Select Page

Imagine if you had to manually copy and paste all your real estate listings from your MLS into your website one by one.

This would be a bad time investment for you. And even if you delegated this repeating task, it would mean unnecessary costs.

But there is a smarter approach, it’s integrating the MLS of your choice into your WordPress powered website.

How do you do that?

  1. Select a suitable WordPress theme that supports IDX plugins
  2. Make sure to select an IDX plugin that doesn’t work with iFrames
  3. Install the supported IDX plugin on top of the WordPress theme.
  4. Customize, and configure the IDX plugin so it can synchronize with the MLS

By doing that you will be able to nicely automate one part of your operational processes (covered in this past article) as a real estate agent or a licensed real estate investor (with access to an MLS).

Let’s cover the basics first, as not everybody is familiar with them.

What Is an MLS and How Many Are There?

The term ‘MLS’ in its long form means multiple listing service.

It’s a database with data about properties for sale that was made by cooperating real estate brokers and helps to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers) and enable appraisals by providing information about different properties.

Brokers offering listing their properties there have a listing agreement with the respective seller of the property and represent them.

It is also an important tool which shares this property information with other brokers who potentially represent other buyers (they have a buyer commission agreement).
Should a sale result of a seller’s broker and a buyer’s broker commission be shared.

Only licensed realtors working with a specific broker have access to multiple listing services.

In the United States more than 600 different multiple listing services exits (source).

What Is IDX (Internet Data Exchange) and How Does it Help with the MLS Integration Into WordPress

The meaning of IDX is Internet Data Exchange, and it is a software standard that helps communication between the multiple listing service databases and external real estate websites (usually the one from a broker or real estate agent) that need to pull data from it in order to be able to display selected properties on their own websites.

It basically helps to keep real estate brokers and agents sane, because it avoids all the property information from the MLS database having to be manually copied and pasted into the real estate website, usually powered by content management system such as WordPress.

Also, manually updating the listing on the website is not necessary, as once the MLS property information is updated it automatically synchronizes with the brokers or realtors websites.

To integrate IDX into WordPress there are two options.

You can do it with a real estate WordPress Theme that is already programmed with the functionality, so that it can use IDX to communicate with your MLS database.

If the WordPress Theme doesn’t have this functionality it can be done by WordPress Plugins.

A WordPress Theme is basically one layer of code that is added on top of the basic WordPress content management system code.

Only one at a time can be installed and active and its most common functionality is to alter your website’s design.

Plugins are basically programs that can be added as another layer on top of the theme interacting with it and are meant to add additional features and functionalities.

So at first glance there seems to be a clear distinction between WordPress themes and plugins, however there is an overlap.

There are more and more WordPress themes that not only do the design part but have more functionality integrated such as search engine on-site optimization, website builders and more. This is also the case for IDX integrations.

11 Plugins That Help You with Your MLS IDX Integration

There are several plugins that can help you with integrating IDX into your WordPress website.

In the list of 11 plugins I will give you below I only included such plugins where I could confirm that no iFrames are used.

What you need to keep in mind is that there are many plugins out there that will use iFrames that can affect your search engine optimization goals in a negative way.

Some, for example, generate scroll bars within scroll bars that lead to a bad user experience, which likely decreases your conversion rates, increases your website exit rate and thus signals google that your website is not too helpful (source).

So, when choosing a plugin make sure that you double check that they are not using iFrames.

1) DSIDXPress

This plugin places listings within your website itself and doesn’t do it with an iFrame, which can lead to a bad user experience. Listings can be placed within pages and posts with shortcodes or through widgets in the sidebar.

Features:

  • Can show 50 listings at a time
  • Allows agents to show listings of their own, their office, or search based
  • List display based on areas
  • Integrated MLS search form

To use this plugin you will need to subscribe.

The price is $29.95 per month per domain plus an additional $99.95 one time setup fee.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

2) Optima Express IDX

This is another plugin that doesn’t use iFrames.

Features:

  • Lead generation tools such as listing based calls to action, forms, email alerts, social media links, user registration prompts
  • Featured listings
  • Interactive map Search
  • Open homes search
  • Sold and pending listings
  • Saved search pages
  • Pocket listings
  • Agent bio
  • SEO city links

Depending on the different plans for agents and brokers the prices start at $39.95 and go up to $99.95 per month with a one-time setup fee between $99 and $249.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

3) Ultimate IDX

This is a bit more than just a IDX Plugin.

It is promoted as an all-in-one IDX, Lead Capture and integrated CRM with a large list of different marketing tools to capture leads.

