People don't search for properties on agent's personal websites
When we decided to build this website we decided to leave property search out of it. Why would we weaken our brand in providing subpar search on our website? Let's say that if we had Realtor.com's search platform, we wouldn't think twice about it.
It is a well known fact that buyers are going to conduct their property search on national portals like Realtor.com before contacting an agent or broker. Home buyers or consumers can find MLS listings on thousands of real estate websites all providing the same property information. Having IDX search on an agent's website is no longer sets the agent apart and we all know that a home buyer does not choose an agent based on who has the best MLS property search.
Third party portals like Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow have spent millions of dollars perfecting property search that show up high in organic search results. Many real estate agents are beginning to question why provide a search tool for consumers who come to their websites when much better ones exist on national real estate portals.
There are about thirty thousand real estate agents in Chicago who are members of the MLS and have access to each others' listings in a reciprocal agreement, better known in the industry as Internet Data Exchange - IDX, with other real estate broker members of the MLS in Chicago. Having all those listings on their personal websites look all the same. It is not unique content and many agents are questioning if it is necessary.
Many agents in Chicago are reluctant to admit that IDX search is redundant and many home buyers do not use the agent's personal website to conduct property search but instead go to the national portals that have invested heavily in property search listings. Let's be honest. An agent spending $40 or $60 a month to have the IDX on their website will never compare to Realtor.com or Zillow's annual million dollar research and development. Some brokers do not want IDX search on their websites but others keep it for their own personal reasons. Why pay 6% or 5% commission when you can list your home for 4% commission. Imagine being able to get at closing a percentage of the broker's commission when you buy your next home.