Broker IDX Options


IDX is commonly referred to the transfer of information from the MLS to other places. Brokers want to tap into this information for natural reasons; most likely this is going to be for web sites (both internal and external) but it may also be for internal applications such as Transaction Form applications and recruiting applications.

IDX information rules and regulations vary from MLS to MLS across the country. The IDX options available for one MLS doesn't hold true for another MLS. Each MLS is separate and independent.

In the greater West Palm Beach, FL area, the largest member MLS is the Regional MLS. Regional MLS typically covers an area from Broward County in the South to St Lucie County in the North.

For Brokers, there are few IDX options for Regional MLS split into two main categories; either directly from the Regional MLS or through a third party.



There are two direct Regional MLS IDX options, data that comes directly from the Regional MLS;

  • a nightly FTP feed.
  • or a periodic RETS feed.

The direct Regional MLS IDX options are only available to head brokers and are not available to individual agents (including Broker-agents).

Both direct Regional MLS IDX options come in a RAW DATA format. This means that the data, untouched, is unusable for any practical purpose. Raw Data means the info looks similar in fashion to this (stay with me here):

123 Main St|100|5400|||||||||1|||0|86|West Palm Beach|CBS|Central,Ceiling Fan,Electric|PALMBEACH|||Lt 4 Floors||Snack Bar|8|8|||I95 W on PGA Blvd ||Refrigerator,Range,Dishwasher,Elec Wtr Htr,Disposal,Microwave,Smoke Detect||||Ceramic Tile|||North|1|Unfurnished,Furnishd Onl|0.0|PB232|Condo|||1|Central,Electric|Mandatory|367|Month|Cust Mirr|8|8||| Condo||549,900|738|18|14|||Common Area,Exterior Maintenance,Lawn Care,Pest Control,Pool Service,Parking,Security,Roof Maintenance,Manager,Building Insurance,Cable,Elevator|87|Com Tub/Shr|15|13||||R1234567||||||||630,000|00123456789012340||||||No|||No|||At Close|||||Adult 55+,Buyer Apprv,Tenant Apprv,Intervw Req,Lease Ok,No Pets|Comp.Shingle|Glass Porch|Entry Card,Gate-Manned|No|||No|Sold As-Is|Active|Condo or Coop|Pool,Boating,Tennis,Elevator,Lobby,Exer Room,Comm Laundry,Commun Room,Game Room,Library,Sauna,Shuffleboard,Spa- Hot Tub,Sidewalk,Billiards,Cabana,Courtesy Bus| Village|694|2008|County Only||738|2|||Corner,Ext Cat Walk||3-Phase Elec,Public Water,Public Sewer,Cable,Underground|||Pool,Garden|||None|No|Blinds,Drapes,Verticals|1983||33400|1766|RES| This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it |1234567|Special Agent|561-123-4321|1234567|Realty Company|561-123-4321


As you can see, it doesn't make much sense unless you decipher what the data is. In addition, this example is only a single property. Now imagine this multiplied by more than 35,000 properties (average amount of properties in the Regional MLS IDX). A broker who gets the info in either of these two manners, nightly FTP feed or RETS, will need the help of a web site experts, such as Regional IDX, to help make the data meaningful.

The advantage of a Direct Regional MLS / IDX option is that the broker can customize the information and has almost full control of what happens afterwards.

For example, a broker can sift through the data to display broker-only listings in a certain section on a web site. Or a broker can integrate the listings into a map, like google maps, to automatically show the map on the broker web site rather than leaving the site.

Nightly FTP Feed

The Nightly FTP Feed (FTP feed for short), means that the ACTIVE data is downloaded once a day into a computer system usually at around midnight. The FTP feed is actually provided by ThreeWide Corporation (a national company who also provides ListHub) and not Regional MLS. A broker typically pays for a key for the information. Once a key is obtained, the broker can use the key (on one system only) to download the Raw Data. It is left up to the broker to get the FTP Feed working, manage the FTP Feed, secure the FTP feed and decide what to do with the data (display on web site, integrate into something else).


