Purchasing a domain name is one of the first, and most important, steps in creating a real estate website. Many agents, including many who already own a domain name, will be going through this process because of the newly available “.realtor” domain.In this article we’ll explain the basic terms and concepts related to real estate domain names, the process for purchasing one, some mistakes to avoid, and how this all relates to the new .realtor addresses.
In this article we’ll explain the basic terms and concepts related to real estate domain names, the process for purchasing one, some mistakes to avoid, and how this all relates to the new .realtor addresses.
If you aren’t familiar with Internet technologies, there may be a lot about domain names that is unfamiliar, so let’s start with the very basics. A domain name is the address by which Internet users locate your website (joesellshomes.net for example). It typically consists of two parts, separated by a dot:
- You get to choose the first part, and most people select something memorable that is related to their website or business.
- You have limited choices about the part that falls after the dot, which is called the “top level domain” (TLD).
You are probably familiar with common TLDs, like “.com” or “.org,” but there a now many more TLDs, including the recently unveiled “.realtor” and “.realestate” TLDs. Domain names for some TLDs can be purchased by just about anyone, while others are more restricted. In the case of “.realtor” you must be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to purchase such a domain (more on that later).
To purchase a domain name, you must go through an accredited registrar. There is a complex system of organizations that act as accredited registrars, but it boils down to this: Some registrars handle names for multiple TLDs, while others handle only specific TLDs. If you want an address that ends in “.com” pretty much any registrar can serve you. If you want something like “.realtor,” you’ll need to go to a specific registrar, in this case a registrar managed by NAR.