What is MLS and IDX?

What is MLS? What is IDX? These questions are often asked by new agents or anyone who’s interested in getting their real estate license. If you’re someone who’s trying to figure out their career paths in the real estate industry, then these two acronyms are things that you should know.


What is MLS?

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service and is basically a spreadsheet or a database. Think of it as an Excel spreadsheet where you have rows and columns that contain listing and listings information respectively. 


Each city or county has a company who controls and manages its area’s MLS. In order to gain access to the data in MLS, one must first be a realtor and may potentially have to pay a fee. 


Unlike other platforms such as Zillow and Redfin, MLS provides an extra layer of information about a property that is exclusive to licensed real estate agents. This additional layer of information allows agents to make better-informed decisions for their clients. 


What is IDX?

IDX, on the other hand, stands for Internet Data Exchange and is simply a software that allows you to access MLS on your real estate website. 


Real estate websites typically feature property listings and having an IDX installed into your website allows your visitors to search on the MLS and view new properties. This lessens your work as a realtor since you wouldn’t have to constantly update your website. 


In addition to that, it is important to know that MLS does not easily give out licenses to its data to third-party companies. Typically, only well-established brands who are willing to pay a hefty amount of money are the ones who are provided a license. 


In Los Angles, MLS would require you to pay about $100,000 annually to gain access but having an IDX as a third-party provider would then just cost around $100 to $150 for a monthly subscription.