In this Article, we will cover:
Webinar | Master IDX Search Based Websites to Capture Leads from Lori Ballen on Vimeo.
When creating a great real estate website, there are multiple tools that you want to make sure that you have in place in order to generate more leads and track your results. These tools may include:
- Lead Capture Buttons
- Home Evaluation Forms
- Analytics Tracking Code
- Contact Forms
- Community Pages
- and more.
One of the tools that a lot of people don’t think about right off the bat is an IDX Solution. IDX Solutions (Such as IDX Broker or Wolfnet 3.0) provide an opportunity for you to display listings pulled from the MLS. These listings can be displayed from a custom search that you have done, which provides you with a fantastic opportunity to generate more leads — when implemented properly.
Benefits of Creating a Custom Search in IDX
When you write a blog or a page on your website talking about a specific area, community, school zone, etc. you have the opportunity to display properties specific to the are that you are talking about.
Example of Linked IDX Pages:
If you write a hyperlocal blog post titled “The Best Places to Go Swimming in Las Vegas,” you can include a list of community pools and pools in hotels.
You can include multiple IDX Widgets on SEPARATE pages that you can link on this page.
When talking about one of the community pools, include a link that says, “View Properties Near This Community Pool” or “View Properties within Walking Distance of This Community Pool.” That link should link to a page with a list of properties (pulled from the IDX) that are displayed from a custom search you did of homes within the area near that community pool.
This way, if the visitor is interested in buying a home in that area, they can click to that page (increasing your bounce rate on your website) and providing them with listings that they can click around on and potentially register for more information.
Example of Displayed IDX Widgets:
If you are writing a community post about a specific school, you would really only need 1 IDX search — versus having multiple links as shown in the previous example. At the bottom of the page, include a list of properties that are zoned for that school. You can also include a “carousel” on the page, which is a bar that displays about 3 listings at a time with arrows to slide to the next group of listings.
How to Build an IDX Widget
In this example, we are going to be creating a Zip Code widget. These can be used for multiple reasons — as shown in the previous examples. This example is going to be a widget created for a Zip Code Page such as, “89508 Homes for Sale.”
These pages will often include a break-down of homes in that zip code between specific price ranges, such as:
- $100,000 – $200,000
- $200,000 – $300,000
Each price range will be its own page with the IDX search results displayed for that zip code within that price range.
You will title these pages something like, “Homes for Sale in 89508 | $100,000 – $200,000.”
Creating The Widget
- Log Into IDX Broker
- Click the “Designs” Button at the top of the page
- Click “Widgets” in the grey toolbar that appears beneath the buttons
- Select “Create” from the “Widgets” menu
- Select “Showcase” — This will display the listings in rows of about 4 or 5 for as many columns as you decide to display. (Click Here for an Example)
- Select “Custom Search”
- Select “Advanced Search”
- A form with multiple fields will appear — keep in mind that this may look different for you than what is displayed in the video, depending on how your IDX settings are set up.
- Under “City, County, Postal Code” type in the zip code that you want to include in your search. In this example, it would be 89508. You can include multiple zip codes in your search if you would like, if you are using this search for school zones or a similar topic.
- Under “Listing Price” type in your price range. In this example, that is going to be “100,000-199,999”
- Under “Results Per Page” you can choose how many listings you want to show. We suggest 25 results, otherwise your page may look cluttered.
- Under “Sorted By” select “Newest Listings”
- Under “Preferences” (if available) select “has image” so that all listings shown have an image displayed.
- Scroll to the bottom of the form and make sure that “Open Widget in a New Window” is open. If they click a listing, it will take them off of your site and put them on your IDX site. You always want your original site open in case they get “click-happy” and lose your site — your site will still be open in that original window.
- Name Your Widget — “Zip Code | Price Range”
- Under “Sorting Order” change it to “Order of Custom List” so it does not override your original sorting preferences made in step 12.
- Under “# Listings” type in 25.
- Click “Build Widget” at the bottom to generate your widget code.
Placing the Widget on Your Website
- Copy the Code from IDX Broker
- Go Back to Your Zip Code Price Range Page in WordPress that matches the search you just did in IDX Broker.
- Add a name for the widget within the body of your page, such as “Homes for Sale in 89508 | $100,000-$200,000”
- In the upper right of the body on your WordPress Site, click on the “text” tab to enable html editing.
- Beneath the text you just typed in, paste the widget code that you copied from IDX Broker. You will not see anything when you switch back over to the “visual” tab, but your widget is there and will display when you view the post/page.
- Be sure to Publish the post/page when you are done or your changes will not be visible when visiting your site.
Linking a Widget to a Piece of Text
- Go to IDX Broker
- Click “Designs”
- Click “Widgets”
- From the list at the bottom, search for the widget that you are looking for using the search bar on the right side.
