Connected MLSs

IDX for Houston MLS (HARMLS)

Web4Realty helps you integrate Houston MLS (HARMLS) IDX data with your website. Read this quick guide on how to get IDX data onto common website builders like Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, GoDaddy, and many others.


Key Facts

Details regarding the Houston MLS (Multiple Listing Service) include:

  • Approximate Membership Size: The Houston MLS, operated by the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), is one of the largest in the United States, with membership typically exceeding 40,000 real estate professionals. This figure reflects the vast and dynamic real estate market in the Houston area and its surrounding regions.
  • Major Counties and Cities Covered:
    • Harris County: Home to Houston, the largest city in Texas and the core of the MLS’s service area.
    • Fort Bend County: Includes significant suburbs and cities such as Sugar Land and Missouri City, known for their rapid growth and upscale communities.
    • Montgomery County: Covers areas like The Woodlands and Conroe, offering a mix of urban and suburban living. These counties, among others, encompass a diverse range of real estate markets from urban centers to suburban communities, reflecting the vast geographic and economic diversity within the Houston MLS coverage area.
  • Historical Mergers: Over the years, the Houston MLS has grown not only organically but also through strategic mergers with other local real estate boards or MLS systems. These mergers have expanded its service area and increased its membership size, solidifying its position as a leading MLS in Texas. Specific details on historical mergers may vary, but the overarching goal has been to provide more comprehensive services and data access to real estate professionals across the greater Houston area.
  • Associations Served: Primarily, the Houston MLS is associated with the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), which is the driving force behind its operations. Through HAR, members have access to a wide range of services, including listing services, education, and technology tools designed to support real estate professionals. Additionally, HAR’s involvement in local, state, and national real estate associations ensures that members’ interests are represented at all levels.

Please note that specifics such as membership size and service area details are subject to change over time as the real estate market evolves and as the MLS adapts to new challenges and opportunities.

Integrating Houston MLS IDX data

Building IDX websites for Houston MLS can be really easy or extremely difficult depending (1) how you choose to access the data and (2) whether or not you choose to work with an approved vendor.

Before we jump into the details, let’s start with the basics:

What is an IDX feed?

An IDX feed, also called Internet Data Exchange, is a set of technology tools that allows agents and brokers to display latest property listings on their websites by fetching it from the local Multiple Listing Service or MLS.

The purpose of an IDX feed is to populate the agent’s website with the latest properties to attract potential buyers and sellers directly on their website and stop them from going to Zillow, Trulia or Redfin. IDX websites are SEO optimized builds your brand name by attracting high value organic traffic and generating leads at the same time.

Why do I need an IDX feed for Houston MLS?

If you want to create your online presence using your website, an IDX feed for Houston MLS is going to be your business’s bloodline. It will help you improve your online experience for clients and prospects, demonstrate your local expertise, generate leads and overall boost your competitive edge in the local market. Moreover, access to IDX feed for Houston MLS is a must if you wish to display active or sold listings from Houston MLS on your website.

How do I get Houston MLS listings on my website?

There are two ways to integrate Houston MLS IDX data with your website:

(1) Get a direct IDX feed from the MLS. Getting a direct IDX feed from the MLS needs filing some paperwork. The MLS requires you to understand and sign their policies on sharing and using MLS data. However, what’s most challenging with direct IDX feeds is the responsibility of downloading, maintaining and managing the data yourself which can cost you up to $2000/month. Do not forget the one-time set up fee and month on month payment to access the MLS data feed.

(2) Work with an approved IDX vendor. Vendors such as Web4Realty have direct access to Houston MLS IDX data and can provide correct IDX data to approved members of Houston  MLS. You won’t have to worry about compliance issues, data vendor migrations, hosting fees, or uptime. Some providers, such as Web4Realty, even offer plugins for popular website platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy, allowing you to launch your website in minutes.

Houston MLS Background

HARMLS was established in 1951 and is one of the largest MLSs in the United States.It plays a crucial role in the Houston real estate market, connecting buyers and sellers with real estate professionals. HARMLS is not publicly accessible; only licensed real estate agents can subscribe to the service.It offers two subscription plans for realtors: MLS Standard and MLS Platinum. These plans give agents access to various tools and resources to help them succeed in the business.

What are the top cities served by Houston MLS?

The Houston MLS covers several cities including Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Pearland, The Woodlands, Spring, Cypress, Richmond, League City, Pasadena, Kingwood, Missouri City, Conroe, Galveston, Friendswood, Humble, Rosenberg, Baytown, Tomball, and Bellaire.

What are the top counties served by Houston MLS?

The Houston MLS covers Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin, San Jacinto, Walker, Polk, Wharton, Matagorda, Colorado, Grimes, Madison, Calhoun, Jackson, and Lavaca counties.

Which associations are part of Houston MLS?

As of my last update, the Houston MLS, known as the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), collaborates with several local real estate associations and boards. Some of these include the Bay Area Association of REALTORS®, Brazoria County Board of REALTORS®, Fort Bend Association of REALTORS®, Galveston Association of REALTORS®, Greater Houston Builders Association, Houston Association of REALTORS®, Lake Houston Area Association of REALTORS®, Montgomery County Association of REALTORS®, Pearland Association of REALTORS®, and the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

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