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The State of IDX Products, and IDX APIs

Is it just me, or is there not much innovation occurring with IDX these days?

Diverse Solutions long had the reputation for being the most innovative IDX vendor, but then sold to Zillow, saw product problems (documented here), and were just recently unloaded to Market Leader.

Displet sold to Tribus.

Long time readers may remember Real Geeks won our Geek Build 2012 IDX decision.

The company I hear the most about is IDX Broker. They may win the game and become the default dominance player by sheer perseverance. Most companies don’t stand the test of time, and they certainly have.

iHomeFinder, and Wolfnet, have been around as long as I can remember. It’s safe to say they have withstood the time test as well.

In my conversations, it seems there are three providers that continually come up:

  1. iHomeFinder
  2. IDX Broker
  3. Real Geeks

But there’s nothing really “new” and “innovative” out there that I’ve seen or heard about. Am I missing something? Based on (lack of) investment into new IDX companies — it seems the trend away from IDX is real. There is certainly a case against IDX from my perspective.

One trend I see is a separation of front end and backend. Gathering and maintaining MLS/IDX data is a huge pain in the ass, and I see fewer companies trying to undertake that themselves — but we’ll continue to see more and more customization on the front end implementation.

Has anyone used iHomeFinder’s Cloud IDX?

iHomefinder’s Cloud IDX™ real estate listings APIs offer licensed access to IDX listings for members of local boards and MLS® Systems where permitted. Our APIs allow you to implement a custom design and public interface on your IDX website (subject to compliance with local MLS® System IDX website display rules), uniquely showcasing your real estate brand to consumers. Please note, Cloud IDX data for each MLS® System is only available for use by an active member of that MLS® System, and requires MLS® System review and approval.

Listing data can be made available via one of two different API options. The Cloud IDX Bulk Data API enables the download of all listing data from an MLS® System. The Cloud IDX Real-Time API allows for real-time property search queries against our database of listings. To access either API, you’ll need to implement some relatively simple software in your system.

The data available from each MLS® System includes all major property types, up to 300 listing data fields, photo URLs, and open homes data if supported by a board. The Bulk Data API also includes pending and sold properties where provided by a board. If you require service in an area we don’t currently cover, ask us about adding it to our coverage.

I’d love to hear any thoughts from anyone that has worked with the Cloud IDX — or gone down the path of building your own search experience from scratch.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • I think we’ll see more innovation as MLSs conform to the new RESO web API standards, and/or Upstream becomes widely adopted. Vendors have been building patches to work with custom MLS data feeds forever. When they stop having to do translation and can focus on core products, things will move more quickly.

  • We have used IDX Broker for several years, and for the most part have been pleased. Their platinum products allows for considerable CSS customization. However, I believe you are correct in the overall lack of innovation. I can’t say I really appreciate the difficulty that might exist in working with the multitude of MLSs, but with RESO I would think this is much easier. Nonetheless, there seems to be so much room to really take things to the next level, especially with mapping, providing sold data, data updates and tracking users. I have written to IDX Broker countless times on ideas for things, but they really don’t respond that well to suggestions. But, when there are problems, they do a good job in follow-up.

    I don’t believe that IDX search is dead at the brokerage level, especially local brokerages who can provide more than just properties for sale. We need are vendors to be thinking in a bigger way to provide us with tools that yield a competitive advantage if used in a clever way.

  • Mike Jones

    I think that YourMLSsearch has done some pretty innovative stuff with their Vision Product.

  • Showcase IDX has a new 3.0 version around the corner. I was looking a the other day and the web interface was really pretty (though nothing mind-blowing in search).

  • I agree, IDX innovation seems to have crawled to a halt. I’ll be writing a blog post soon about what I used to replace DS with on my site.

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