Features:

  • Lead capturing with a client resource manager
  • Agent’s scheduling calendars
  • Visitor registration and email updates
  • Auto lead assignments
  • Virtual calendars for teams
  • Texting support
  • RETS updates every 15 minutes

Depending on the size of the broker’s or agent’s office the monthly price ranges between $69.95 and $399.95 with one time setup fees between $249.95 and $399.95.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

4) IMPress for IDX Broker

The focus of this plugin is more on the mobile user experience.

Features:

  • Mobile and full site features
  • Mobile lead capture that integrates with the IDX Broker control panel
  • Customizable URL for the property to include a physical address
  • Map search widget or link that can be placed on any page
  • Site speed friendly, as it’s cloud-hosted
  • Layouts for each page type

The monthly prices range between $39.99 and $98.99 with a one-time setup fee of $99.

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 includes a $99 setup fee.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

5) WPL Real Estate

This plugin supports all RETS based MLS providers in North America.

Features:

  • A listing wizard which allows you to list by listing type, property type, and room type
  • Property management
  • Search and location functions such as Google Map search
  • Search, carousel and agents widgets
  • Call for price (pro version)
  • Radius search (pro version)
  • Google Places (pro version)
  • Bookmarks (pro version)
  • Location auto-suggest (pro version)
  • Shortcodes (pro version)
  • Open House info (pro version)
  • Multilingual support (pro version)
  • PDF fliers (pro version)
  • Energy consumption info (pro version)

The basic version you can get for free, but most of the more helpful features are provided by the pro version for $199.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

6) Showcase IDX Real Estate Search

This plugin is built with the aim of a good user experience in mind.

Features:

  • Live map search
  • Lead capture
  • Social media sharing
  • List and gallery result views
  • Combined MLS data feeds
  • Thumbnails
  • Large photos
  • Saved searches
  • Search widgets
  • Virtual tours
  • Google Streetview
  • Dynamic community pages
  • Consumer dashboard
  • Visitor analytics
  • Custom pages with hot sheets

The pricing structure is simple. There are no setup fees and the monthly prices range are $59.95 or $99.95 depending on the plan you select.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

7) ClickSold IDX

This plugin is highly customizable and includes many features for agents, brokers, office managers and developers.

Features:

  • Add and display real estate listings
  • Add team members and agents
  • Customizable widgets
  • Indexable IDX
  • Mobile friendly
  • Social plugins
  • Listing showcase
  • Visitor analytics

The basic version is free for 5 active listings and 5 photos per listing.

Prices for the paid version range between $9 and $45 per month. Only the $45 plan adds IDX.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

8) Diverse Solutions

The IDX plugin from diverse solutions focuses on an easy implementation, that also novices can do. They claim that the setup can be done in minutes.

Features:

  • Easy to install, since the installation is done inside the existing WordPress administration dashboard and takes only a few seconds
  • Lead capture
  • The listing data pulled from the MLS is live on your domain, which makes it easier for google to index
  • All searches use Google Maps for displaying listing results
  • Search engine crawling and indexing optimization for every page and city, community and individual listing
  • Link structure tools
  • Dynamic pages
  • Google sitemap integration
  • Automatic photo slideshows
  • 3D aerial view
  • Full-size photos
  • Google Maps view
  • Searching options such as time on market, price, and price drop percentage
  • Social integrations

The monthly price for the basic version is $49.95 and $74.95 for the pro version. One-time setup fees are $99.95.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

9) MLS Import

The company that provides the MLS import plugin not only offers the plugin, but also all in one website building service that besides the plugin can include a whole real estate website with hosting (should you need something more than just a plugin).

Features:

  • Simple to use
  • Supports popular real estate themes such as WpResidence, Houzez, Real Homes, WpEstate
  • Automatic data synchronization with MLS
  • Flexibility to import only specific properties from the MLS
  • Flexibility to choose which MLS data fields to import and what field text name to display

The monthly price of this plugin is $49 and a one-time setup fee of $99.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

10) Simply RETS

This one is another plugin that connects your WordPress site via IDX to your MLS. It is claimed that it can be set up in less than 5 minutes.

What stands out is the powerful search and filtering option with over 25 different ways to create unique listing pages.

There are three pricing plans depending on the number of searches and filter options you need.

The basic plan is $49 per month, the premium plan is $99 per month and the enterprise $199 per month.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

11) Wovax IDX

Wovax IDX allows you to create unlimited property pages and display MLS listings based on your own individual criteria.

