Domain Spotlight:

Domain Names and Real Estate

I was driving past a local business recently when I noticed a sign with the .realtor tld. I hadn’t seen one in use previously, so it caught my attention. I decided to dig a little deeper and reached out to the folks at get.realtor to ask some questions and learn more.

Second Generation LTD has invested heavily in the Top-Level-Domain (TLD) Industry. In partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), its subsidiary Real Estate Domains LLC, launched the .REALTOR TLD in October of 2014. Second Generation is also the sole registry operator for .Jobs, .Career, .RealEstate, and .MED TLDs. The .realtorTM top-level domain is available to individual members, firms, and boards of the National Association of REALTORS® in the US, International REALTOR® Members (IRMs), and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

 

Mike: I see that .realtor was launched in 2014. How many domain names have been registered with the TLD?

Matthew: Since 2014 well over several hundred thousand domains have been registered with the .realtor™ TLD.

 

Mike: You also manage the .realestate TLD. How are the two different?

Matthew: The .realestate TLD is available for anyone in the world to register and has no restrictions. It is a completely open TLD.

The .realtor™ TLD is exclusively for members, firms and boards of the National Association of REALTORS® and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

 

Mike: How do these names compare to a .com? Are there pros and cons to each?

Matthew: The .realtor™ top-level domain makes it easier for homebuyers, sellers, and investors to locate a REALTOR®, the trusted valued source of real estate information, resources, and services online. NAR believes the new .realtor™ domain name creates a more positive experience for consumers who are seeking real estate information and services and want to ensure they are working with a REALTOR®, a real estate professional committed to a strict Code of Ethics.

The REALTOR® term is over 100 years old and has been valued at over $5 Billion. The .realtor™ TLD offers the unique ability for members, boards and firms to associate their own brand with the trust, professionalism, and credibility that NAR has cultivated over the past century in the REALTOR® brand.
While .realtor™ provides a home base on the internet for REALTORS®, firms, and boards, .realestate is free of restrictions and provides limitless options for those in the real estate industry to market their areas of expertise.

The global real estate market is expected to generate revenue of over $4 trillion by 2025 and is often the single largest transaction an individual will be involved in during their lifetime. Given the Internet’s convenience and round-the-clock accessibility, every year a growing number of consumers turn to and rely upon the Internet as a source of information. According to NAR research, nearly nine out of ten recent buyers used the Internet in their home search process.

The .realestate TLD is a blank slate for anyone involved in real estate to better identify their expertise online and to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways. The .realestate TLD not only helps consumers find these professionals, services, or information, but also identifies what they do, where they do it, and what their niche or specialty is.

 

Mike: What restrictions exist with each of these TLDs? Can anyone register a domain name? Can multiple names be registered by a single owner?

Matthew: In order to register a .realtor™ domain, you must be a member of the National Association of REALTORS® or the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Anyone can register a .realestate domain name. There are no restrictions on who can register a name in .realestate.

For each TLD, multiple names can be registered by a single owner.

 

Mike: What sort of feedback have you heard from end users using theses TLDs. Have they helped in brand recognition and / or increased business results?

Matthew: The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. We believe it is extremely important to listen to our customers and to understand how they are using our products in order to continue to offer them value. We have partnered with organizations like Google and Realtor.com to bundle their services along with a domain name in order to offer busy real estate professionals additional business tools like email and websites in order to get them up and running quickly with their domains.

You can read more about how REALTORS® are using the .realtor™ and .realestate domains and some of their success stories.

 

Mike: Are end users able to resell the names? For example, if I was an NAR member and registered MikeSullivan.realtor, could I sell that name to another Realtor named Mike Sullivan?

Lori: The short answer is “yes”. For .realtor, the only requirements are that both Mike Sullivan’s must be a member of NAR or CREA in good standing at the time of the sale and the gaining registrant is eligible for the name per NAR’s naming and branding guidelines.

For .realestate, the answer is anyone can sell a .realestate domain name to anyone else without restriction, no different than .com. The .realestate TLD is a natural fit for speculation no different than physical real estate which has been full of speculation since the dawn of the industry.

Mike: What level of growth are you expecting over the next 5 years for .realtor and .realestate TLD registrtation?

Matthew: As our partner bringing both .realtor and .realestate to market, we work heavily with NAR and CREA to promote each TLD to their members through the direct marketing and education programs that they have. As the largest trade association in North America, NAR has over 1.4 million members.

We can’t predict what our level of growth will be over the next 5 years but we will continue to market and educate real estate professionals about the value and benefits of these TLDs for their personal brands and areas of expertise.

We also are working with NAR to encourage them to continue to adopt these TLDs and integrate them into all aspects of their own operations. NAR exclusively uses .realtor™ for all of their own online presence. They migrated several years ago from their main home page at realtor.org to nar.realtor and continue to add .realtor domains like conference.realtor or green.realtor for specific internal, member, or consumer initiatives. The next phase is to educate consumers about these TLDs in NARs ongoing annual multi-million-dollar public awareness campaigns.

In addition, since .realestate is an open TLD and is distributed through the traditional registrar channel, we are pleased to be working with some of the largest registrars in the world, like GoDaddy to market the TLD to their customers. We look forward to working even closer with the registrar channel to create promotional programs that benefit everyone and encourage even greater adoption and use of the .realestate TLD. GoDaddy is currently heavily promoting .realestate via a promotional program we created together. More information on that program can be found at GoDaddy.com.

 

Mike: What are some reasons that a domain request may be rejected or challenged?

Matthew: The .realestate TLD is completely open and unrestricted and operates no differently than .com so there is not a challenge or rejection process. Names in .realestate are available on a first come, first served basis.

The term REALTOR® is a trademarked term owned by the National Association of REALTORS®. All names registered in .realtor™ must be registered by a member in good standing and follow the guidelines established by NAR for using the term REALTOR® on the internet. The specific guidelines for domain naming and usage rules in .realtor™ can be found at, https://www.get.realtor/domain-naming-usage-rules.

Domain Spotlight:
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One Reply to “Domain Names and Real Estate”

  1. “Since 2014 well over several hundred thousand domains have been registered with the .realtor™ TLD.” VERY FALSE CLAIM!

    .Realtor was a flop. The National Association of REALTORS offered 500,000 free domains to REALTORS. However, they could barely gave away 1/5 of that amount. Registrations only peaked at about 111,000 at the end of December 2015.

    By the end of January 2016, that number plummeted to $75,000. Numbers continued to fall through 2016. Then, by the end of January 2017, numbers plummeted again to 49,000.

    Each January when renewals are due, the numbers plummet. Right now numbers are down to 40,000.

    .Realtor is a terrible extension. You’re limited to JohnDoe.Realtor. On marketing, it appears to be a space is missing and an additional period is incorrectly inserted. You’d have to advertise with “http://www.” in hopes to not confuse consumers.

    Watch, by the end of January 2020, numbers will be below 40,000.

    Stick to .com. You’re even better off settling for a .net or .org than to waste money on the .Realtor option.

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