Our company is founded by individuals who live and breathe the commercial real estate world. While there are many real estate website and marketing companies out there to choose from, we like to think that we understand the uniqueness of the commercial real estate industry much more than our competitors. In fact, the feedback from our commercial real estate clients consistently reflects this sentiment.
As we talk to commercial real estate professionals, the topic of IDX is easily one of the topics we spend the most amount of time talking through as we map out a website plan or digital marketing strategy. Compared to residential real estate, the question of whether or not to integrate IDX for commercial real estate websites is not as simple of a question. The reason for this, of course, is because in commercial real estate, listings and property information reside in a variety of places. Some commercial listings are in the local MLS, others are in LoopNet, and still others can reside in other places.
In light of a more fragmented online inventory of commercial listings, does IDX for commercial real estate make sense? Every individual market has unique characteristics, but we have found that in most situations, the answer is yes.
The reasons why IDX does indeed make sense for most commercial real estate websites are as follows:
1. Lead Generation: IDX is easily the most effective lead generation tool for real estate websites. By implementing a comprehensive lead generation strategy (we can advise you on this) with your website, IDX should consistently generate leads. IDX integration from our recommended IDX providers will provide us with a suite of very effective lead generation tools out-of-the-box for your website.
Even if the listings in your MLS for commercial real estate are somewhat sparse, in many cases the lead generation tools available as a result of using IDX will outweigh the negatives of not having every commercial property show up in a given search or landing page. After all, if you get the lead, you can always personally show the client more listings that aren’t showing up in the MLS.
2. Better Integration & Other Integrated Tools: While other listing providers provide some degree of integration tools for your website, they often consist of iframes and widgets that are embedded in a single page. These widgets pale in comparison to an IDX integration that looks and feels like a natural part of your website. The overall user experience is typically vastly superior on an IDX-integrated website compared to a website with embedded iframes and widgets.
In addition to lead generation tools, IDX integration provides us with other tools and features to integrate into the website. For instance, full blown property search pages let the user punch in their own criteria and browse available properties without leaving your website.
3. Listings not present in MLS can be added via supplemental listings. Some of our clients are down initially on IDX integration because they may have some listings that are not present in the local MLS. Thankfully most IDX integrations give us a workaround by letting us manually enter supplemental listings that then show up in your particular IDX-integrated website. Whether that all makes sense or not isn’t necessarily important. The key takeaway here is that if you’re concerned that IDX integration may not make sense because some of your listings aren’t in the MLS, there’s a simple method to address this.
4. Better Landing Pages: The flexibility of IDX integration lets us build specific landing pages that are both very useful for your web visitors and also very effective when combined with a lead generation campaign. What kind of landing pages are we referring to? Perhaps you want your users to be able to browse listings by property type. We can build a group of pages, each of a specific property type that show live listings relevant to that page (e.g. Multi-family properties). Moreover, additional criteria could be added to narrow down the landing page’s focus. For instance, maybe you want a page that shows all industrial properties in a specific part of town.
With IDX, these pages are easy to build, and by doing so, you permit users to easily browse various categories of properties that are relevant to them. These pages are also very effective in Google Adwords campaigns if you’re targeting a specific type of buyer with ad spend.
Does IDX for commercial real estate make sense in every situation? Not necessarily, but as we talk through the pros and cons as well as the individual needs of our clients, IDX is a great solution for many of our commercial real estate clients. If you’re unsure if IDX makes sense for your particular situation, contact us and we’re happy to talk through your individual situation.