Up until now, the internet has been organized into a handful of generic top-level domains (TLDs, or gTLDs) which were limited to three letters — .com, .org, .gov, .net, .biz, .edu, and so on. Until recently, the list of TLDs stood at 22 extensions.
In early 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international authority over top-level domain names, approved the expansion of the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which included allowing companies and organizations to create domains for their brands. NAR has been following this initiative since ICANN first began considering the introduction of a new round of gTLDs in 2005.
To make it easier for home buyers, sellers and investors to locate a trusted valued source of real estate information, resources and services online, NAR has secured the branded .realtor top-level domain (TLD) as an alternative to the commonly used .com and .org.
NAR believes the new domain name creates a more positive experience for consumers who are seeking expert information and services and want to ensure they are working with a REALTOR®, a real estate professional committed to abide by a strict Code of Ethics. Given the internet's convenience and round-the-clock accessibility, REALTORS® know that every year a growing number of consumers turn to the internet as a source of information. According to NAR research, nearly nine out of 10 recent buyers used the internet in their home search process.
NAR has also entered into an exclusive marketing partnership with The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the exclusive licensors of the REALTOR® mark in Canada. REALTOR® members of CREA will also be able to use the domain to provide consumers in Canada the same advantages, making .realtor™ truly North American in scope.
As an early adopter, NAR has been working closely for over 7 years with Second Generation, an Embrescia family investment firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio and registry operator for the top-level domain .jobs, throughout the application, review and development process to bring the .realtor™ solution to the real estate industry.
NAR, through Real Estate Domains LLC (RED), has filed with ICANN for the .realtor™ TLD. RED was created for the sole purpose of applying for and operating the .realtor™ TLD. NAR has also submitted applications for the .realestate and .home top level domains through a partnership of its wholly owned subsidiary, the REALTORS® Information Network (RIN) and DotHome, LLC.