Common Questions about Buying Buddy IDX CRM

Setup and Integration

The Buying Buddy plugin is available both as a WordPress plugin for WordPress, as a Wix App in the Wix App Market, and a JavaScript library plugin for other website systems including HTML, PHP, Squarespace, Duda, Weebly, Joomla, Webflow, Webstarts, Adobe Muse etc.

Widgets load MLS content into your pages on your domain.
All content is on your domain and all properties have a unique page address on your domain.

The Buying Buddy JavaScript plugin requires JavaScript (jQuery) when each web page loads.

For MOST website solutions this is fully supported. See full review here.

If in doubt, ask your webmaster or website vendor these 2 questions:
Q1. "Can a custom JavaScript library be added to load on every page?"
Q2. "Can custom HTML code be added to a page that is output with the page code and NOT placed inside IFRAMES or other similar code controlling methods?"

Buying Buddy widgets are added as HTML 'div' tags on pages and cannot be output in IFRAMEs.

Website CMS systems that are NOT supported.

CMS that are not supported include: Godaddy Website Builder, Google Sites etc. See full review here.

The most common reason why Buying Buddy does not work on these CMS systems is because these website builders show HTML code in IFRAMES, and Buying Buddy widgets cannot work if they are in IFRAMES.
Putting the widget code into IFRAMEs appears initially to be OK.
However, because the the widgets are within the IFRAME they are invisible to the Buying Buddy system. This means the Buying Buddy application is unable to locate the widget, so results cannot be shown after a search. In addition, any content in an IFRAME will show ugly scroll bars and will not be mobile-responsive - so IDX content on your website will likely look terrible when viewed on a mobile device.

Why IFRAMES Do Not Work

Many 'easy-to-use' website building systems such as Godaddy Websites, iPage and WebsiteBuilder.com put content in IFRAMES which stops Buying Buddy Widgets from working.

The Buying Buddy Widget functions need to work natively on your web pages.

The Buying Buddy widgets are responsive and so are designed to fill the available space. When you use an IFRAME, it fixes the width and height of the content inside it - so if the widget display is bigger than the IFRAME then it will be cut off.

If the Widgets are placed inside an IFRAME then they are essentially 'hidden' and cannot be seen by our system.
What's misleading in this case is that quite often the widgets will display and will show properties!

However, when a search is executed from any search form the request goes back to our servers that creates the result, which then gets sent back to the Results Widget on your 'results' page.
But, because the Results widget is in an IFRAME, our system cannot see it or access it and so the search result never gets shown.

Installing and setting up Buying Buddy on your website is very simple. If you have a WordPress website then this is made very easy and almost no technical skills are required. If you have a HTML, PHP, Joomla, Weebly or other CMS system, then you will be including <script> code to load the Buying Buddy JavaScript library on every page in your site.

Our Support website has step-by-step instructions for practically every website system.

In summary:

  1. Install Plugin code.
    For WordPress this is the "Buying Buddy WordPress plugin";
    For Wix get the App from the Wix App Market (none of the following steps apply!);
    For all other systems, you need to include the Buying Buddy JavaScript library <script> (typically in the <head> section of your page), so that it loads on every page.
  2. Create 2 designated pages and install the appropriate widget code to each.
    Each widget is displayed with an additional piece of HTML (or a WordPress shortcode) that needs to be placed in in a containing area that is big enough.
    • Create a "results" page and install the "results" widget
    • Create a "details" page and install the "details" widget
  3. Add a search form widget (piece of HTML or WordPress shortcode) to display a search form on some other page.
    You can even create a custom search form !

That's all you need to do to get the basic system working.

After this you can then continue to add Buying Buddy widgets and functions to display properties, add more search forms and more - to any number of additional pages in your website.

With WordPress, you will definitely need to know how to use the WordPress editor and be comfortable installing a plugin. Many agents and brokers have experience with WordPress, or have a Webmaster, and so this can be an obvious choice.
If you are comfortable working with WordPress at this level then you already have more than enough capability to install the Buying Buddy plugin and add the IDX widget shortcodes to your pages.

