A Greek philosopher famously insisted that nothing is permanent except change. That statement couldn’t be truer today, especially in the real estate industry. Change is a double-edged sword: It creates new opportunities, but also introduces new challenges.
For real estate professionals, technology developments have been—and will continue to be—one of the most potent and rapid forces of change, reshaping the way consumers shop for homes and seek help with their real estate transactions. Through numerous initiatives, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has made it a top priority to ensure that REALTORS® remain consumers’ first point of contact when it’s time to buy or sell real estate.
One key initiative, the launch of the new .REALTOR top-level domain (TLD), gives members more options to exclusively leverage their affiliation with the $5 billion REALTOR® brand and showcase their expertise and accomplishments to consumers.
The Evolving Domain Landscape
In fundamental ways, the Internet is changing. People have grown accustomed to an online world where most websites have addresses that end in familiar TLDs like .com, .org or .net. However, a profound transformation is beginning to play out across the Internet because its governing body has approved nearly 2,000 new TLDs, and dozens are beginning to appear online.
Implications for REALTORS®
It’s reasonable to expect the online landscape to become a lot more complicated before it gets more organized. Consumers will begin seeing a wide array of industry-related sites with TLDs like .attorney, .engineer or .architect. To protect the REALTOR® brand and preserve our members’ exclusive status as a REALTOR®, NAR successfully pursued and acquired the .REALTOR TLD, which creates a dedicated name space for REALTORS® and the REALTOR® family on the Internet. It’s an opportunity to stake your claim and be part of one of the top 10 fastest growing TLDs (outside of country codes). Benefits to brokers and their agents include:
- Trust of Consumers and Competitive Advantage—NAR recognizes that the best way to successfully harness future opportunities is to work in close partnership with its members, ensuring that brokers and their agents remain a vital force and first point of contact. As a result, when consumers are confronted in the future with a plethora of search results and websites, they’ll easily find REALTORS®— real estate professionals who abide by NAR’s strict Code of Ethics—with their .REALTOR domains.
- More Options—With more than 271 million registered domains on today’s Internet, it’s exceedingly difficult to secure an attractive commercial name space. The .REALTOR domain gives NAR members many new and appealing options to carve out an online identity.
- Flexibility—Members can do whatever they want with their .REALTOR domain as long as it’s used for their real estate business. You can build a new Web page to show your skills or service to the community, point your new domain to an existing site or use your personal realtor.com® profile website—a free benefit that lets members showcase all their realtor.com® listings, showings and closed transactions, plus integrate content from social networks and blogs.
- Free Domain and Pricing Incentives—The first 500,000 members who register will receive one free .REALTOR domain for one year. Additional domains can be purchased at the same time, starting at $39.95 per year with discounts available for multiple domains and multiple years.
Leverage the New .REALTOR Domain
See how your fellow REALTORS® are successfully using their .REALTOR domain in their marketing at www.about.realtor, including:
• Custom webhosting www.brian.REALTOR; orenrikin.REALTOR
• Realtor.com® profile www.ajecinthia.REALTOR
• Redirect to an existing site www.rachelhammer.REALTOR
Brokers, you and your agents are encouraged to claim your free domain as soon as possible. Over 100,000 domains have already been claimed. See what other REALTORS® are doing, and for more information about the .REALTOR domain, visit www.about.REALTOR.