Features:

  • Indexable listings with dynamic listing pages that are search engine crawlable
  • Landing page creation with an intuitive shortcode builder
  • Individual listing design with WordPress Gutenberg blocks builder, and CSS hosted on your site
  • Listing updates every 5 minutes
  • Customizable and editable search bars
  • Google Maps, Location IQ, and MapQuest integration
  • Free to update, and open source
  • Live chat support
  • Visitors can be forced to register after viewing a certain number of listing details
  • Analytics tools integration (e.g. Google Analytics, Jetpack Stats, etc.)
  • Custom permalink builder to structure property listings URL
  • Property listings can be favorited by visitors to view later
  • Wovax App and Wovax CRM integration

There is a free version of this plugin with limited functionality. The monthly price of the full version is $35.

Here you can find more information about this plugin.

how to integrate mls into wordpress

8 WordPress Themes That Support MLS Integration via IDX

Not all WordPress themes are 100% compatible with the plugins that help you with an MLS-IDX integration.

To avoid potential technical problems and a bad user experience due to slower loading times, you might also want to use a theme that supports one or more of the plugins mentioned.

I would also like to present 8 WordPress themes below, that do support those plugins.

1) Gorilla Themes

The company ‘Gorilla Themes’ already has several different real estate themes with MLS-IDX integration in their portfolio, such as:

They have the following features:

  • Integration with dsIDXPress plugin
  • Responsive layout and retina ready
  • Out of the box compatible with tablets, iPhone, Android and modern smartphones
  • Easy currency changes
  • Drag and drop real estate widgets: carousel, news and latest properties sections
  • 5 Color Styles
  • Can be used by a single agent or a fully-featured real estate business with multiple agents with their own administration dashboards and individual agent information

For the basic package the one-time price is $49.95, for the premium package $69.95, and for the deluxe package $99.95.

The standard package doesn’t include the mobile responsive layout (just keep that in mind).

Here you can find more information about this theme.

2) Real Homes

This theme was developed by the company ‘Themeforest’ and is regularly updated and well-maintained.

Features:

  • Open Street maps and Google Maps integration with property location markers
  • Multi language features
  • Multiple listing layouts including simple and grid
  • Front submitting functionality for agents
  • PayPal payment integration
  • Includes the visual composer page builder
  • Responsive design
  • Elementor page builder
  • Google captcha integration
  • CRM included
  • Easy to use interface to adding properties
  • Floor plans
  • Property Videos (virtual tours)
  • Homepage sliders
  • Search form over image feature can be enabled for the homepage to replace slider area
  • Properties comparison features: allow your website visitors to add properties to a compare pool to later compare those properties side by side
  • Gallery templates
  • Property attachments
  • Similar properties
  • Visitor registration and login support
  • Support for OptimaExpress IDX Plugin

The regular license costs $58 and can be used by a single client on a single end product, that end users are not charged for.

Here you can find more information about this theme.

3) Fox Estate

This one comes from Colorlabs and has the following features:

  • Support for dsIXpress plugin to integrate MLS
  • Advanced property search
  • Google Maps integration
  • Detailed property information
  • Neighborhood places information
  • Support for multiple payment gateways
  • Front end access for agents to submit their properties
  • Responsive design
  • Custom color schemes

For a lifetime single license the price is $79.

Here you can find more information about this theme.

4) Elegant Estate

The elegant estate theme comes from one of my favorite WordPress theme developer companies (I have used their themes very often in the past and also right now).

Features:

  • Featured slider
  • Blog
  • Custom CSS
  • Responsive design
  • Multiple color choices
  • Browse listing widget
  • A search filter for price, type of home, number of rooms, and square footage
  • MLS-IDX integration through support of dsIDXpress and other IDX plugins

To get this theme you would pay for the personal plan of elegant themes, which is $69 per year.

It gives you access to all of their themes and plugins.

Here you can find more information about this theme.

5) HomePress

This one is another theme with the focus on realtors, brokers, real estate agents and agencies.

Features:

  • Tailor-made layouts
  • Highly customizable
  • Elemento page builder
  • Free lifetime updates
  • 24/7 Lifechat for 6 months
  • Map platforms integrations with Google Maps, Openstreetmap, and mapbox
  • Mortgage calculator
  • Users save properties they like to visit to a favorites page
  • Properties can be compared to each other
  • Property pages with an optional page statistics view
  • 100% mobile friendly
  • Multiple agents can be added
  • IDX support for optima express plugin from iHomefinder
  • Several different navigation layouts
  • Ready to use single property pages
  • Drag & Drop listing builder
  • Inventory pages
  • Advanced search functionality through unlimited search fields, autocomplete search suggestions, radius search and geo location
  • Translation ready for 7 additional languages
  • Front end access to add listings
  • Nearby places display
  • Floor plans
  • Image galleries
  • Drawing on maps with polygon shapes
  • 6 different color schemes
  • Loading speed optimization

The regular license has a price of $59, and you can buy and additional support for $17.63

Here you can find more information about this theme.

