There are a lot of differing opinions on the need for IDX with commercial real estate websites. An IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is how real estate agents broadcast their listings from a database onto their website. For instance, if you update LoopNet with your newest listings, edit changes, and delete sold/leased properties, with LoopNet’s IDX, this information will automatically be updated on your website as well.
Case for an IDX
I always recommend an IDX if you and/or your team, have zero time to update both your website and online database separately. If you find yourself lagging on updates with a service like LoopNet, you’re going to have twice the issues if you take-on the double entry of a website + online database.
IDX is the easiest way to show you’re the most up-to-date listing information.
Using an IDX
There have been some major changes in the commercial real estate online listings game in just the past few months. CoStar and LoopNet entered into a juggernaut merger, some popular listings sites went extinct and some new guys popped up amongst the chaos. Despite the market tilts, there are many companies that offer website integration.
LoopLink. If you use LoopNet, LoopLink is the easiest way to integrate listings into your website. While a great option, it’s pricey! Last time I checked, it was about $300 a month, but they have a sliding scale depending on the number of listings.
Catylist. Since lower cost options such as Xceligent and Property Line became extinct, many of my more price sensitive clients have moved to Catylist. Last I checked, it’s about $30 a month to integrate your website with the listings. It’s relatively easy to setup, but can be a little tricky if you’re using WordPress.
CREXi. This used to be just for sale properties, but they’ve opened it up to leases as well. This is a great alternative, especially since it has the ability to email your listing information to their database. Cost of membership + integration is unknown.
Case against an IDX
If you’re interested in lead capture, IDX isn’t the best option. An IDX’s only lead capture is the “Contact Agent” form. If you’re looking to capture folks that want to download the listing brochure, an IDX simply won’t cut it.
Lead Capture Method
CRE Plugin. For folks that would rather use their listings for Lead Capture, I have developed a proprietary plugin customized for commercial real estate. Enter your listings into the software easily (just follow the directions).
As an added bonus, the brochure button can be set to “Lead Capture”, which will require visitors to fill out their basic info in exchange for the listing brochure. The software is also integrated with Mailchimp, so all those names, emails and info will be automatically saved in a database! Use this database to send listing announcements, closed in your area, and more!
No matter what you choose, nd IDX or my CRE Plugin is included in the cost of all website packages!