Several years ago, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) won the rights to the .realtor and .realestate domains. For those of you who don't follow such things, suffice to say that this is an interesting, meaningful and exciting step for our industry. And, as of last week, we can all start getting in on the movement toward building a stronger and more focused internet presence for REALTORS®.
Here's what .realestate means and what you need to know to get involved.
What's the deal with domains, anyway?
The internet domains that most of us think of and use when browsing the internet or sending emails are .com, .org, .gov and .edu, for example. A couple of years ago the governing body for Internet domains - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - started letting companies and organizations create domains to support their brands. NAR was paying close attention and won the rights to .realtor and .realestate.
The idea then - and now - is to provide access to these domains to members, giving REALTORS® a way to brand themselves more prominently to consumers who would benefit from knowing that those with such a domain are licensed professionals. The domains would also be a way to help organize real estate information from other real estate-related organizations in the vast content available on the interweb.
NAR got this initiative off the ground in 2015 by making the .realtor domain available for REALTOR® professionals to create their own custom domain: https://marysmith.realtor, for example.
Now, .realestate is available for purchase
The .realestate domain is now available for members to begin staking their claim in another type of branded domain, one that allows for the promotion of specific properties or geographic areas of expertise: https://downersgrove.realestate, for example. The pre-sale of .realestate is open to members who secured the .REALTOR domain; .realestate will be available for purchases to the general public in November.
Standard and premium .realestate domains are available, offering a range of basic to advanced services, including email, websites, and access to an entire Google suite, including storage.
Pricing for .realestate begins at $69/year for standard domains; options for premium domains is available on the NAR site.
Our view is that by NAR offering dedicated real estate domains, the industry and the consumers we serve have a lot to gain. The branding opportunities are the tip of the iceberg - although helping licensed REALTORS® stand out is very exciting. We expect we'll see opportunities to shape a more professional level of communication, as well as reinforce ethics and standards - all ways to help the REALTOR® brand and its members shine in the eyes of the consumer.
If you'd like more information, please visit NAR's site.