By: Bianca Smith, One Design Company
Second Generation, Ltd.—the Embrescia family investment firm—established deep roots in the broadcast community with their licensing expertise, owning and managing over 50 radio and television properties around the country.
“Over time, more and more stations targeting specific verticals or industries came along, and now you can pretty much find a channel for almost any niche such as 24/7 news, fashion, food, homes, or even golf,” Matthew Embrescia, President of Second Generation, says.
During the late 1990’s while Matthew was working in broadcasting on the west coast, he had a front row seat to the online startup business bubble—and subsequently the dot com boom. Savvy and attuned to the broadcast industry’s shift to cater to more distinct audiences, Matthew saw scalable potential in the top-level domain (TLD) industry.
“We knew the same thing that happened with radio and television stations would happen with the TLD industry,” Matthew says. “There’s no real specific meaning or intent behind ‘com,’ so you’ll start to see web addresses that will have specific endings—TLDs that will mean something and will cater towards specific niches, verticals or industries, just like .edu does for education or .realtor™ does for REALTORS®.”
To solidify their new venture in the TLD space, Second Generation worked closely with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)—the organization who coordinates domains and IP addresses for the internet—and secured the TLD .jobs when ICANN first pushed for a top-level domain expansion in 2003.
They continued to think about other verticals, and one of the next industries and business models that made the most sense to invest in was real estate. In 2012, they joined forces with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and secured the TLDs .realtor™ and .realestate.
“The partnership between us and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is a true collaboration,” Matthew says. “Second Generation brought the expertise in licensing and working with ICANN in the TLD space, and NAR brings their expertise in real estate and membership —understanding what’s important to their members.”
And a sound strategy delivers. During the most recent ICANN61 conference this past March, .realtor™ proved to be exactly what ICANN envisioned when they set out to help information be shared online in a more meaningful way. Matthew was “continually questioned by other people” about how “the .realtor™ launch—and the .realtor™ TLD—[became such a] poster child for success.”
“Other people wanted to understand what it was we did and how we did it, in hopes to potentially replicate that for their own business,” Matthew says.
With NAR’s two top-level domains, .realtor™ and the newly launched .realestate, being a part of NAR’s new Strategic Business Innovation, and Technology group, Second Generation’s partnership with NAR is sure to continue to shape members’ ability to best build their business in the digital age.
“We understand what it’s like to go out and try to grow your business every day,” Matthew says. “And having an online presence is not only important, but critical today to be in business. To see companies like Amazon and Google who are on the forefront of every new technology and have immense resources at their disposal spend tens of millions of dollars just applying for over a hundred TLDs? This is a clear indicator of the staying power and the importance of the TLDs.”