You may have already claimed a .realtor™ domain to help prospective clients more easily discover your services when searching online for a real estate professional. But consumers often are searching broadly for real estate in your area, rather than for an actual broker or agent, so there’s a new option to capture their attention—and ultimately their business.
The coveted top-level domain .realestate is now available exclusively to members, firms, and boards of the National Association of REALTORS® and the Canadian Real Estate Association through Nov. 16. Only those who have previously secured a .realtor™ domain are eligible to purchase a .realestate domain—which costs $69 per year for each standard URL—during the REALTOR® presale. (If you still need one, you can sign up for a .realtor™ domain, which is free for the first year, one per individual member.) After the presale, .realestate will become available to the general public through get.realtor, GoDaddy, and other registrars beginning Nov. 26.
Not sure why you’d need both .realtor™ and .realestate domains? Well, the two work together to broaden and clarify your marketing to a wider pool of prospects, NAR suggests. The .realtor™ domain, which remains available only to REALTORS®, firms, and boards of NAR as it has since it launched in 2014, identifies to consumers who you are—a real estate professional who, as an NAR member, adheres to stricter ethical standards and is more knowledgeable about the market. The complementary .realestate domain identifies what you do and can be used to promote your specific expertise, like a property type or geographic area.
Bruce Griffy, AHWD, e-PRO, broker-owner of Westside Realty in Clarksville, Tenn., snapped up seven .realestate URLs during the NAR presale, reflecting the specific areas he serves: Clarksville.realestate; FortCampbell.realestate; Woodlawn.realestate; StewartCounty.realestate; KentucklyLake.realestate; Sango.realestate; and DoverHomes.realestate. Griffy currently is building out landing pages for each site with information about the community, homes for sale, and market reports—and of course, his brokerage’s branding.
He plans to use these URLs in conjunction with his BruceGriffy.realtor website, which houses his professional bio and real estate blog. Griffy says all of these sites will help him make his branding more consistent. “I know the value of these domain names,” he says. “Once I have the system all set up, it’ll set me apart as the go-to person in my area.”
In addition to geographic areas, Dennis Saffell, ALC, broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties in Winter Park, Colo., also plans to use .realestate URLs to market his niche expertise. Saffell, who specializes in selling ranch properties, has purchased 11 .realestate URLs, including ranch.realestate. He hopes to launch all of the sites, which are currently under development, by the beginning of 2019.
Saffell says the .realestate presale has enabled him to purchase the most-sought URLs for lower prices. For example, he bought Denver.realestate—an in-demand URL for a large market—for a $5,000 premium during NAR’s presale. (Highly coveted .realestate domain names are sold at a higher cost.) Compare that to the prominent Denver.com, which a local practitioner snagged for $5 million in 2012. “Plus, the Denver.realestate URL is cleaner and says exactly what it is by tying back into real estate,” Saffell says. “There are so many .coms, but the industry-specific ones—like .realestate, .travel, .health—are more relevant and content-specific. The URLs show the relevancy for those searching for information on real estate. There’s no confusion on what it is and what it’s about.”
Domain Extensions Grow in Importance
The marketplace for traditional domains has become overcrowded, so demand for domain extensions such as .realestate is growing as businesses try to set themselves apart on the internet. Top-level domains, such as .bank, .science, and .realtor™, became available starting in 2014, making it possible to better tie the top level of a domain—what comes after the period—to an industry to help businesses carve out their targeted audience. However, owners of top-level domains are still grappling with keeping “squatters” from hijacking popular URLs for resale.Regardless, domain registrar GoDaddy and more than 20 other registrars, which will begin selling .realestate URLs after the NAR presale, are anticipating wide international appeal for the domain. “The real estate market is always pushing innovation, from virtual reality walkthroughs to leveraging the cloud for transactions and now domain name extensions,” Paul Bindel, GoDaddy senior director of product marketing, said in a statement. “The beauty of .realestate is that it tells visitors exactly what to expect when they visit the site. It’s memorable, easy to spell, and descriptive—all great traits for a domain name.”