What Is MLS API?
MLS API is a way to display property listings online. Like other IDX technologies, MLS API allows you to connect to your MLS, build a property search that updates with new listings, and generate leads. But MLS API has an advantage—increased performance and fewer hosting demands.
A strong online presence is essential in the modern real estate industry. But choosing the combinations of systems and software can be daunting. In this article, we introduce MLS API, a streamlined IDX system that lets you get back to what you do best—sell homes.
How Does MLS API Work?
MLS API works by connecting your site to a database of listings via API, or application programming interface. APIs have been around for years, but were recently introduced for use in IDX technologies by the Real Estate Standards Organization.
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.
When a user runs a property search on your site, the API will activate and tell your site how to retrieve the matching listings, providing a fast, seamless transaction.
What Is the Difference Between MLS API and Other IDX Technologies?
The best way to think about MLS API is in comparison to other technologies. Two of the most common IDX systems are framing and RETS.
Framing is a base level IDX that allows you to display listings that reside elsewhere on the web. Under framing, developers set up a portal, or iframe, on your site. Whenever a user runs a search, your IDX will search some third-party database, then return the result to your site for your user to view.
But framing is a visual trick because your web servers do not host any of the data they are displaying. This cost you in SEO and it can reduce your page rank.
RETS works by rebuilding a listing database on your servers and setting up a data feed for it to update with new listings on a regular basis. Whenever you launch a property search, the system queries the listings on your serves and returns the answers. This maximizes your SEO and increases the value of your site.
You might say that MLS API provides a happy medium between the two because it allow you to query and return listings from a third-party server while preserving the most important SEO benefits. This reduces the hosting necessary to maintain your site.
What Are the Advantages of MLS API?
Reducing the hosting burden associated with your IDX system offers several advantages for real estate agents. First and foremost, it reduces cost. Property listings take up disk space, sometimes 100 GBs or more. Renting this space can be expensive. So anything that reduces your hosting, reduces your monthly cash outflow.
A second advantage is simplicity. Most agents are not web developers. They do not have the time to maintain a database of 10,000+ listings and ensure its compliance with MLS display rules. They are looking for a simple solution that just works.
What MLS Are Available With MLS API?
Realtyna has already added some of the largest MLS in the U.S. and Canada, including:
We are adding new MLS every month, so contact us for a full list of availability.