There are a lot of expensive solutions out there to build a real estate website with MLS (Multiple Listing Service) integrations. Rather than building a complete site with an expensive IDX (Internet Data Exchange) solution, you can add IDX/MLS to your WordPress site.
There are several ways to add IDX/MLS to your WordPress site. Some involve buying a real estate theme package that includes everything you need to get up and running. Others are themes with real estate features that allow you to add IDX/MLS functionality along with IDX plugins. There are also a variety of WordPress real estate plugins that integrate IDX/MLS into virtually any theme.
This article will take a look at some of the top themes and plugins that help you integrate IDX and MLS into your WordPress site.
- 1 Themes
- 2 Plugins
- 3 Wrapping Up
First, let’s look at a few themes.
This one from Gorilla Themes includes MLS-IDX integration with a grid layout and property slider so you can showcase featured properties. It has a real estate administrator module that allows for multiple agents, and it allows them to modify or delete their listings. It’s compatible with all markets. And you don’t need a separate search plugin either. You can build your own custom search module. It has breadcrumbs for filtered search results. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps with Google Street View.
It has multiple widgets and sidebars, 5 color styles, and the ability to change the background color and add your logo. It’s also SEO optimized.
This is a premium theme with several price ranges. The Essential Package is $39.95 and includes the theme, access to updates, and no forum support. The Standard Package is $69.95 and includes forum support and tutorials. The Premium Package is $99.95. It is for developers and includes unlimited domain forum support, PSD files, PO translated files, and customizations and tutorials for unlimited websites.
The Bel Air
Another one from Gorilla Themes, this one also includes MLS-IDX integration. It includes the real estate administrator module so multiple agents can login, modify, or delete their listings. It’s compatible with all markets. It has a currency and metrics selector with dynamic search fields with custom setup, so you can build your own custom search module. It has breadcrumbs for filtered search results, integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and has Google Maps with Google Street View.
This theme has dynamic and multiple sidebars, 5 color styles, a layout selector so you can choose left or right sidebars. It also has Facebook, Twitter, and advertisement banners built in. It’s SEO optimized and has a light framework.
This is a premium theme with several price ranges. The Essential Package is $39.95 and includes the theme, access to updates, and no forum support. The Standard Package is $69.95 and includes forum support and tutorials. The Premium Package is $99.95, is for developers and includes unlimited domain forum support, PSD files, PO translated files, and customizations and tutorials for unlimited websites.
This one from Colorlabs uses a plugin called dsIXpress to integrate MLS-IDX listings. It has advanced property search, Google Maps integration, neighborhood places information, detailed property information, support for multiple payment gateways, and it even allows agents to submit their properties from the front end. It is responsive and includes custom color schemes. You can also change the color of the text and background, header, and footer sections.
This is a premium theme with multiple license options. Single Pack is $79. It gives you lifetime membership and this one theme. App Bundle is $149 and only includes one year membership, but gives you access to over 30 apps and themes.
Real Homes – WordPress Real Estate Theme
This one is from Themeforest and includes MLS-IDX integration through the dsIDXpress plugin. It includes advanced search features. It has Google Maps integration that includes property location markers. It has multiple listing layouts including simple and grid. Agents can submit through the front end and it has PayPal integration for payments.
It has several custom layouts and features. It includes the Visual Composer Page Builder plugin, WPML plugin support, several template and options, Revolution Slider, and is responsive.
This is a premium theme with several licenses. The Regular license is $58 for use by a single client on a single end product that end users are not charged for. The Extended license is $2900 for use by a single client on a single product that end users are charged for.
This one is from right here at Elegant Themes. It includes the basics you would expect from ET including featured slider, blog, custom CSS, responsive, multiple color choices, etc. It adds to that a widget called Browse Listings. You can filter the search by price, number of rooms, type of home, and square footage. You can integrate MLS-IDX listings through the dsIDXpress or other IDX/MLS plugin.
Elegant Estate is part of the Personal Plan which costs $69 per year and gives you access to all themes and plugins. The Developer plan is $89 per year and includes the layered Photoshop files. For $249 you get lifetime access to the Developer plan.
If you already have the theme you want you can easily integrate MLS listings by using a plugin. Here is a list of some of the more popular plugins out there right now.
dsIDXPress IDX Plugin
This plugin lets you embed live real estate listings on your website. It places the listings within the site itself rather than in an iFrame. It is easy to set up and use. You can place listings within pages and posts through shortcodes or in a sidebar using the included widgets.
It comes with several widgets, including:
- Listings – shows listings within an area and lets agents show listings of their own, their office, or based on a search. It can show 50 listings at a time.
- Areas – displays a simple list of links for different areas.
- Search – shows an MLS search form.
Using this plugin requires a subscription. It costs $29.95 per month per domain plus a $99.95 setup fee.
