What is IDX Syndication and why is my listing on your website!

Came in this morning and received the following email from a local real estate broker.

Carlos, you are supposed to ask permission to advertise someone else’s listing. Do you have a buyer for this???

Broker Associate

“What is IDX Syndication and why is my listing on your website! Let me start by saying that this email was rather calm and polite compared to many others we have received. We have had many calls and emails from some really mean and angry agents! If you want to have a good laugh, take a minute to read my friends recent post about the phone call he received from the “Angry Caller!”

Anyways, my response to the email received above was the following. As agents we need to be aware of these rules and understand them. As homeowners you should be aware of them as well because if your agent is EXCLUDING your listing from MLS Syndication they are doing you an injustice.

My Response to the email from the broker –

Dear Broker,

Please read the terms of the IDX agreement that all brokers who have MLS membership agree to abide by.  The IDX agreement allows any Realtor member to download all data from the MLS and have this data on their website.  Most broker websites have this feature and the only person that can control a listing from appearing on ALL broker websites is YOU!  When you load the listing in the MLS you have the option to “Opt Out” of internet syndication which will keep your listing from appearing on other real estate websites that receive a MLS syndication feed. If you choose to Opt Out then your listing does not appear on all of these real estate website, and it also does not appear on sites such as Realtor.com, Yahoo, Google, Zillow, and hundreds of other sites.

Please take a minute to read the bulletin from Sandicor (Our Local MLS) dated April 3, 2009 titled; “Notice of Change in Sandicor’s Listing Input Form Resulting from VOW Settlement”.  This is a good starting point to understanding how IDX syndication works and what you should know when entering a new listing in the MLS. You can also call the board and they can explain the details of the VOW agreement that we are all participants in.

When you do a random search using only the property address and depending on what search engine you’re using, you will be directed to any number of website; I am happy to hear that you were directed to my site and yet not surprised since we do generate a lot of traffic and have been for several years.  You could just as easily been directed to another real estate agents website, this time it sent you to my site.

Thank you,

Carlos Aguilar

The bottom line?

For real estate agents and brokers

Learn the rules and understand what IDX is. Through real estate SEO you may be able to benefit greatly from it. It’s probably one of the greatest pieces of technology created to help broadcast listings out to many, many more sources which will only help you gain additional exposure. As agents and sellers, we want the most exposure possible, right? I would hope so!

For the home seller?

Make sure your real estate agent is participating and saying yet to IDX syndication. How do you know if your property is being exposed to all possible real estate websites and sources? The solution is very simple and you don’t have to ask your agent for anything.

1. Start by going to Realtor.com and do a search by address or MLS #.

2. Then go to Sign on San Diego’s real estate section. Enter your MLS # or address to search for your home.

3. Lastly, go to our website Team Aguilar real estate and on the home page you can enter the MLS #.

If you find your home at all 3 sources you will have searched from one end of the spectrum to the other. I also like to do a Google search for the property address and a another search for the MLS #. You should be able to see your listing show up on many different websites. If after doing the three searches above or the Google search you don’t see your listing on multiple websites you have an issue and need to contact your agent. Ask your agent why you can’t find it on these websites.

I have absolutely no idea why any real estate agent would opt out of syndication. As a real estate agent trying to sell a home you want to have the most exposure possible and there are only two reasons I can think of to opt out of IDX syndication.

1. The agent doesn’t know any better and has no idea how to enter a listing in the MLS.

2. The agent wants to double end the deal and look for their own buyer so they can make twice the commission. 🙁 Dual Agency is another topic that we will discuss in the near future.

26 thoughts on “What is IDX Syndication and why is my listing on your website!”

  1. Wow, Alex, that is amazing. I think most agents in the Baltimore area understand IDX and how helpful and useful it is in getting their house out to as many potential buyers as possible. Great response, though!

    1. Yes, I am always surprised how many calls we still receive about this issue so I keep writing about it. Most of the time people are reasonable but it’s frustrating when an agent starts yelling and screaming at you and they don’t understand the rules.

  2. Great work Alex. It’s funny how often real estate agents get emotional with their work. I understand the business is highly frustrating and competitive, but it seems like there is a lacking of policy like the sort you are laying down on this agent in your post. Cheers!

  3. This just seems silly to me! Not only because of how childish it is (“It’s my listing you can’t have it.”), but why WOULDN’T you want the extra publication. Unbelievable the amount of agents out there that are giving the rest of us a bad name by not having any understanding of the process.

