERIMENT IF YOU ARE AN IDX BROKER USER:

One of the most basic functions of an IDX provider is to send listing updates to your clients AT LEAST once a day, if not more. (if it meets the search criteria).

Setup yourself as a client in IDX Broker. Now create a very broad search (the whole county where you live) so you will receive listings EVERYDAY.

Now, everyday check your email for your listing updates. Some agents I have spoken with, their listing updates only go out a couple days a week, this is so bad!

Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 at 5:26pm.

Philippe Levy wrote: Hey Andrew,

Densest resource I've found to date comparing IDX resources. Does anyone have any updates in regards to how these IDX services have improved since last year? I'm curious to hear if IDX Broker has improved their aesthetics or if the CSS is still outdated.

Posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2015 at 5:59pm.

William Margita wrote: We decided to stay with IDXBroker and having same results as others who left IDXBroker

1. 1st line customer support is trained to tell you to hire outside developer for anything
they have no patients and are trained to get rid of client calls
(you have to go to top manager or higher to get anything locked into)

2. There back end is not working -- Pagnation and content pages broken in mobile
they switched widgets half way thru our migration and now have to pay to do them all over again a 2nd time \
NOTE: if you are on IDXBroker and migrated do test run of customer account and sign in as a user and test

3. There xml feeds and other NEW features to try and catch up to Real Estate Webmaster
are still lacking because they just don't care

I thought it would be interesting to see if IDXBroker could compete as my site was only second in my market to a Real Estate Webmaster , but unfortunately I have lost time, money and the all important leads trying to fight it out with IDXBroker platform

After much research the clear winner is Real Estate Webmaster
they are expensive ... way expensive....... but they may be the only company i see ranking top 10 in most markets and working with agents to dominate

With 20 years in the business and on the cover of REALTOR magazine of course people ask my advise and many agents have signed on to IDX broker nationally because of the early success. But this is no longer 2010 or 2011.

If IDXBroker is not willing to listen to Top Producers and national speakers about their product that means they are disconnected form their customers.

Disappointing is the the word.

I wont give advise on who to maybe consider ---- but After 4 years with IDXBroker i can say they have become a different company and one that will not be working with you to compete and grow your business.

Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 12:47pm.

Bill wrote: I would agree to all points about IDX Broker. I have been using them for my clients for the past few years and found it very annoying that they are quick to pass off support to "hire a developer" type responses. Unfortunately, they seem to be the lesser of evils in regards to WordPress site integration as some of the other solutions I considered were a bit clunky.

Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 at 9:11am.

Shane wrote: Andrew, have you had any luck with RETS Cloud yet? What did you finally end up using?

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 11:13am.

Aaron wrote: I agree with Scott - be careful about RetsCloud as well.

I'm a web developer and have been using Rets Cloud for about a year for 3 different clients. Previously I had written my own code to manually download all those old school zip files, update the db and images. After years of manually fixing and running listings I was happy to find Rets Cloud to do that part of it for me - just get the data and pictures over to my hosting server and I'll take it from there.

It pretty much works as you'd expect initially - they hook up to your IDX, take all the information and stick it in an MySQL database on your server and upload the images - great (I thought). The field names and all the extra data they put in there is very confusing and hard to figure out but I did and built a completely custom WordPress theme around these listings and data. Their interface once you login is also very confusing. I don't know why it's not just "give us your MLS login info, db and ftp info and we'll take it from there" - lots of confusing options in there. So I paid them extra to setup my feeds.

After a few weeks we noticed the images weren't updating. Support took a while then came back with a very short answer about having to add another field to the database to flag if it was checked or not. Whatever - it worked for a while. Happened again a few more times and eventually they suggested I manually update any listing that I notice didn't update - lol Ok now when my clients have a problem I have to go in and delete a date out of the table so it'll run again... Whatever I'm even fine with that as long as I have a way to fix things. Recently I've had listings up for 3-4 weeks with NO images even though they are displaying on all the big sites - even after the "fix" they told me to use before.

I've been trying to contact them via email, phone, calling their main company number - nothing. I'm pretty sure it's a one man show there, and from what I can tell he has a few projects in the works (all of which take recurring fees to do something - which I'm sure is his priority at this point). I'm now stuck with a feed with no images on some listings, data not updating on others and my hands are tied as to what to do next other than build a custom solution or revert to one of the other bad solutions out there.

I'm still paying monthly fees to this guy and haven't heard a peep from them in over 24 hours - not even a "we're checking on it". Meanwhile I have irate clients (as they should be) who want an answer and a fix now.

