.REALTOR Launches Offering 500,000 Free Domains To It’s Members

The National Association of Realtors announced that the new .REALTOR top-level domain will be available October 23, 2014 to members of NAR and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The top-level domain will be made available only to real estate professionals who are Realtors®, members of NAR or CREA. The domain will also be made available to state and local Realtor® associations, association multiple listing services, affiliated institutes, societies and councils and NAR strategic business partners.

NAR will provide the first 500,000 members who register for a .REALTOR domain with a free one-year license, and CREA will provide 10,000 free domains to members on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, visit www.about.REALTOR.

“This is truly an exciting time for NAR members to be on the cutting edge of Internet technology,” said NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio. “NAR is one of the first associations to be approved to offer a top-level domain for its membership, demonstrating our organization’s commitment to its members and showcasing the value of the Realtor® brand. When consumers visit a .REALTOR website they will know that they have reached a source of comprehensive and accurate real estate information as well as someone with unparalleled insight into the local market.”

“We are so pleased to help our partner, NAR, build a new future on the Internet,” said Tom Embrescia, chairman of Second Generation, Ltd. “Applying for a top-level-domain is extremely complex and intricate, but all that work has resulted in an amazing benefit for Realtors®.”

Here is the complete press release:

The National Association of Realtors®‘ new .REALTOR top-level domain will be available October 23, 2014 to members of NAR and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The Internet is undergoing vast changes with the creation of over 1,900 new top-level domains, and with nine out of 10 recent buyers beginning their home search online, it has become even more critical for Realtors® to create a branded space online.

The .REALTOR domain will help Realtors® stand apart from other real estate professionals, creating a more positive online experience for consumers who are searching for information on buying or selling property. Having a .REALTOR domain will inform consumers that they are working with a Realtor®, a trusted real estate professional who subscribes to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics.

“This is truly an exciting time for NAR members to be on the cutting edge of Internet technology,” said NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio. “NAR is one of the first associations to be approved to offer a top-level domain for its membership, demonstrating our organization’s commitment to its members and showcasing the value of the Realtor® brand. When consumers visit a .REALTOR website they will know that they have reached a source of comprehensive and accurate real estate information as well as someone with unparalleled insight into the local market.”

CREA, the owner of the Realtor® mark in Canada, is NAR’s exclusive marketing partner for the new .REALTOR domain in Canada. “We are excited to offer this new and unique branding opportunity to our members,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie, sales associate at Coldwell Banker Pro Co. in St. John’s, Newfoundland. “A .REALTOR domain communicates the positive attributes of trust, professionalism and community that consumers associate with the Realtor® name.”

The top-level domain will be made available only to real estate professionals who are Realtors®, members of NAR or CREA. The domain will also be made available to state and local Realtor® associations, association multiple listing services, affiliated institutes, societies and councils and NAR strategic business partners.

NAR began the application process for the top-level domain seven years ago through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the organization that coordinates domains and Internet Protocol addresses around the world. Throughout the application, review and development process, NAR has worked closely with Second Generation subsidiary Real Estate Domains, LLC, an investment firm and registry operator for the top-level domain .JOBS.

“We are so pleased to help our partner, NAR, build a new future on the Internet,” said Tom Embrescia, chairman of Second Generation, Ltd. “Applying for a top-level-domain is extremely complex and intricate, but all that work has resulted in an amazing benefit for Realtors®.”

NAR will provide the first 500,000 members who register for a .REALTOR domain with a free one-year license, and CREA will provide 10,000 free domains to members on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, visit www.about.REALTOR.

The National Association of Realtors® “The Voice for Real Estate®,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 Realtors® working through some 90 real estate boards and associations.

Second Generation Ltd (“Second Gen”), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is an Embrescia family investment firm that actively works with talented management teams to develop businesses that have potential for significant growth and long-term value. For over three decades, Second Gen and its affiliates have owned and operated FCC licensed radio and television properties super serving markets throughout the United States as well as investing in manufacturing, real estate and medical innovations. Among its diverse investments, Second Gen is the owner of the .JOBS top-level domain on the Internet sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

8 comments

  1. This is very encouraging. Instead of trying to create artificial value by overcharging, they are giving them away, which will definitely encourage their members to use them.

    The only thing I have a problem with is the 1 year term. That’s not long enough to get mass adoption. This reminds me of the free .xyz promotion Network Solutions did.

    I hope they decide to extent it at least a year, or they will have a lot of expired domains in a year.

    • This is an opt in promotion and not an opt out one like .xyz.

      • True. Opt-in is much better than opt-out in terms of getting only the people who actually want the domain.

        I just think they are not giving their members enough time to do something useful with it. Their members are not web designers, so getting them up to speed on building and hosting something will take time.

        I hope for their sake they have some kind of site builder for their members that can tap into live real estate listings, or the free year will end with no lasting impact.

        Because they are finally doing something positive with their TLD, I truly hope they succeed. As I have said before, the industry needs at least one popular nTLD for ANY of them to succeed.

      • The problem is that domains don’t come free. NAR will have to pay about 500k to the backend provider plus the 500k x $0.18 ICANN fee plus some profit to the registrars.
        And will have to pay the $25k yearly fee to ICANN plus any other expenses.
        Year 1 will be: 0 revenue and about a million in expenses if all 500k domains are taken. But I doubt that.

      • It’s still a no brainer. It only works out to under $1.50 per registration, far below the typical costs most business spend to get a customer.

        Since they are only offering it to NAR members, that $1.18 is easily absorbed in the revenue they take in for membership.

        Regardless of how many of the 500,000 actually request a domain, they will earn more than 10x that for renewals every year, and above all, it gives them a chance to make their TLD mean something to both agents and consumers.

  2. This is bad news for all other real estate related strings but the business model is interesting. If wine institutions were rich enough to be granted a privileged access to acquire GIs domains for free on year one, it would solve many problems. It takes more than one year to accept to change from a domain name to another, in particular if the TLD is new. I also agree that one year may not be enough to get mass adoption.

  3. Nah, bad idea and here is why…

    1. My name is John Smith and I do not own JohnSmith.Com so I graciously accept NAR’s offer of JohnSmith.Realtor for free.
    2. I forward JohnSmith.Realtor traffic and email to my actual website, AffordableRealEstate4U.Com
    3. Many of my intended visitors mistakenly go to JohnSmith.Com or JohnSmithRealtor.Com, hypothetically a porn site and a competitor. My precious emails get similarly misdirected.
    4. The one year of free service expires and now the renewal fee kicks in.
    5. I got nothin’.

    • I completely agree… with the underlying problem that all new TLDs will cause confusion and misdirected emails and traffic.

      To be clear, what I am happy about is seeing one organization making an initiative to try to get mass adoption of their TLD. Let’s face it, unless they literally get the majority of all realtors to not only use their .realtor as a redirector to their existing .Com, but make the .Realtor their true online identity they don’t have a chance of succeeding.

      The best way they can get people to accept their TLD is to insure that every time they get a card from a realtor, or see an ad, they see the .Realtor address. Since they have the lion’s share of real estate agents as members, they are in a unique position to bring their TLD directly to the people that matter.

      If they succeed, which is not easy because a 1 year plan is too short, they could also make the some of the general public more aware of TLDs in general.

      As we’ve discussed elsewhere, even with some additional awareness of the new TLDs, it’s still an uphill battle. Most of the public barely knows how to enter a URL… and use search pages for everything.

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