  4. Reminds me of something I went through a couple of years ago. There was an agent in the area that was making Craig’s list ads for homes that he did not actually have listed… with incorrect information and the same picture for multiple addresses. I found out about it because I was working with a buyer that found stumbled upon one of these Craig’s list ads and came to me wondering why I hadn’t shown him the home yet. I looked up the address in the MLS and turns out the home was actually for sale but with a different price (out of my clients range) and picture. I then contacted the Craig’s list contact. His response… “Gimme a break, other agents do this all the time.”

    1. Yeah, I see a lot of agents advertising listings on Craigslist. We have several agents that ask us for permission to advertise our listings on Craigslist and we allow it but many agents never bother to ask for permission. What I find humorous is when agents call or email us upset about listings on our website and they have no idea that MLS members are allowed to show these listings.

  5. Miriam Bernstein

    In New Orleans we are not permitted to have agent level IDX by our MLS…..we are in the dark ages….

  6. tony @Real Estate Keller TX

    IDX is great, I have been swearing by them for years. Just incredible how many different social networks and sites it blasts your info out onto.

  7. Hey Alex this happens all the time it is amazing to me that a lot of agents don’t even know what IDX is. I obtain most of my business from buyers searching our website through the use of our IDX platform. I like your email response can I use it next time I come across an uninformed agent? All the best to you in 2011!

  8. ChrisAdams @ Scottsdale Homes

    I don’t understand why an agent would want to withhold possible free advertising. It seems that both the seller and the agent would benefit from additional awareness about the property. It’s times like these that sellers question whether or not real estate agents have their best interests in mind.

    1. @ Chris, I don’t either. I still receive a couple nasty emails every week or two and it blows me away. It’s just a lack of knowledge and education within their industry! Thanks for stopping by the website.

  9. It still amazes me that agents get mad to find their listings on other websites, especially when they don’t know that they have agreed to it when they filled out the listing. I can see if the information is old and incorrect – like in Mack’s example – but if they don’t know how to fill out their listing, that’s their fault. And, to your point about sellers, they should insist that their home be syndicated. The more places people see their home, the better chances they have of selling it. If they’re working with an agent who is looking to double end the deal, they need to ask themselves, are they really representing my best interest? Thanks for the great post!

  10. I wonder how many sellers would be happy to find out their agent was upset about another agent providing more exposure? All I can say is RIDICULOUS! lol

    1. @NJ Refi, Yes, totally agree. Thanks for stopping by! Did you have any issues leaving this comment? I have been asking lately to make sure all is going to smoothly on that end. Thanks, Alex

  11. I did have an issue initially but created an account and resubmitted it. That seemed to work.

    The only other thing is that there’s no link on my name. Any way to fix that? Looking for the linkluv…. haha


  12. Nicole Arsenault @ Huntsville AL Real Estate

    I am pretty new to RE and have already had a few agents calling asking why properties they have listed show higher in the search engines on my site than on theirs. I am going to start a collection of emails and phone calls for a blog post, that should be fun. Thanks for your presentation and clear explanation of the issuw. I may just have to forward them this post via email.

    Happy Hump Day, from AL!

  13. It always astonishes me how many people complain about things not worth complaining about. Do people want to sell homes? Also, if you have enough time to complain, maybe you could call somebody who is interested in buying the darn thing.

  14. Chris Matthews

    IDX is a fantastic thing and if you learn how to use it to your advantage IN THE LEGAL AND NON-BENDING manner, you can really reap some fantastic benefits. A group of three super agents in Austin, together doing 48% of the $2+ million dollar listings here is attempting to have our board WATERMARK all pictures in the MLS with the listing agent’s contact info. This in turn would be fed into all the third party IDX sites. It would destroy the purpose of the IDX and is being met with tremendous protest by members. It strikes me as just jealousy over internet traffic by these big time agents, but it’s not like they even need it. Their names are well-known in the right social circles where internet leads aren’t needed. It’s just greed.

  15. Michael Czan - Mississauga Real Estate Professionals

    Its not only agents that will contact you. Sellers as well as they don’t understand how another real estate professional has their home on their website. It is the Realtors responsibility to inform them (and actually a part of their marketing plan) that their listings will appear elsewhere on other real estate websites featuring their home for sale.

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