I mentioned in a previous post that I intended to do a video review of several IDX products with a primary focus on their map search capabilities. This turned out to be a much longer project than I had expected, hence the delay, but I’ve finally got it done. Before jumping into the video, I want to touch on why I wanted to do this. In the introduction to the video, I discuss why I think map search is still relevant. Indeed, I think it’s a must-have for agents and brokers who want a full-featured home search on their website. But beyond that, there are a couple of reasons I wanted to do the project itself.
One is to provide agents and brokers a place where they can see all (or at least most) of the map search IDX products in one place, and learn about their various strengths and weaknesses. But more importantly, I’m hoping IDX providers use this to improve their products. I think sometimes IDX developers are too close to their products to view them objectively. They “can’t see the forest for the trees,” as the expression goes. Or, they rest on their laurels and end up with outdated products. I’m hoping some of these IDX vendors see some of their competitors’ innovations and realize they need to innovate as well! With transparent competition in the marketplace, there should be plenty of innovation, leading to better and better IDX products available to agents and brokers.
I also want to define what exactly is a map search. It seems like it should be obvious, but I’ve found that many websites and IDX providers claim to have a map search, when really they don’t. The ability to simply plot search results on a map is not a map search. A map search, to me, is one that gives you the ability to search by map. This means you can define the geographical area that you’re searching in by manipulating the map. And you can change that area in a real-time manner by panning, zooming, drawing a shape or similar movements of the map. So that’s what I’m looking for in these reviews.
The final product also resulted in a much longer video than I had anticipated. It’s so long that I had to break it into two parts, because I exceeded YouTube’s 2 hour limit! So you don’t waste your valuable time, if you’re looking for a particular IDX provider below are links that bring you right to that section of the video. If you want to watch the whole thing, I might suggest you use YouTube’s feature to watch it at 1.25X or 1.5X speed. I would also suggest viewing in full-screen format so you can see the details of the IDX products being reviewed.
Jump directly to a specific IDX vendor:
- Diverse Solutions
- IDX Broker
- Real Estate Webmasters
- SpotOn Connect
- Cirrus IDX / 1parkplace
- Showcase IDX
- IDX Pro / iHomeFinder
- WolfNet / MapTracks
- Spatial Match
I hope that agents, brokers and IDX vendors alike find this video to be informative and helpful.