- When you’ve found the widget you want, click on the pencil that appears to the right of the widget title.
- You will see a button about 1/2 way down the page that says, “View Results in a New Window.” Click that button.
- Copy the url of the page that opens
- In WordPress, highlight the group of text that you would like to link to that page.
- Click the “link” button in the toolbar above the body of the post/page.
- Paste the url and make sure the checkbox is checked for “Open in New Window”
- Publish the post/page when you are done.
Linking Your Zip Code Price Range Page to Your Zip Code Break-Down Page
Remember when we created the “Homes for Sale in 89508” Page that had a list of price ranges?
We need to make sure that we take the page we created, “Homes for Sale in 89508 | $100,000 – $200,000” gets linked to that page.
- Go into your “Homes for Sale in 89508” page editor.
- Highlight the price range, “$100,000 – $200,000”
- Click on the “link” button in the toolbar above the body
- Beneath the fields “URL” and “Link Text” you will see a search bar. Type in “homes for sale in 89508” and select the page with the matching price range that you just created.
- It will link itself — make sure that you check the “open in new tab/window” option before adding the link.
- Click “add link” and you will see your text is now linked.
- Publish/Update to save changes.
Need Help with IDX Broker & Widgets?
Ballen Marketing — A Ballen Brand — is made up of a group of Lori’s administrative team that are available to offer training services and marketing solutions to save you time and help you generate more leads online.
We added this one Fall of 2014. Now, those of you that are real estate agents understand that IDX is the internet data exchange. It gives us the ability to showcase MLS listings on our websites.
I believe that IDX should be part of a buyer site. It should also be part of a seller site, because a seller tends to go in and look at houses to compare with their own. A lot of times when you’re generating web leads, you might be very surprised to find out that those registered “buyers” that your system tells you are buyers, are actually sellers. They’re just trying to do a self-comp or a self-analysis.
I think it’s important to have real estate listings on our seller sites so they can self-compare and navigate. Hopefully while they’re there, they realize that we are the specialists in that community, or in that niche, and by looking at our blog, seller articles, buyer articles and our community information, realize that we are offering items of value.
I like IDX Broker for a lot of the things that it does. As we just said, the IDX basically just shows real estate listings on your websites. It gives you that data feed. I love the widgets and I love the codes that it gives us.
One thing I have found is that when I go in and set up a widget, I’ll go into IDX Broker and I’ll have it show me all of the homes in the zip code 89128 that were listed in the last 24 hours or in the last 3 days, that are 2,000 square foot and under $200,000 or between $100,000 and $200,000, something like that, right?
It saves the widget and I can use that shortcode in WordPress but it also gives me the code. That code works on other platforms like BombBomb, as well. The widget also works on my Point2Agent site. Guess what, you guys? If you’re with Keller Williams, the IDX Broker widget works on eEdge and it’s so appealing, these great big grids like this.
I generated about 2,000 leads in a two-week time span of “seller leads” that wanted to know what their home was worth. When we did the data on it, only about 40% even owned the home. Then when we went through that 40%, near half had just bought the home in the last year. They just wanted to know if they got a good deal on their house, so they really weren’t leads. They were registrations.
I personally prefer to send them to a page like that makes them fill out their information. What happens is that if somebody comes in and actually types in their address, puts the condition of their house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, spells out the description, then this is a serious potential listing. This is somebody that probably really does want to sell.
The IDX Broker property description page has the title, the description, the ability to print for printable flyers, show more listings, etc. On the right-hand side, I have a widget and a quick search, and this is frequently used on our website. You can also take the same widget and put it in your ActiveRain blog on the right-hand side so that people can search for homes. There’s all kinds of places that you can use those widget codes if you get creative. They don’t work everywhere. I’ve found a couple of spots they don’t work, but I’m really pleased with where they do work.
Your leads are imported into the dashboard. You’re able to view all the leads and sort by whether or not they saved a search. It shows if they say they have an agent, if they subscribed or did not subscribe, if they saved a property, if they scheduled to receive property updates, if they’re active, etc. IDX Broker also has a team version. If you paid to upgrade, they also have contact routing so you can route to your buyers’ agents or your sellers’ agents. Just like the market leader site does, so you have a lot of ability. We are not yet using that team structure, only because it is going to our lead coordinator right now, who filters everything. It is a really cool option, otherwise.
I am using the platinum version of the IDX Broker. It does not work on Facebook. The widget codes don’t work just by putting them on there, but the links work. You can do a search for all homes 89128, $200,000, $300,000, and it’ll give you a link. You can go on to Facebook and put that link and put, “see all homes $100,000, $200,000” and it’ll work.
Anywhere you can take code, you should try it. Anywhere that takes HTML code, you should try your IDX Broker. If you’re doing some great analytics and measuring the behavior of your leads, which I highly encourage, that’s all on there for you as well.