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Internet Data Exchange (IDX)

In the most recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, Internet usage of home buyers in the home search process has now reached 88%. This is a trend that has risen steadily from 71% in 2003. Increasingly Brokers and Agents recognize the importance of establishing online identities. eCommerce, the generation of real estate sales through a Web presence, is an integral part of most REALTOR® business models. Learn about My Website.

Today most REALTORS® display their own and other Brokers’ listings on their websites through Internet Data Exchange (IDX). The ARMLS® IDX Policy allows MLS Participants, who do not opt out of IDX, to grant and receive permission to display each other’s listings on certain public websites. Details of IDX, applicable rules and the displayable data fields contained in the IDX data are described in the ARMLS IDX Policy. Any website that displays the listings of other Brokers is subject to the IDX rules and policies.

Agents and IDX

There are three options available for Agent Subscribers to provide MLS searching on their websites via the IDX program:

1. Agents can use a FREE IDX frame that can be added to their website. Diverse Solutions offers a FREE IDX FRAMING OPTION for any active ARMLS Participant (Broker) or Subscriber (Agent) to use on their website.

2. Agents can frame around the search that is on their Participant/Designated Broker’s company website.

3. Agents can purchase a website with search functionality from an ARMLS approved website vendor, a list of which can be found in the ARMLS RE Technology catalog.


The IDX Package

The ARMLS IDX Package contains complete information about IDX, including the IDX Policy, IDX Data Sets, and how to use a FREE Frame.

There are thousands of websites that display ARMLS IDX listings on the Internet. ARMLS licenses listing data to vendors who have signed an agreement with ARMLS to use the data for various uses, such as website property search, transaction management, mobile applications, back office management, customer relationship management and other real estate related applications. Vendors who offer products to ARMLS Participants and Subscribers are showcased in the ARMLS online RE Technology catalog.


ARMLS also facilitates the transfer of IDX listing data to vendors who operate public websites that have signed an agreement to receive listings from Designated Brokers who have opted-in to have their listings displayed on public websites. Learn more about Opt-In / Opt-Out Services.

Agents and VOW

A Virtual Office Website (VOW) is a website, or portion of a website, that is capable of providing brokerage services similar to those provided by a brick and mortar or traditional brokerage operation. In the case of a VOW, the consumer comes to the website for those services, as opposed to a brick and mortar location where the consumer can physically go to receive the same services.

While VOWs have been operating since the early ‘90s, NAR’s treatment of VOWs came under the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Justice and became the subject of two and half years of litigation between the National Association of REALTORS® and the U.S. Justice Department which reached a favorable settlement on May 27, 2008.

Agents may operate a VOW website if the Agent first receives permission from the Broker and the Broker agrees to supervise the VOW. Learn more about operating a VOW.

Web Developers

Web developers who are working with an ARMLS Participant or Subscriber should refer to the IDX Package or the VOW Package for access details, rules and policies, including the ARMLS Content Access Policy. Learn more about Vendor RETS data access. ARMLS Logo.

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