Integrating MLS/IDX/XML listings into real estate website

The abbreviation MLS means Multiple Listings Services that represent the database of all available properties in different areas.

MLS concept is very simple, it is the so-called warehouse. When the property is available for sale, it goes to the warehouse when it is sold, it is not available for storage. But because the property can not be stored in the warehouse, the MLS contains only information about the property. With the MLS you can see what is available for sale at the moment.

Realtors use MLS to publish the information about apartments or houses for sale or rent. The systems also contain the information about all registered real estate brokers in the selected region so users can quickly find the perfect one according to their expectation and pricing policy. Thus, you can see why the integration with MLS databases has so much influence on your real estate website.

The way of integration depends on the mechanism that this system supports.

Most of the MLS databases use 2 search sites:

  • RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard)
  • IDX (Internet Data Exchange)

Even if the MLS that need to be integrated does not support these modules for integration, we will apply another procedure.

The advantage of an XML is that each property can have its own unique webpage or URL. By using this you can control the actual URL and the quality of the content on each property page

There are two ways to integrate the MLS into the Fastw3b Real Estate solution: 

  1. MLS/IDX Integration Service
    This service provides the direct connection of the MLS to the website. It can be felicitous for the clients that have already had the FW Real Estate purchased and set up properly.
  2. Property website with integration
    If you new in the field or made a decision to build your personal real estate website on Joomla! platform, we will be glad to introduce you to an entirely operative site that you can customize based on your preferences and taste. Once you've installed everything you became the rightful owner of this website.

MLS / IDX / XML integration: quick and easy real estate database update

In this review, we will consider Joomla extension services. In particular: an extension for the FW Real Estate plugin. Its task is in automation of the import and the real estate objects synchronization using external databases (MLS / IDX) or XML feeds. For this purpose, special settings and fields updates are used.

MLS / IDX / XML Integration service includes:

  • Integration of standard FWRE fields with external MLS / IDX / XML source. Any extra fields can be added at additional cost approximately $50 per field. Adding special conditions for the processing of certain fields.
  • Existing fields format adaptation to match MLS / IDX / XML source format.
  • Cron setup for regular (daily/hourly) one-way MLS/IDX/XML synchronization and the site with FWRE.
  • 30 days maintenance support to ensure that synchronization works as expected.

Data exchange with MLS is as follows:

Itegrating systems details

Real estate MLS integration helps real estate brokers share information and deliver a proposal to clients. This is the advantage of agents over private individuals. Multi-listing is an electronic base in which all the objects for sale are located. It is not available to anyone, only market experts can use it. As a rule, the base is collected at the city or regional level.

Real estate IDX integration is necessary to expand the MLS possibilities: properties search in the base, the common network control and more. For example, IDX allows you to configure the receiving data from MLS in XML form.

RETS is a set of standards to simplify software with MLS data. However, not all MLS / IDX providers adhere to RETS standards or do not fully adhere to them. For this, it is important to integrate individually and ensure that all configured fields are synchronized correctly.

Installation and Configuration

Joomla development services integration is a complex process requiring technical skills. Therefore, the module is not obtained out of the box, but is just a custom plugin for FW Real Estate.

During installation, various custom search and filter parameters are added. Everything that is necessary for the client is integrated. When the installation is complete, all functions will be tested to ensure that the components work as expected.

The most important parameters will be configured in the FW Real Estate control panel. The list of important parameters is discussed with each client individually, so as a result, each client receives the product that is necessary for his/her business.

You need to have access to actual MLS / IDX / XML channel or file server so the MLS / IDX database works. An XML news feed or a CSV file of a specified format can be used for this. Your account should be allowed access to current properties of the real estate.

For the work we need:

  • Website with the latest version of FW Real Estate, access to the Joomla administrator panel, as well as access to FTP server.
  • Integration service payment. You will be sent a link to the transaction upon request. The integration price will be 799 USD.
  • MLS / IDX / XML working access to the properties database. This is needed only for testing purposes to configure the integration and make sure that the product work. This can be a test account or a developer account.


FW Real Estate MLS / IDX / XML integration will allow the real estate site to reach a new orbit. The interoperability with a common real estate agents base will favorably highlight the site in front of similar resources, where relevant ads from individuals and organizations are collected. Big win in the plus column would be the constant maintenance of the site in the current status, and to provide visitors with information about off-the-shelf real estate properties.

The help of experts during installation and configuration excludes possible errors, and the 30 days of the support period allow you to make sure that there are no any bugs.

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