A RETS Feed is a technical feed that downloads a set amount data at set time decided by the broker. For example, every 24 hours or every 12 hours or every 15 minutes. Again, it is decided by the broker. The data is usually any data in the MLS, not just ACTIVE. However, in the Regional MLS, only ACTIVE data is supplied by a RETS feed. Therefore, a RETS feed is more powerful than an FTP Feed but requires more setup, management and technical skill. A RETS feed is nearly impossible for an individual broker to handle by itself and again requires the help of web site experts, such as Regional IDX, to help make the data useful and meaningful.

Regional IDX has successfully implemented both FTP Feeds and RETS feeds for multiple clients across the Regional MLS. We specialize in successful setups and management of the Regional MLS data in a variety of formats. Where national companies have unsuccessful attempts, we have successful projects. If you would like to join our happy clients, feel free to contact us.



Third Party IDX companies have options that are available to both brokers and agents. Typically the IDX options provided by Third Parties are in a set format and not customizable by the broker or the agent in any fashion. Third Parties typically sell their products by monthly fee. Regional MLS has a list of national Third Party companies that service Regional MLS customers. It is left to the broker to research the options and see what is best but we will provide two examples below.

Third Party Example

It's important to note that the Florida Association of Realtors, FAR, is one of the Third Parties that provide IDX information to brokers and agents although they are not listed by Regional MLS. Brokers and agents pay FAR by payment of the yearly dues to FAR. FAR uses a portion of the dues to provide a state-wide IDX.

The FAR IDX can be found at FAR's web site, (or The client can integrate the FAR IDX into their web site by framing in the search.

The IDX looks like this:

As you can see, it doesn't look very pretty. Not only is it complex, it also isn't customizable in any manner except for colors. In addition, you're stuck with the look and feel they give you. This means that buyers have to select through more than 30 options just to submit a search including a multitude of cities across the state. So someone looking for property in Jupiter is also subject to property in Alligator Point. This doesn't make much sense.

The argument from agents is that they want to show as many properties as possible on their site, hoping they can get a referral for properties out of their area. The real situation is different. We have never heard of a story where a referral actually happened because of the FAR IDX. In reality, when buyers see a complex mess like that, they disappear to a different site in about 3 seconds (not joking).

Both brokers and agents should be looking for customization of the data to define where they specialize.

A second issue with a framed in solution like this comes to the fact that the broker or agent site doesn't get credit for visit or the searching. Rather, the solution provider gets credit, in this case, FAR gets credit. This hurts web site statistics because the activity of searching actually doesn't occur on the broker or agent site, it occurs on the FAR site. So rather than having 1000 hits recorded, the site may only receive 100 hits. The issue grows as this also diminishes web site placement in a search engine like Google because Google uses the number of hits on a site to determine whether the site is high or low on a list. In short, the more number of hits factors into placing higher on Google.

A Second Third Party Example

Regional IDX also serves clients with IDX information from the Regional MLS. Rather than a set search and display like the previous example, we work with the client to customize the search. This means that a client that specializes in property in Jupiter can create a search of properties that only have a Jupiter address. Pretty nifty.

Rather than 30 options like the FAR IDX, we customize the search to be as easy as possible and only forcing a few options and in certain cases, no options at all. A customized Regional IDX search looks like this:



The advantages of a customized IDX solution like this stems from the fact that the properties are truly integrated into the broker and agents web site so that the site receives full credit. This results in more hits recorded and high Google placement.

Also the search doesn't subject the visitor to many options. In this case, it's ony 3 options: price, beds, baths. The city option is locked into Palm Beach Gardens. It shows for visitor convenience but it isn't necessary.

There are more advantages but these two begin to show the difference of why a customized Regional IDX solution is superior.



There used to be an option for IDX data download from the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) but in November of 2008, Regional MLS discontinued the membership and the data is no longer available.



IDX is commonly refered to as the transfer of data from the MLS to other places. For Regional MLS, IDX is obtained either directly through Regional MLS or through a third party.

No matter what situation you are in, Regional IDX helps clients with IDX information coming from the Regional MLS.

If you want to get independent consultation of IDX information and web services, Regional IDX is the company to ask. Our service experts have a history of different types of situations that commonly arise from dealing with IDX data and implementing it in a useable manner.

Regional IDX builds customized web sites with customized property searches to simplify the process of having IDX information on your site. In easy terms, we say it like this, Regional IDX automatically shows your listings on your web site.

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