It’s been nine months since NAR launched its new Top-level Domain .REALTOR and then watched it climb to the Top Ten most active of the new TLDs with over 102,000 domains claimed according to ntldstats.com/tld. NAR leadership must be pleased with the adoption rate so far, especially with the fact most of those REALTORS® claiming their domain are actually using it as a web address or an email address rather than simply “parking” the domain.
In a recent podcast from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology, Chad Curry invited Ken Burlington, VP of Marketing at NAR and F. Matthew Embrescia, President of Second Generation to discuss the advantages of the .REALTOR Top-level domain for members, brokerages, and associations. They discussed the process of how NAR obtained the domain and what it means for REALTORS® and where the domain is going in the future. It was a tedious process for anyone seeking their TLD but NAR hung in there for eight years and in the first round was able to secure .REALTOR as well as .realestate .
Interviewed in a recent RISMedia article, Bob Goldberg, NAR SVP of Marketing, Business Development and Member Benefits said, “This is not just NAR dabbling in something. TLDs are key to how the Internet is being used — we feel it’s an obligation to help our brokers and REALTORS®. We feel we have a responsibility to do something to make sure the industry is protected. We did it as an offensive move as much as a defensive move. Think about if an interloper got .REALTOR or .realestate? We need to make sure that when people think real estate, there’s someone trusted behind it. Consumers know our brand and we needed to leverage that with a top-level domain.”
Goldberg went on to explain that “a .REALTOR Web address is an opportunity to tell consumers that if someone has a .REALTOR domain, they are a member in good standing who abides by the Code of Ethics of the NAR or CREA. Consumers over time will know that if they’re on a .REALTOR domain, they’re working with a REALTOR, a trusted real estate resource.”
So, is NAR going it alone with its commitment to the new Top-level Domains? Far from it. Almost 1,000 applicants for TLDs have been approved and will soon be launching their domains. 30% of the original applicants fit into what is called the Dot Brand class (brands that already have a level of trust) – this includes NAR’s .REALTOR and .realestate. Among other Dot Brands are .BANK and .INSURANCE, as well as familiar names .AMEX, .NIKE, .GOOGLE, .AMAZON, .WALMART, and .FedEx.
Examples of prossible second level domains abound: Ship.FedEx, Travel.AMEX, Running.NIKE, Scores.NFL, Service.BMW. Recognize that .REALTOR does not have to take the lead in persuading consumers as to the value of the TLD – that consumer awareness program will be at the top of the list of every major brand that has invested millions into this evolution of the Internet.
NAR also plans to roll out the .realestate TLD to members later this year. “There were 1,800-plus applicants for TLDs just in this last round,” says Goldberg. “We feel extremely fortunate that we were able to secure the .REALTOR and .realestate TLDs. We will launch .realestate later this year. We will give our members the first opportunity at getting .realestate when it’s ready. Those members who have purchased a .REALTOR domain will receive priority registration for .realestate when it becomes available.” Possible example: AustinTopAgent.realestate
“If this were a money grab, we’d sell domains to whomever, with no rules in place,” says Goldberg. “But we want consumers to know there’s a trusted, valued resource behind this. It’s all about the consumer at the end of the day. If the consumer builds trust with this, then it will be the place where they will go.”
NAR leadership strongly supports the .REALTOR Top-level domain. NAR President Chris Polychron said that “Early adoption of new technology is a vital part of how REALTORS® conduct business, and NAR is committed to staying on the forefront of the latest online tools. We hope associations and brokerages can take advantage of the .REALTOR domain to create an online space where homebuyers, sellers and investors, as well as REALTORS®, can go to find the most trustworthy, reliable real estate services and resources.”
For more information on .REALTOR, go to www.About.REALTOR; and to claim your domain, go to www.Claim.REALTOR When purchasing your domain, you can receive a 10% discount if you use the following Promo Code: discount