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Home buyers, sellers and investors may soon find it easier to locate trusted and valued real estate information, resources and services online. The National Association of Realtors®, through its wholly owned subsidiary, the Realtor® Information Network (RIN), has applied for the branded .Realtor top-level domain (TLD) as an alternative to the familiar and commonly used .com or .org. Applications have also been submitted for .realestate and .home.

“As the leading advocate for America’s home and property owners, NAR knows that every year a growing number of consumers turn to the Internet as a source of information, given the Internet’s convenience and round-the-clock accessibility,” says NAR President Moe Veissi.”Our goal is to create a name space where home buyers, sellers and investors can go to find the most credible, trusted real estate resources and professional services.”

According to NAR research, nearly nine out of 10 recent buyers used the Internet in their home search process. NAR believes the new domain name will create a more positive experience for consumers who are seeking expert information and services and want to ensure they are working with a REALTOR®. Only licensed real estate professionals— who are members of NAR and subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics— have the right to call themselves a REALTOR®.

The top-level domain will also deliver additional branding and marketing value to REALTOR® members and affiliates. Domains in the new extensions would be available for registration to REALTOR® members; local and state REALTOR® associations; association multiple listing services; affiliated institutes, societies and councils; and other NAR-approved licensees.

” REALTORS® are already the most trusted, valued sources for real estate related information, and we believe that the .Realtor domain would extend that trust online. When a consumer visits a .Realtor domain in the future we want them to be assured that the registrant is associated with NAR and that the registrant is a trusted information source and real estate professional,” says Veissi.

NAR has also entered into an exclusive marketing partnership with The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the exclusive licensees of the REALTOR® mark in Canada. As a result of this arrangement, REALTOR® members of CREA will also be able to use the domain, making .Realtor truly North American in scope.

NAR has applied for the top-level domains through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the entity that coordinates domains and IP addresses for the Internet. NAR has been following this initiative since ICANN first considered introducing a new round of generic top-level domains in 2005. NAR has worked closely with Second Generation, an investment firm and registry operator for the top-level domain .jobs, throughout the application, review and development process.

The final approval for the top-level domains is anticipated sometime in 2013. Once approved, NAR plans to distribute additional information on how and when domains in the new extensions will be made available.

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