Be careful using RetsCloud as your full proof solution.

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 2:01pm.

Thomas Rutherford wrote: Implementing IDX Broker has been a HORRIBLE mistake!! We complained about the horrible service and product flaws and they literally pulled our feed leaving us with NOTHING! We has spent thousands of dollars on custom CSS work just to get their product to perform to a 3 standard out of 10 and then they literally rip the carpet right out from underneath you. I would highly caution any Realtor or real estate agent from using IDX Broker, you will get burnt!! BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE!

Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2015 at 8:46pm.

CR Buck wrote: I tried to signup for IDX Broker but was told my web-site wasn't good enough for them. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard from a company considering the whole point of me wanting to sign up was to use their technology to make my site better. Insulting your clients is not a way to gain business!

Posted on Sunday, November 1st, 2015 at 3:05am.

Peter Sale wrote: Hello Thomas,
So, after IDX Broker pulled the plug on you, what IDX provider did you go with?

Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 at 11:04am.

Angela Duong wrote: Andrew,

I am so glad I happened to google why doesn't IDX Broker use google maps as I love everything google. I have a "template" style website with not much control, and as I have recently begun blogging I am also noticing how crappy it is. I don't think it's a real blog format. They are treated like just another page of my websites. As I have been checking our yours, Bill's, Anita's etc. I am seeing an extreme need to change before I get too far into blogging and creating community pages. I have been told to have a web developer create my website (but my funds are tight right now after asking the cost). I have also been thinking about easy agent pro as well, but the idea of completely owning my site would be awesome! I will continue to search as I do not want mapquest as my maps. Thank you for your awesome blog posts. I look forward to having as many website visitors as you. I need to get crackin'.

Posted on Friday, December 11th, 2015 at 6:39pm.

Frank Biganski wrote: First off, sorry for the long post but I'm glad I found this as I gleaned a lot from this post, and hope to add some of my experience with IDX plugins as well.

I was new to WordPress in 2014 and while I was building my site, I implemented Diverse Solutions' dsIDXpress LITE WordPress plugin. For $29,95 a month, although somewhat limited, it did provide my pages with the active MLS feeds that are mandatory for getting pages indexed.

Now that my site is almost complete, I upgraded to dsIDXpress Pro for $59.95 a month so I could add "sold" listings to my pages (that helps keep pages indexed when no actives are displayed, and I learned that from observing the Big Boy's websites), but I'm quickly learning that I am out of my league and need to hire a programmer to customize some CSS.

I've been building websites since 1994, and I was king of leads when websites were a lot more simple to build. But that was a long time ago, and a lot has obviously changed with both technology and a crowded competitive Internet.

But I've realized that these IDX companies expect to be dealing with developers, and not agents, and I've accepted that. So that caused me to search for some affordable developers, and I found them on a website where I bought my WordPress theme and plugins from. If anyone is interested, just email me as I'd post the URL but it flagged it as Spam.

A little off topic... if you're like me, an agent making a decent average income, but who does not have the financial resource to spend tens-of-thousands of dollars building their own site, then feel free to check out my website as it might offer some insight for when you're building yours. For example, I choose *not* to use the IDX feeds directly as a web page, as I did not want that /idx/listings/broker/whatever/ in my URL's. So I chose to create "regular" URL pages, and then add the IDX feed directly below the text body. This helps get my site found too!

This is where I boast a little, but use Google and search "bridgewater condos carrollton va" and you'll see my page appear at the top. Don't scroll down too quickly or you'll miss it - I'm above the "big boys!" I admit this isn't the result I get with every 400+ pages I created, for just about every neighborhood in my area, but I am finally getting leads once again from my website because of these pages. And yes, you DO need to create a page for every stinking community in your area, because that's what I noticed the big companies do.

Great topic Andrew, as I was once again looking for that magic IDX bullet that would make implementing these plugins a lot easier for us right-brained folks, but I've come to realize there just isn't an IDX plugin that has a fluid admin back end for agent to use.= "out of the box."

But for affordability, whether it's IDX Broker or whomever, for $60 a month, you can't go wrong with any of these plugins in my opinion, but I will have to pay a developer a few hundred bucks to tweak up my site, but it will be worth it.

One final thought... to help your site get indexed high, find a hosting company that provides fast load times because after I switched from GoDaddy (don't laugh) to InMotion, my page load times went from 9-15 seconds down to just 2-3 seconds and that caused my site to be pushed to the top. I also read that search engines will rank your site based on load times, and you can test your site's loads times for free using various websites.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who posted, and I'm glad I found this post as it just confirmed in my mind that I will need to hire a developer to tweak out my IDX plugin a bit.

