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

The above steps will enable you 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 services.

It’s a database with data about properties for sale made by cooperating real estate brokers.

It helps establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers) and enables appraisals by providing information about different properties.

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

It is also an important tool that shares this property information with other brokers who potentially represent other buyers (they have a buyer commission agreement).

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

In the United States, more than 600 different multiple listing services exist (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. It is a software standard that helps communication between multiple listing service databases and external real estate websites. 

The latter are usually from a broker or real estate agent needing to pull data from it to display selected properties on their websites.

It helps keep real estate brokers and agents sane. Why?

You won’t have to manually copy and paste all the property information from the MLS database into the real estate website, usually powered by a 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 one layer of code added on top of the basic WordPress content management system code. 

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

Plugins are 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. 

This functionality can be search engine on-site optimization, website builders, and more. This is also the case for IDX integrations.

11 WordPress Plugins That Help You with Your MLS IDX Integration

Several plugins can help you with integrating IDX into your WordPress website. 

I will give you a list of 11 plugins below. 

I only included such plugins where I could confirm that no iFrames are used. 

You need to remember that many plugins out there will use iFrames which can negatively affect your search engine optimization goals.

Some, for example, generate scroll bars within scroll bars that lead to a bad user experience.

This likely decreases your conversion rates and increases your website exit rate, thus signaling to 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. It doesn’t do it with an iFrame, leading to a bad user experience.

Listings can be placed within pages and posts with shortcodes or 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 prompt
  • 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 an IDX Plugin. 

It is promoted as an all-in-one IDX, Lead Capture, and integrated CRM with an extensive list of 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, and the plugin is available in a lite edition and platinum edition.

Both editions have Agent, Team, and Office plans and include 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 Maps 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 is $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, and 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 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 to display 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 the 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 offers the plugin and an all-in-one website building service.

It 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 plugin 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 is $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 them 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.

You can do something to avoid potential technical problems and a bad user experience due to slow loading times.

Use a theme that supports one or more of the plugins mentioned.

I would also like to present 8 WordPress themes below that 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 the dsIDXPress plugin
  • Responsive layout and retina ready.
  • Out of the box compatible with tablets, iPhones, Android, and modern smartphones
  • Easy currency changes
  • Drag and drop real estate widgets: carousel, news, and latest properties sections
  • 5 Color Styles
  • It 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 add properties
  • Floor plans
  • Property Videos (virtual tours)
  • Homepage sliders
  • Search form over image feature can be enabled for the homepage to replace the 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 single lifetime 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 the support of dsIDXpress and other IDX plugins

You would pay for the personal plan of Elegant Themes to get this theme, 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 focusing on realtors, brokers, real estate agents, and agencies.

Features:

  • Tailor-made layouts
  • Highly customizable
  • Elemento page builder
  • Free lifetime updates
  • 24/7 live chat for 6 months
  • Map platforms integrations with Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, and Mapbox
  • Mortgage calculator
  • Users save properties they like to visit 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 geolocation.
  • 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 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 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 videos & 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 to provide 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 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 by Diverse Solutions$49.95 - $74.95-$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
Simply RETS$49 - $199-
Wovax IDX$0 - $42-

 

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 a suitable 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 reliably.
  6. Customize the layout and design according to your needs. If necessary or needed, add some of the respective theme widgets.

If you don’t have a 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. You can start from step 1 in the former section (if you already have a WordPress website).

    This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

    Tobias Schnellbacher

    Tobias Schnellbacher