Many agents and brokers are now using web builder systems such as Squarespace and Weebly to create their own websites. If you have ever used systems like Mailchimp (for example), or are fairly comfortable with technology then these D-I-Y systems are very easy to use and help you create great websites quickly.
Adding Buying Buddy IDX to Squarespace or Weebly is a breeze - and we have guided help to make it very straight forward.

Buying Buddy IDX is installed as a regular WordPress plugin and requires NO special capability in any WordPress theme. you can therefore install the Buying Buddy IDX WordPress plugin in any WordPress Theme.

Buying Buddy WordPress Shortcodes do all the hard work of displaying standard search forms, results, maps etc.

When considering a WordPress theme, bear in mind the following:

  • Choose a theme with page layouts that will allow you to allocate space in the design to show a 'search form', or show 'results' etc.
    The IDX widgets are responsive and will load in the space available to them in the page design.
  • Remember, the presentation of Results and Property Details etc. is ENTIRELY handled by our widgets - so if you find a theme that you like because it presents property information in a certain way, then just bear in mind the NONE of that will be used by Buying Buddy. Our IDX components include theme styling and customization options.
  • Do NOT choose a theme that is designed to accept a raw IDX feed. The display of results and property details is all handled by the Buying Buddy widgets / WordPress shortcodes
  • A small number of WordPress themes can include a large number of plugins that create animations, slideshows and more. Be aware that the more plugins and complex your base theme, the more possible it is to see conflicts between plugins - ours included.

Buying Buddy works using new web technologies such as JavaScript and AJAX, which means that when you embed the service in your web pages, it fits seamlessly.

There are no FRAMES, no scroll bars, no sub-domains, no domain masking - just full function real estate search and property display on any pages or blog posts in your own website.

A configuration panel allows you to change theme colors. However, if you are comfortable with CSS, then all the CSS rules can be over written allowing you to use CSS effects such as gradients, rounded corners and shadows, or even modify layouts.

IDX in Website

Here is a summary of some of the customization options:

  • The theme and style of Buying Buddy widgets can be modified using our wizard-based theme editing system available in your account. This allows you to change colors and fonts from our library of themes or even create your own theme.
    All the Widget CSS is accessible if you want to create your own local CSS rules.
  • You may create your own Custom Search Forms to offer a specific type of search experience.
  • Search and display widgets can be extensively customized using FILTERS to adjust what properties are displayed and how they are displayed.
  • There are many additional quick widgets, APIs and user-variable options that you can use if you are a programmer.

Buying Buddy Widgets are designed to be responsive and present beautifully on all types of platform.

The Buying Buddy widgets use a responsive grid framework in our own defined namespace.
We do not use Bootstrap or Foundation.

Yes! Creating specialized pages in your website or BLOG helps you target specific audiences, and this helps with SEO and getting pages found. You can then seamlessly add property display widgets with canned searches to show any properties you like based on any available MLS criteria.

IDX data is refreshed at least hourly. This is synchronized with any Property Alerts that that need to be sent.

The actual frequency of updates depends on the feed of IDX data we receive from your MLS.

Support for SEO friendly property pages and indexed listing pages is provided in 2 environments:

  • WordPress - using our WordPress plugin
  • PHP - using our PHP Class. This also applies to any CMS framework that uses PHP such as Joomla.

In both cases, the Buying Buddy plugin pre-renders SEO optimized Meta Tags on indexable listing pages (with long tail URLs). Buying Buddy's proprietary systems load the optimized meta and tag data into your WordPress or PHP website pages and domain. This SEO optimized property data for title tag, meta tags, og tags, keywords and h1, is all on your webpages, on your domain.

Buying Buddy has used proprietary server pre-rendering technology for over 10 years so that listings and landing pages with properties are seen as information that is fully integrated on your website by Google, Bing and other search engines. Listing and property pages are all generated with SEO friendly meta, title, OG and other SEO tags. Each property has its own page address with its own unique long-tail URL.

