By Kurt D. Lynn
RISMEDIA, July 16, 2008-On the Web, your name is everything; your domain is your brand.
Sure, it sounds easy-just pick a name and get your real estate website going-but it’s just not that simple. Choosing a domain name for your real estate website is one of the most important dynamics in your real estate business. Your domain name choice will be the foundation of all that you do over the Internet in the future. And in the future, the Internet will be very important in the real estate industry.
Before you sit down in front of your PC and start checking out names, here’s a few things to consider:
1) A brand is more than words. Your real estate brand is an image of who you are and what you offer-represented by words. Like any communication task, pick the wrong words and you may establish the wrong image. Often, it is more important that your brand be clear than it is that your brand be clever. A domain name choice of “chicagoproperty.com” might not be more clever than “landboutique.com” but it’s very clear what the name represents. Generally, your domain name-your brand on the Internet-should also address a “benefit” that is provided. In this vein, a domain name choice of “qualitychicagoproperty.com” might be much better than “susiesrealty.com.”
2) The idea of your real estate brand is to be memorable-to get the “mindshare” of your prospective visitor. To that end, it makes no real difference whether your name is long or short-both can be memorable. But it probably suggests that you do not add articles such as “the” or “a” to the name and that you do not include hyphens in the name unless that is accepted common usage for the terms you choose. If in doubt, take a poll of prospective customers and ask them about the memory “stickiness” of your proposed name.
3) Lastly, everybody wants the “.com” extension, but finding the right one can be difficult. Don’t discount extensions such as “.net”, “.info”, “.biz” and “.us”-they may make just as good sense also. Just make sure that when you include the extension as part of your “brand” that it all works together.
4) Getting multiple names-think forward to the future. You may want more than one domain name. Today you might just want to register “cosmoclevelandrealty.com” but tomorrow you might want “cosmocondos.com” and “cosmoindustrialproperty.com” as well. If you anticipate such a need, register the names now, while you still can. Tomorrow they may be gone.
Just remember that your domain name choice is your brand choice. You may be eager to get your presence established on the web, but take your time and find the name that will truly add-value to your real estate marketing presence rather than confuse it.
Kurt Lynn directs the marketing and communications activities at www.RealtySoft.com.
For more information, visit www.RealtySoft.com.