6 Ways MLS API Can Improve Your IDX Performance

Building an IDX site can have a huge impact on your business and personal life. It’s an essential step to boost your online presence and generate leads. But what systems and technologies should you choose?

In this article we will break down the main IDX technologies available on the market and compare them to MLS API offered uniquely at Realtyna.

What Are My Options for IDX?

IDX has grown from a niche option for some tech-savvy agents to one of the foundations of the industry. Within this growth we have seen the development of several technologies to help agents get connected.

One of the earliest technologies was the iFrame. Still around today, an iFrame is a design feature that allows a website to display information that resides elsewhere on the web. As an IDX technology it is known for its quick set up and low monthly fees. But it comes with a major drawback: low SEO value.

Another early technology was FTP. FTP offers more robust SEO than iFrames because it physically transfers the listing data to your website. But FTP has taken a niche role in the industry since the emergence of faster technologies.

RETS is one of the most popular and advantageous IDX systems available for agents today. Like FTP, RETS involves a full data transfer to your site, providing a significant SEO boost. But RETS outperforms FTP in download speed and update frequency.

There are of course mixed IDX systems that incorporate several technologies at once. One of the most popular is to use RETS for the listing data and iFrames for the images. This provides a streamlined data transfer with only a minor reduction in SEO value.

We like to think of MLS API as the best of both worlds. It allows for third party hosting like framing, while preserving the SEO benefits of RETS.


Real estate APIs have become more prevalent in the industry and now have countless applications for brokerages and real estate businesses. RealtyFeed API, for example, provides fast and reliable access to property listings from MLSs across the U.S. and Canada for you website, app or custom development project.

See the documentation or contact us to test RealtyFeed API.

6 Ways MLS API Can Improve Your IDX Performance

  1. Less Coding

MLS API connects your site to your MLS via API, or application programming interface. You can think of an API as a gatekeeper for some stock of information—in this case property listings. API’s provide the rules and processes for the retrieval of this information.

By packaging this information in a single component, an API simplifies the task of connecting to an MLS, reducing the development time for you an your web team.

  1. Smaller Hosting Burden

MLS API also works by making direct calls to the listing database instead of rebuilding it on local servers. This can reduce your hosting burden and save you money.

  1. Less Maintenance

Not having a database of 10,000+ properties on your site certainly will reduce the maintenance load for your site.

  1. Fewer Compliance Concerns

Whenever an agent hosts MLS data on his or her site, there is a list of display rules they must follow to ensure they are not abusing the MLS property. Since local hosting is limited with MLS API, so are the compliance concerns.

  1. Known in the Development Community

APIs have been around for years, and they have been used in a range of professional applications. As a result there is a large development community with the know-how, to work with them.

  1. Fewer Security Concerns

Less physical data on your site also means less that can be hacked/stolen.

Many real estate agents don’t have the time to do hours of maintenance/web mastering on their site per day. They want a simple solution that just works.

For more IDX options from Realtyna, check out Organic RETS Integration and Organic IDX.

You can see a full list of Realtyna’s APIs here:


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The opinions or information expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views, policy, or position of Realtyna. The information on Realtyna’s Website is general, for informational purposes only, and is not to be relied upon or interpreted as real estate, legal, accounting, or other professional advice or a substitute. Please discuss anything related to the certification process, professional advice or legal procedures with your MLS providers.

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  • Jose Ballester
    Posted at 07:16h, 04 August

    Hi, if i have got a real estate web and i,ve got different agents, is possible to introduce them as individual agents or must be all together?, my idea is everyone manage their oun properties.


    • Morgan Taylor
      Posted at 11:40h, 04 August

      Hi Jose! Great question. With WPL, you can add an unlimited number of agents and define different levels of access to the site. We also have a number of other tools to help manage teams and frontend property submissions like our agent shared business, agent mapping, brokerage add-on, CRM and membership add-on. For bigger projects, we also offer franchise options. For a more detailed consultation, open a ticket at 🙂