Building a "power IDX" search what are the best search options

Selfishly, I’m asking this question for my wife’s site www.carlycarey.com but also doing research for the next version of our IDX (yes we’re building a new site and yes it’s awesome!)

My question is a big one: What are the best search options, how should they be displayed and how should they best be organized.

What I mean by this is the following:

Our current site / IDX has 2+ baths, 3+ baths etc. But is this ideal? Or should we have 2, 2.25, 2.5 etc and should it be a between 1 and 3? (is there such a thing as “too many” bathrooms?

Property size: Same thing! Right now it’s 1000+ 2000+ etc but really I think this should “between” x and y. Would make it far more functional.

Property types: Right now we can only select one at a time. This makes sense when it’s residential vs commercial, but not so much when we’re talking “condo” vs “townhome” lots of folks would like both. Clearly this should be multi select no?

What are your thoughts? For the next IDX power search, what do you think should be added? What can be changed / improved? @LauraMonroe and @Aayaam this should be a great topic :slight_smile:

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I think this is a great topic! We have an amazing search experience on the current REW platform already, but if I were to pull up an awesome custom IDX example, it’s HawaiiLife.com It’s a simple clean design with easy buttons to check and a sliding scale- even the visual transitions to grid, to sort etc flow nicely. Obviously they have done a TON of customizing specific to their brokerage, but the functions and ease of use allow visitors to have a remarkable visual experience while searching.

Thanks for the share Laura. I’m actually talking even “before” design, more of a usability thing. I agree Hawaii Life has a nice “design” but in actually using it (just like REW, I’m calling us out as well) I find that for a “power search” (imagine you REALLY know what you want) it’s lacking in the very same ways.

If I look at your screen for HL, I notice the same frustrations I have on Carly’s site.

What if I want more than 1,500 but not more than 2,500 sq ft of living space? (the search only has x+)

And what if I want 2 OR 3 (but definitely not 4 or 5) bedrooms?

Do you see what I mean?

Things I do like usability wise on that screen:
Price from and too
Typle (multi select)
Keyword search (though I’d like to know specifically what it searches in the DB)

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Well, I’m no expert, and certainly data is challenging to get to perfection. But, in that sense- this is where natural language/voice search and AI is making huge strides. Until then, the more hyper local specific the better. I love the sliding scales for pricing and beds/baths.

With HawaiiLife’s keyword search for example- many folks look for “outdoor showers”, or “lanai”, the ability to use very specific terms to drill down into unique property details. It’s what sets search apart from the portals.

I’d like my clients to be able to search like a Realtor. Searches I often use:

Map polygon or search as you move.
Price
Beds
Baths
Age
Style (2 storey, split entry, bungalow etc)
Type (detached, semi detached, apartment, townhouse)
Square footage
Garage Yes/No
Waterfront Yes/No

Welcome to the other side of the screen Morgan! I’m so happy to see this post because now that you’re using the CMS as a customer I’m sure you’ll find lots of ways to improve it… There are so many things that work great on the front and backend, but others things that are seriously frustrating. You found some of them very quickly… being able to select multiple property types AND sub-types with checkboxes is crucial because if you’re making a snippet about condos you may find several MLS options like condo, condo/townhome, loft, flat, etc. that need to be included. I brought this up 10 or so years ago and paid custom programing to add it, and was disappointed to see it didn’t make it into the Vision backend as a standard feature. Also just putting the rooms and bathrooms (crucial search fields!) as 2+ as you noted is not ideal at all.

People are getting very sophisticated with search tools and expect as many options as possible. You should absolutely let people choose a tight range for property size, year built, # of beds, baths etc. If someone knows they want a 1 or 2 bedroom condo with at least 1.5 baths that was built after 1998 when the local building codes were improved then we have to give them the ability to do that. If not they’ll go elsewhere. Why limit them to only being able to search for Year Built 1990-2000? Why not just put all the years in there like Redfin does? Same thing with square feet. Some people really want a house that’s around 1800 square feet, so why only let them search between 1500-2000?

Before I go on, is this the right place to discuss this? I want to be respectful but I have a LOT of suggestions after working in the Vision CMS for the last couple days.