This plugin will integrate IDX searching anywhere on your site. You can show live data within posts, pages, sidebars, mobile, etc. The goal is to look closer to an IDX solution than an IDX website. The advantage of this plugin is its lead capture features. It has forms, calls to action, and widgets to help capture names and email. It’s also SEO optimized.
This is a premium plugin with two pricing options. IDXpress Basic is $29.95 per month with a $99.95 set-up fee and includes shortcodes, widgets, indexable city and neighborhood pages, theme styling, updates, and more. IDXpress Pro is $59.95 per month with a $99.95 setup fee. It includes IDXpress Basic and adds lead capture.
Optima Express IDX Plugin
This plugin adds IDX search and MLS listings that are embedded into your site so you won’t have iFrames. This one also includes lead generation tools such as forms, listing-based calls to action, email alerts, user registration prompts, social media links, a consumer property organizer, and more. It has featured listings, interactive map search, open homes search, saved search pages, sold and pending listings, pocket listings, and other advanced search and listings features.
It has several widgets that include featured, saved search, and quick search gallery, saved search page list, agent bio, and SEO city links. It also includes pages for agent bios, offices, and community.
This is a premium plugin with several pricing plans that include Agent and Broker.
Agent plans include:
- Optima Express Pro Agent is $39.95 per month and has a $99 set up fee. It includes property search and results, lead capture and listing email alerts, featured listings, and saved search pages.
- Optima Express Power Agent is $49.95 per month and has a $99 set up fee. It adds interactive map search, polygon saved search pages, and SEO widgets.
- Optima Express Gold Agent is $99.95 per month and has a $249 set up fee. It adds VP priority support, premium setup service, and biannual website tuneup.
Broker plans include:
- Optima Express Broker starts at $79.95 per month with a $199 set up fee. It includes all IDX features, agent and office pages, and agent logins. It is for up to 5 agents.
- Optima Express Gold Broker starts at $199.95 per month with a $499 set up fee. It VP priority support, premium setup service, and biannual website tuneup. It is for up to 5 agents.
This is a service that takes data from your local MLS board for display on your site. It includes lead capturing with a client resource manager. It has visitor registration and email updates. It includes agents’ scheduling calendars to set up appointments, and virtual calendars for teams and offices to schedule virtual floor time to auto-assign leads. It can also send the info as a text to the agent’s cell phone. It performs a RETS update every 15 minutes for the local MLS boards that allow it.
There are several pricing plans available for single agents or offices with multiple agents. Plans include:
- Agent UltimateIDX – $69.95 per month with a $349.95 setup fee.
- Small Office/Team UltimateIDX – $109.95 per month with a $249.95 setup fee.
- Large Office/Team UltimateIDX – $249.95 per month with a $399.95 setup fee.
There are additional services available for multi-sites, MLS feeds, and website designs.
IDX Broker WordPress Plugin
This is a powerful plugin with many features. It’s designed with mobile use in mind. It has both mobile and full-site features. It has a mobile lead capture that integrates with your IDX Broker control panel. There is a map search widget or link that you can place on any page, post, or in the sidebar. You can customize the URL for the property so it can include the physical address if you wish. The IDX pages are cloud-hosted, so they load super-fast (a feature that Google LOVES). It also adds layouts that you can select for each page type.
This is a premium plugin with several pricing options. The plugin is available in a lite edition and platinum edition and both editions have plans for Agent, Team, and Office. Both include a $99 setup fee.
- Lite Agent starts at $39.99 per month. It includes almost everything except agent routing and office management.
- Lite Team starts at $49.99 per month. It includes agent routing and office management.
- Lite Office starts at $78.99 per month. It adds office listings.
- Platinum Agent starts at $59.99 per month. It includes almost everything except agent routing and office management. It adds map-searching functions.
- Platinum Team starts at $69.99 per month. It includes agent routing and office management. It adds saved links to specified agents.
- Platinum Office starts at $98.99 per month. It adds office listings.
Showcase IDX Real Estate Search
This responsive plugin has lots of cool features that agents need the most. It includes live map search, list, and gallery result views, lead capture, social media sharing, combined MLS data feeds, large photos, thumbnails, Google Streetview, saved searches, virtual tours, search widgets, and more. It has dynamic community pages, and a consumer dashboard, and gives you insights into your visitors with LeadMagic agent tools. You can create custom pages with hot sheets.
It has a simple pricing structure. and costs $59.99 per month with no setup fees. It can be used on 2 websites.
WPL Real Estate
WPL (WordPress Property Listing) Real Estate has support for all RETS-based MLS providers in North America. It includes lots of features and can be expanded with add-ons. It has an add listing wizard that lets you list by Listing Type, Property Type, and Room Types, and has property management features. It has several search and location functions that include Google Map search. It has several widgets that include search, carousel, and agents. All of these are included in the Basic edition.
The Basic edition is free and includes a lot of features, but for the expandability, you’ll want the Pro edition for $199. The Pro edition adds call for price, radius search, location auto-suggest, Google Places, bookmarks, shortcodes, PDF fliers, Open House info, energy consumption info, multilingual support, and more.