6) Realty Space

With the Realty Space theme you can build a real estate website for any country in the world, because it features custom area units and fully translatable text.

Features:

  • Front-end user profile
  • Advanced IDX & MLS integration for dsIDXpress, for optima express plugin and Canadian CREA DDF platform RealtyPress
  • Custom currency, and custom area units
    fully translatable text (WPML support)
  • Visual composer backend page builder, and drag & drop native customizer
  • Social login for Google+, Facebook, Twitter and 20 more providers
  • Custom banner & map support on each page
    Fine-grained options control (Global/Type/Single item)
  • Self-generated gallery page from existing properties
  • Premade background patterns and color schemes (15+)
  • Custom login & registration
  • F.A.Q. and Testimonials module
  • Blog video & galleries
  • Multiple Sidebars and Custom Widgets
  • Mobile friendly
  • Premade slider revolution banner
  • Unlimited custom property fields
  • Advanced search fields
  • Customizable property card
  • Boxed and Wide Layouts
  • CSS3 Animations
  • SEO optimized
  • PayPal integration
  • Google maps customization and filtering
  • Customizable search fields (you can choose which to display, change order, etc.)
  • Property street view & satellite view

The price of the regular license is $59

Here you can find more information about this theme.

7) Real Estate 7

The developers of this theme aim for providing more than a theme with Real Estate 7, but also a complete solution for real estate businesses. Another focus of the developers is above average support.

Features:

  • 1 Click Demo importer
  • Responsive design
  • Highly customizable
  • Co-listing support
  • Booking system
  • Front End management
  • Slider Revolution
  • Visual Composer
  • Contact Form 7 & Mailchimp
  • Multiple header options
  • Powerful admin panel
  • Unlimited page templates
  • Mapping
  • Sub listing display for housing communities or apartment buildings
  • Brokerages support
  • IDX support for the plugin dsIDXpress
  • Walkscore support
  • Favorite listings
  • WPML & RTL support
  • Multi-Floor plans
  • Typography options
  • Instructional videos
  • Extensive documentation
  • PayPal integration
  • Invoices and billing
  • Signup/Register to view listing details

The price for a single license is $59.

Here you can find more information about this theme.

8) Agent Focused Pro

The Agent Focused Pro theme from Studiopress was built with both real estate professionals and their clients in mind.

Features:

One-click theme setup
Gutenberg optimized
Theme customizer
Widget areas
Support of IDX services
Mobile responsive
Customizable headers
Custom logo
HTML5 Markup
Translation ready
Several different layout options
Unlimited support for one year

The price of the pro theme package is $119.95 and the price of the pro plus membership is $499.95, where you get access to all the themes of Studiopress.

Here you can find more information about this theme.

An Overview of all The Plugins and Themes and The Steps Involved to Integrate Your MLS into Your WordPress Website

PluginPrice (Range) per MonthPrice/Price Range One Time PaymentOne Time Setup FeeThemePrice/Price Range
DSIDXPress$29.95-$99.95Gorilla Themes$49.95 - $99.95
Optima Express IDX$39.95 - $99.95-$99.-$249Real Homes$58
Ultimate IDX$69.95 - $399.95-$249.95 - $399.95Fox Estate$79
IMPress for IDX Broker$39.99 - $98.99-$99Elegant Estate$69 (per year)
WPL Real Estate-$199-HomePress$59
Showcase IDX Real Estate Search$59.95 or $99.95--Realty Space$59
ClickSold IDX$9 - $45--Real Estate 7$59
Diverse Solutions$49.95 - $74.95-$99.95Agent Focused Pro$119.95 - $499.95
MLS Import$49-$99
Simply RETS$49 - $199-
Wovax IDX$0 - $35-

The Steps Involved in Integrating Your MLS into Your WordPress Website

If you already have a WordPress real estate website:

  1. Compare the different real estate WordPress themes in terms of prices and features (e.g. one of the above)
  2. Select the right real estate WordPress theme
  3. Depending on whether the new theme supports some kind of import function, deactivate the old theme and install the new theme with or without doing an import of your content
  4. Install the supported IDX plugin on top (e.g. one of the above)
  5. Configure and edit the IDX plugin so the synchronization with the MLS is working in a reliable way
  6. Customize the layout and design according to your needs and if necessary or needed add some of the respective theme widgets

If you don’t have any real estate WordPress website yet:

  1. Find the right hosting provider
  2. Secure a domain name either with the hosting provider or by an external domain provider such as for example GoDaddy
  3. Install WordPress on the hosting server
  4. Point the domain to the hosting server where WordPress was installed
  5. Now you can start from step 1 in the former section (if you have already a WordPress website)
Share This