IDX Broker Widget Customization

IDX Broker has a robust set of back end tools which enable agents to create a host of custom widgets to display properties based on predefined characteristics.  While the system is relatively intuitive, and while any agent with a love of computer programming and CSS coding can easily learn to use it over time, many prefer to focus more on the dollar productive activities in their lives, such as selling real estate.  This is where Agent Focus comes into place.  We have years of experience customizing IDX Broker widgets to suit the specific needs of our clients, and rather than spend a day learning how to create these yourself, why not just let our team get it done to your specifications, while you go out and list a home.

Here are just a few examples of some of the tools we can put together for you, and the usage for each.

Community Specific IDX Broker Widgets

One of the best tools for promoting your website within a specific town, is through the creation of multiple community specific pages within your website.   Each page should contain as much information as possible about the town, from it’s history, to it’s schools, shopping, community services, etc.  We can create these types of pages for you easily, and this is a separate service that we offer as part of our web-tune up, or website creation services, as out “community pages” product.  They also make fantastic “landing pages” for any community specific advertising you may be doing on Facebook, Google, or any other such source.  Once these pages are created, either by you, or by our team, the next step is to create a community specific widget, which will display all homes, condominiums, or other property types you specify, using specific parameters you define.   You can see a great example of a community page, with two such widgets, one for single family homes and one for condominiums, at this link Community Page with Widgets.

If you also need Community Specific Pages created for your website, you can select that product below.

 


 

Feature Specific IDX Broker Widgets

Many of us work in markets that are highly segmented, with unique types or styles of property that would be best featured on their own, both for the ease of the client experience, as well as Search Engine Optimization.  An example of that would be a widget we created for our client Carlyn Lowery, who wanted a page that would display only the waterfront listings in her market.  You can see an example of that are her page Annapolis Waterfront Properties.

These widgets can be set up based on parameters such as acreage, house price, and a host of other options.  You can even drill down to the point where you have a widget displaying “only 1BR condominiums” or “only 5 BR houses.” While it’s sometimes hard to understand the rationale of this, it all comes down to the reasons mentioned above.  When you have a dedicated page entitled “1BR waterfront condominiums in Miami,” or “homes with acreage in Nashville,” and someone does a specific search like that in Google, you stand a far better chance of rising to the top of the search.

 


 

Property Specific IDX Broker Widgets

With this type of widget, you can specify a type or style of widget, regardless of the specific community, in the knowledge that clients often search over a wider geographic region than specified by town borders.  For example, a client in search of a single family home, under 15 years old, might be searching in five surrounding communities.   Using a property specific widgets, we can create searches such as “400-600K homes in Westboro, Northboro and Shrewsbury,” or “2BR Condominiums in Worcester County.”   Again, this both enhances the user experience and search engine optimization of your websites.

 


 

 

Featured Property IDX Broker Widget

If you’re an agent with a lot of inventory, having a widget to display only your listings is a fantastic tool, and this too comes built into the IDX Broker interface.  The default for this is to display only “your listings,” but there are several other options, if you don’t tend to carry large amounts of inventory.  For example, you might choose to display your listings first, and then the listings of your office, so that a consumer clicking the “Featured Properties” tab on your site isn’t just seeing one or two homes. Again, this is a built in widget, so our mission is merely to customize it to the specific needs you might have, and insert it for you in the appropriate place.

 


 

 

Non-MLS IDX Broker Listings Widget

In many areas with low inventory, agents are finding that properties are selling before they even hit MLS.  In our region, showing homes prior to MLS is allowed, as long as the Seller of the property fills out the appropriate form and it’s filed with our MLS.  Your region may be different, of course.  In any case, this widget allows you to use listings which you’ve taken that are not yet in MLS, and provide access to your Buyers before anyone else.


 

Other IDX Broker Specific Customizations

 

IDX Broker Subdomain Creation

This is something we offer both for existing IDX Broker clients, and new clients that we are setting up for the first time.   This long awaited feature has really revolutionized the Search Engine Optimization potential of real estate agent websites. As you might imagine, the more pages you have indexed within the search engines, the better chance you have of being the first person to reach the eyes of the Buyers and Sellers out there.  In the typical real estate agent website, you may have 20 or 30 pages of content being fed to the search engines.  When you originally added IDX functionality to your website, you assumed that you were going to have the added SEO of tens of thousands of listings, now displayed on your website, however this was never the case.   The default setup for IDX Broker has always been to display those listings from their server, on their domain, framed into your website using a global wrapper.  It looked great, but your domain received no credit for the pages which were being displayed.  How can you tell if this is the case?  Well, if you’re  an existing IDX Broker client, click on any one of your widgets or sign up tools and you will probably see a url that looks like this   www.yourdomain.idxbroker.com/919-WELLS-AVE-ANNAPOLIS-Maryland-MD-21403.    What this shows is that the property, in this case Wells ave in Annapolis, is coming from the idxbroker site, on which “yourdomain.idxbroker.com” is just a folder on their system.    There is, however, a way around this, through the creation of a custom subdomain on your website, with it’s own unique url.   Once this is done and the proper CNAME records are updated, these thousands of pages of homes will now be associated with your website.  Here is an example of this system in action http://annapolis-waterfront-homes-for-sale.annapolis-houses.com/idx/details/annapolis-homes/a004/AA8562437/919-WELLS-AVE-ANNAPOLIS-Maryland-MD-21403.   As you can see, the Wells Ave property not is coming from within the “annapolis-houses.com” domain itself.

Talking about results is easy, but demonstrating them is far more dramatic. In the case of the website below, we used two different techniques.  The first, implemented in May of 2014, was to implement the subdomain system.  You can clearly see that resulting in over 20,000 pages being indexed by Google within 90 days.  How powerful is that?  Something you might be interested in?  If so, you’ll want to select the IDX Broker Subdomain product below.

 


 

 

Google Webmaster Tools for the IDX Broker Subdomain

The secondary technique we employed on the site above, is to use the tools Google put in place specifically for such systems, and use a sitemap submission which was specific not to the domain of the site itself, but to the subdomain.  With this in place, we were then able to use the new dynamically generated site map to achieve even greater results.  When this was implemented on October 28, 2014 on the site above, the number of pages indexed grew from 20,000 to over 70,000 and growing.  Without question, this is an indispensable asset to any agent website, that could only help you in your quest for domination in your market.  When you choose this option, we will include 2 months of SEO monitoring with a pre and post report.

 


 

Custom IDX Broker Details URL and Description

As long as you’re going to have 50,000 pages from your website listed in the search engines, why not maximize them in every possible way?  Another fantastic tool built into the back end IDX Broker interface is the ability to customize the URL and page title of each of these property pages.  By default, they would include the subdomain and main domain url, and perhaps the MLS number or address of the home, but so much more can be added.  For example, if you see the image below, you’ll see that we have modified the “page title” of all properties in the subdomain to include agent name, city, company name, etc.

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.26.53 PM

 

 

 

As you can see in the source code of the page, we were also able to modify the URL and page description, again in an attempt to increase the Search Engine Optimization of the page itself.

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.30.32 PM

 


 

Creation of custom IDX Broker sub-headers and back links to your other websites.

Again, as long as you have all of these thousands of pages out there being indexed, why not use them to your advantage?  Many of us have multiple different domains at different URLS.  By enabling the custom sub header built into the IDX Broker system, you can add back links to your other domains.  This will create a web of back links from all of these highly relevant pages, all pointing back to your other websites.  One of the key elements Google uses to determine the value of your site, is the number of back links from quality, content similar sources.