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RISMEDIA, August 3, 2009-As the industry has evolved to engage and provide consumers with quality information, there are more options than ever before for agents to provide MLS search tools within their personal websites. When talking with Realtors, I often use the analogy of buying a car. Any operating car can get you from point A to point B, but we all know there are big differences between a Hyundai and a Lexus when it comes to the driving experience.

While simple IDX solutions, often provided by your MLS, can provide basic search options, they often lack the ability to be manipulated for generating higher quality leads and more specific search results. By selecting the best IDX solution for you and your market, you can take your business to a whole new level and generate powerful results.

I have developed the following questions to help you on your quest for the optimal IDX solution-one that suits your business and attracts the best possible leads. Keep them by your side while evaluating your current IDX solution or when interviewing an IDX vendor. This will help you determine which IDX is the right fit for you and your client’s needs.

1. Can you supply a framed link solution to integrate into my existing website? What are the rules and regulations? (Some MLS systems require agents to have broker permission).

2. Can the solution be color-coded to match the branding on my site?

3. Do you have a free e-mail update feature that will automatically send listings to my visitors?

4. Can you supply pre-defined search links (in an HTML frameable link) that will show the results for properties for sale in a specific area, by price range, by age or by neighborhood? For example: http://bradkorb.com/

5. Who will be responsible for making the pre-defined searches? Can you supply the code directly to my existing webmaster?

6. Will the control panel allow me to track and monitor the results of the system?

7. Is there a way that I can do prompted registration so that those searching on my site must register after viewing one, two or three listing details and I can then capture the lead?

8. Will you supply a tool that allows me to e-mail all of my registered IDX users at one time?

9. Are there mapping abilities with property searches? Can the mapping area be “GPS manipulated” to show properties over a certain area? For example: http://lindahall.com/search_by_map2.

Tricia Andreassen is CEO/founder of Pro Step Marketing. She has 19+ years experience in real estate and as a Web marketing and branding coach.

For more information, visit www.prostepmarketing.com.

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