MLS/IDX integration as a smart way to keep property website up-to-date

Property Websites

21 July 2021

Any Broker or Agency real estate website requires the most actual information reflected in the listings. Some time ago, the only way to maintain the most up-to-date information was manual listings editing. As technology evolves, any real estate website can benefit from a reliable and zero time-consuming MLS/IDX integration for 24/7 information update.

Technically, Multiple Listings Service (MLS) refers to property listings provider, while Information Data Exchange (IDX) is a protocol that defines interaction between listings provider and real estate website. Despite the fact MLS and IDX are incomparable definitions, MLS has become so popular in the US, Canada and Australia, that these words are often used as synonyms.

The biggest challenge with MLS/IDX integration is a protocol used for access and synchronization. There is the RESO (formerly RETS) standard, which seems to be popular in the US only... to a certain degree. In most cases types of integration varies from  modern REST API protocols to old school XML files accessed on a remote password-protected account.

The key elements of any MLS/IDX integrations are:

  1. Listing provider account.
  2. Property website.
  3. Cron job script on a server.

Listing provider account is access to a remote database or file that has the most actual information about properties on the market you require.

Property website is your online website that is already built and has some listing presentation. In other words, there must be a place where data will be imported and then shown to your customers.

Cron job is a so-called script that will run synchronization on your website's hosting account to fetch the latest information and update your website with it. The cron job is usually configured to run synchronization once a day, but you can change frequency up to your needs.

MLS/IDX integration process is not a simple procedure, but the result is well worth the effort. Having actual property listings and focus on dealing with potential clients is what real estate business is about. When property presentation is designed and general information is published, MLS/IDX integration will keep your website up-to-date further.

Our FW Real Estate product has all benefits of a great presentation, flexible search and Custom Fields editor required for any property listing website. We have a special Real Estate MLS/IDX/XML Integration service that take up to 5 days to complete integration and never worry about outdated listings on your website again.

If you are in a real estate business or need to build a website, we will be happy to consult you on any questions in this regard. All consultations are free. Even if you made your choice, you can always get an alternative expert review of your plan with suggestion on what needs closer attention.

Sergiy Gorstka, The head of development

Sergiy works with clients, discussing potential websites architecture and plan new products releases. Web developer, project manager and enthusiast since 2003. A Joomla! Day UK conference speaker. Focuses on utilizing experience from WordPress, Joomla! and Magento projects to increase clients satisfaction of Fastw3b's effective web solutions. Looks at website development as a business perspective rather than another project.