Active Rain June 14, 2009

Understanding IDX

The words jumped off the page:

 “It troubles me that I am not identified as the listing agent. The way this listing is displayed it looks like you are. I feel taken advantage of.”

This was an email sent to one of my agents from a competing agent in our MLS who googled the address of one of his listings,  and lo and behold, saw my agent’s photo in the sidebar as the showing contact on a search page. He was indeed troubled. I decided to call him and see if I could turn that frown upside down. 

I asked him if his website had a home search feature. It did. I asked him if I were to find my own listing on his site whether or not it put me down as the contact or him. It was, after all, his site; would he want it to make my phone ring or his? The truth was that if I went to his company’s site or his personal site that my listing would have my information buried in the small print for compliance and his or his firm’s contact information would be prominent. That’s just the way it works. “It,” by the way, is IDX, or Internet Data Exchange. IDX is the means by which MLS data is supplied to real estate broker websites for home searches. Any broker website you search for a home on is probably an IDX type of platform.  

Moreover, the site he found his listing on was one that people would go to in order to find a buyer agent, not deal with the listing broker; it was antithetical to the site’s purpose to suggest the contact agent was the listing agent. Of course, the whole thing was foreign to him, and without more of a basic underpinning of knowledge of IDX he couldn’t know that. 

This must be how wars begin; that pesky lack of understanding. So I took the time to tell him as much as I could, because you never know when we might cross paths again. I want to build bridges, not burn them. 

The upshot is that a very experienced, honorable agent simply misunderstood the direction the Internet was taking in this growing spur of the Information Highway. He’s still getting his mind around it, but more importantly I am fairly certain that I won a cold shoulder over to a warm colleague. 


Search the MLS like an agent here. New York’s Premier Short Sale REALTOR. Read my short sale bog here. See the New York Photo blog here. J. Philip Serves Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, the River Towns, Westchester County, and the bedroom counties of New York City.