Working with Leads

Property Alerts to your clients and leads can be created by leads in your website, or by Agents.
Alerts will be sent out according to the following frequencies:

  • All-day alerts (if your MLS RETS feed provides or allows us to get continuous updates)
  • Daily Alerts (sent out in the morning)
  • Weekly Alerts
  • Monthly Alerts

A lead can be set up for any number of property alerts.

Property Alerts can be created using any of the available MLS criteria AND map areas too.

Listings will have a unique URL on your website - and so that link can be shared anywhere.

Custom Search links can also be created as a link, using a simple Wizard system, and shared anywhere too.

All alerts and emails to your Leads will be sent from YOU and will have your email "signature", and will include any branding you set up too.
So, Everything is seen by the consumer as coming from the Agent. The reply-to address is set to the Agents email address.

Yes, we have a large selection of instant alerts and notifications by email and SMS that agents can set as needed.
These include new lead notifications and so on.

Support
Buying Buddy has a comprehensive library of self-help materials that include FAQs, articles, and videos. There's a self-paced boot camp to get your website set up, and work with your leads. We also have a well-trained support desk to handle your questions and help troubleshoot any issues.
All of our support materials can be accessed by logging in to your Buying Buddy account and selecting the Help & Support link at the bottom of your navigation panel.
Pricing
No. Free trials can be far more trouble to you than they are worth! Here's why:
(a) If you are intend to go to the trouble of testing, then your time and effort is probably the biggest investment you'll make.
Therefore you'll probably want the actual MLS data when you start to add widgets to your website rather than some demo MLS data.
So, lets get you approved for IDX and lets get you set up!
Remember, you can cancel any time. (Did you see our pricing?)
(b) we are the most affordable IDX solution. Period. With no compromise on function.

Now, having said that, if you need to see a specific aspect of Buying Buddy so that you can feel confident about moving forward, please contact us and we'll be happy to show a personalized demo for you.

Many MLS choose to charge members for access to IDX data feeds. These fees vary by MLS and are usually levied via the IDX vendors (e.g. Buying Buddy).

We are required to collect these fees and pass them back to the MLS or their partners. These fees are identified as 'MLS Passthrough Fees' in our pricing and invoices.

If there is an MLS Passthrough fee, this will be clearly displayed and included in the price calculated on the order form when you select your MLS.

Technical

The Buying Buddy plugin will create individual pages for every listing, regardless of the CMS you are using. This starts with a root slug (we call this a "Foundation" page) such as /details, or /property-details.html etc. Then all properties have a unique address that is generated from this. For example:
https://charliesmithrealty.net/details.php?property_id=demo_1769208&address=6883-Johnson-St-Arvada-CO-80004

All the property details pages and content is seen as being on your website - but there is no need to host any databases or anything technical or complex like this. All the content comes dynamically from our plugin and widgets.

If you have a WordPress site or can use our PHP class, you will generate SEO friendly content and indexable pages. I.e pages on the server before they are loaded in the browser so that they can be indexed.

No Way! All the property details pages and content is seen as being on your website - but there is no need to host any databases or anything technical or complex like this. All the content comes dynamically from our plugin and widgets.

We strive to ensure that Widget response times is incredibly fast. Typically, widgets load in milliseconds. We use Amazon distributed CDN Cloud services where ever we can for delivery of content. All appropriate data is minified and compressed.

No. You must embed Buying Buddy widgets and other Buying Buddy functions on your web pages. All the presentation of property data and information is handled by the Buying Buddy widgets.

Using filters, it is possible to use MLS data anyway you like (search or display) on any number of pages.

Buying Buddy widgets can be easily styled and themed. If you have CSS skills, then design can be modified using CSS.

You can create custom search forms and custom lead capture forms. With Buying Buddy, you do not need to have the cost of an IT infrastructure to frequently update and synchronize MLS data and photos.
With Buying Buddy you do not require a local database, any data management, database monitoring tools, technical systems process, backup systems or technical resources - we handle this entirely.