All the best!

Frank Biganski, Realtor
http://mrtownhome.net
Reliance Realty, Inc.
Newport News, Virginia

Posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2016 at 2:46am.

Rich Gant wrote: Thanks for the article. I'm struggling with the whole website thing. I did great with one large franchisor's website. I moved to another area and they wouldn't allow me to give the site to a fellow agent. All my work and contacts were gone! I couldn't understand why they wouldn't want to reap the commissions that would have otherwise come in to them!

Starting over. I don't want a company site. I am really hesitant to do the REW. Such a high price! What kind of ROI are you seeing on your investment?

Thanks again for a truly helpful article. I have completed my IDX Broker contract. My site is now functionally dead as far as search goes. I am leaning towards IHomeFinder on my current site.

Any thoughts on IHomeFinder?

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 at 10:02pm.

Dan Williams wrote: I enjoyed reading your article. I have been a real estate agent in CT for 15 years and have prior experience in web development. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Dan

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 at 7:59am.

Gary Cox wrote: I use Kunversion. Would not again. It is a great site for posting to facebook and craigslist. As a crm, it is really bad. Difficult interface, so many training videos that are just dropped in a pile. Implemenation was the worst, although, I think they have improved. Great at getting people to sign up, but as a more mature agent, I want 5,000 using my site freely, and then, just 50 or so a year of those to raise their hands for help.

ihomefinder is with EasyAgentPro standard package. I HATE IT! No customization. I am considering Diverse Solutions and IDX-Broker. If I goi IDX- Broker, I am going to use their www.agentevolution.com website. All up and in is $99 per month, no contract. I believe the site is yours. The IDX-Broker ties in and it appears that some of the comments for the CSS feeds above may be alleviated by this.

They all have something missing. Huge time drains.

Posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 at 6:38pm.

Josh Williams wrote: Thank you for this post!

I've been doing my research as well, and so far one of the best reviewed services that has no monthly fees (and you own your own data), is RealtyNA. https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.realtyna.com

I almost went with IDX Broker, but ultimately I'm going to give RealtyNA a try.

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2017 at 8:40pm.

Brett wrote: A great post I have diverse solutions but technology is getting old. Looking for a new provider

Posted on Monday, April 17th, 2017 at 6:44pm.

Luke Walsh wrote: Hi - we've made some big improvements to the product recently, notably:

* This week we launched full HTTPS compatibility, complete with redirects to ensure that Google indexes the highest quality pages. While testing using Google Site Manager, having HTTPS enabled in your dashboard resulted in higher rankings for custom links. More to come on this, but a huge asset for those who are keeping up with the latest iterations of the Chrome browser and it's "not-secure" URL bar language for forms submitted via non-HTTPS sites.

* Several weeks ago we launched social login functionality for front end hosted forms (not yet for widgets, but that's part of the plan). This translates to more qualified leads via Google and FB accounts.

* We now update the product far more frequently, and emails are more consistent. 73 MLS feeds, as of today, are on our "Gen2" platform and are getting hourly updates and up to 3 years of sold data ($39.99 add-on, upon request) along with free auto-transition of listing status for Featured listings - no upgrade required for that feature. We are currently rolling out 10-15 MLSs weekly onto this Gen2 platform and expect to have the majority of the market covered by late summer. Note that
MANY MLSs still only update their IDX feed every 6-12 hours. NAR's mandate is that feeds update every 12 hours.

* Emails are also more timely. A previous commenter noted that the emails sometimes didn't go out on time. We identified a problem that was causing email delays, and fixed it years ago.

* Later this year we will host our 3rd annual Developer Summit and our plan to roll out some fantastic new features for our Partners. More info to come on this topic.

Posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 12:00pm.

Krystyna wrote: I've been with Real Estate Webmasters for about 10 years, spent a lot of money on upgrades etc. They are now raising their monthly fees to $499/month so have no choice but look for other options. I do like IDX Broker/Evolution design but wondering about their CRM.
Looking for recommendations, ideas etc.

Posted on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 at 5:49pm.

Real Estate SEO wrote: Real Estate Webmasters is a rip off

Posted on Monday, September 4th, 2017 at 1:12am.

Masoud wrote: disregard IDX Broker response as of December 2018 it is so bad that I have decided to leave it after 10 years and hundreds of hours work on customizing their pages on my site. RUN from IDX BRker at all costs

Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 6:17pm.

Leave a Comment