Prices for expansions range from $49 to $1400. The MLS add-on is $950 and connects your website to your MLS providers. Other expansions include:
- Native custom brand mobile app
- Demographic package
- Listhub integration
- Cloud hosting
- Responsive support
This plugin adds real estate features to your Agent and Brokerage websites. You can add and display real estate listings and add team members and agents. It has customizable widgets, indexable IDX, social plugins, mobile support, listing showcase, analytics, and more. MLS integration is optional.
There are several pricing and feature structures:
- Bronze is free and gives you 5 active listings and 5 photos per listing.
- Silver is $9 per month and gives you 10 active listings, 10 photos per listing, and 1 custom domain.
- Gold is $24 per month and gives you unlimited active listings, unlimited photos per listing, and unlimited custom domains.
- Platinum is $45 per month and adds IDX/VOW.
Real Estate Website Builder
This one includes RETS integration with continuously updated MLS. It supports 240 countries, and lets you create, edit, and update the search listings. It has featured listings in your sidebar. There are also custom Placester widgets that are fully customizable for Placester enabled themes. You can have unlimited images per listing and each listing automatically has its own landing page. Searching includes the Placester API and Google Maps. The dashboard is easy to use.
The plugin is free, but adding MLS listings requires a premium subscription which costs $45 per month.
There are lots of options for adding MLS listings to your WordPress site. You can use either a fully functioning real estate theme, a real estate theme and plugin combo, or just add a plugin (or suite of plugins) to virtually any theme. Whichever method you choose, there are plenty of options to help your real estate agency stand out from the crowd.
How about you? Do you use any of the themes or plugins listed here to add IDX/MLS to your real estate website? Did I leave out your favorite? I’d like to hear about it in the comments!
Article thumbnail image by edel / shutterstock.com
Thank you for thi article on integrating IDX for listings with our websites. I only wish I would have found this a couple years ago, before I developed my first IDX website!
As a realtor and freelance web designer, I’m moving away from integrating idx functionality with WordPress websites for reasons as follows:
1. IDX integration makes it difficult to handle the SEO. We continually get tons of 404 errors and in today’s age of making our sites perfectly structured for good SEO, for me, this is an unacceptable drawback. Redirects are not an option, so I just create custom 404’s. The bottom line is, users don’t like landing on a 404 page!
2. In todays mobile world all about making our websites super FAST, useful, and mobile friendly. Unfortunately, unless you have the budget to pay for super good hosting and the ability to configure proper caching, IDX plugins just slow the site down. Even if you know what you are doing, it’s still a problem.
3. Most of the WP IDX plugins, and especially the WP themes with built in IDX are problematic and the themes are typically bloated. The IDX plugins don’t always play well with others.
4. Finally, IDX related leads are hard to come by, and then the quality of leads are usually poor.
Though I like the idea of having an IDX on my websites, to me, it’s no longer a worthwhile tradeoff.
Moving forward, I’m removing all IDX integration from all our realtor websites. Instead we’re going to use nofollow links leading to another IDX specific website. The website will contain no other function except to serve up listings. Most realtors have access to a free IDX DIY website via their local MLS membership. They may not look the greatest, but believe me, home searchers don’t care. As long as they can easily search for homes on the mobile devices, they are happy.
I think it’s more important my website has GREAT SEO and is super fast for mobile. Then, I’ll still get the IDX leads when visitors sign up on the IDX site.
I’m currently testing my theories on one site now, and can’t wait to see the results.
Hi – Great article – of the plugins listed for agents, is there one single plugin that is the best or highly recommended ?
I am looking for the plugin that is mobile friendly, photo, search features, unlimited MLS listings and a map.
thanks – jery
Hi – Great article – of the plugins listed for agents, is there one single plugin that is the best or highly recommended ?
I am looking for the plugin that is mobile friendly, photo, search features, unlimited MLS listings and a map
I have used the IDX website from iHomefinder and have loved the MLS system and customizable platform that gains me leads and sales. My business has become much more lucrative since using my IDX website. I would recommend it to any real estate broker who is serious about continuous growth! (http://www.ihomefinder.com/products/omnipress/)
what is the benefits cost wise of using gorilla themes (which it says above in the article that idx is included) rather than building a custom divi website and purchasing the the idx plugin by itself????
i have a real estate website covering 8 counties, about 15 towns each with accompanying pages. i am a member of 5 different mls systems i would like to display mls date on each town page without paying a monthly fee can anyone accomplish this at a reasonable cost?
Can anyone use these plugins and get the MLS listings or you have to be a broker or agent?
Great article!!! I am wondering if anyone out there can offer some advice on the best solution for my current situation. Currently client is just using iframe to pull content from Agent created MLS site to show listings and search. This is a WP site with a simple theme. The agent doesnt want to change how she currently updates or changes MLS data using the MLS they have always logged in and are familiar with. They also want to keep costs down as much as possible, of coarse. Any help or advise would be very much welcomed.