Starting Oct. 23, more than 1 million Realtors will be able to sign up for Web addresses with the new .realtor top-level domain, the National Association of Realtors and the Canadian Real Estate Association announced today.
After a yearslong application process, NAR recently received approval to manage the new domain from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
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The first 500,000 of NAR’s 1 million-plus members who register for a .realtor domain at www.claim.realtor will receive a domain free for one year. The Canadian Real Estate Association, CREA — NAR’s equivalent to the north — will provide 10,000 free domains to members on a first-come, first-served basis. CREA has more than 111,000 members.
A recent Inman News poll found that more than 8 in 10 readers planned to apply for their own .realtor domain, suggesting demand for .realtor will exceed the supply of free domains offered by the trade groups. For those who must pay, the cost of a domain will be $39.95 per year. Pricing for additional domains starts at $35.95 per year, with discounts for multiple domains and multiyear licenses. Bulk broker and franchise pricing is in development.
Realtor.com operator Move plans to let agents turn their profile pages on realtor.com into a stand-alone website featuring a Web address that ends in “.realtor.” When agents choose to use their .realtor domains to host their realtor.com profiles, Move will host the site for free.
A .realtor domain will help Realtors stand apart from other real estate professionals and inform consumers that they are working with a Realtor who subscribes to NAR’s Code of Ethics, the trade group said.
“This is truly an exciting time for NAR members to be on the cutting edge of Internet technology,” said NAR President Steve Brown in a statement.
“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.”
In a statement, CREA President Beth Crosbie said, “A .realtor domain communicates the positive attributes of trust, professionalism and community that consumers associate with the Realtor name.”
Those who obtain .realtor domains must follow business rules set out by NAR. For instance, members must use a .realtor domain in connection with their name as it appears in the National Realtors Database System (NRDS), which is a database that stores member and office records for Realtor organizations.
They can use aliases and initials, but they must also include a full first or full last name adjacent to the .realtor, NAR said. Generic terms can appear before the member’s name and numbers can appear before or after the name, but the word “Realtor” cannot appear before the dot in “.realtor.”
Only Realtors — members of NAR or CREA — will be allowed to register a .realtor domain. Realtor organizations such as state and local Realtor associations, association multiple listing services, affiliated institutes, societies and councils and NAR strategic business partners will also be able to register a .realtor domain.
Domains for those organizations will not be available until “phase two” of the launch, which will start within six months of the launch to members, according to dotrealtor.org. MLSs and associations that help promote the .realtor domain to their members will be eligible to receive a free .realtor domain for up to five years. An application form for MLSs and associations, available now, details marketing requirements.
NAR has also applied for the .realestate and .home domains, but those have competing applications and have yet to be assigned, according to ICANN’s website. ICANN has already assigned hundreds of new top-level domains and says it could assign some 1,300 over the next few years. Examples of commonly used top-level domains include “.com” and “.org.”
The domain .homes has been assigned to DERHomes LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dominion Enterprises, which owns Homes.com and ForRent.com, among many other brands.
CREA has applied to ICANN to create and manage a new .MLS top-level domain with backing from the MLS Domains Association, but there is a competing applicant, Afilias Limited, and the domain remains in contention. Last year, CREA lost a bid to throw out that rival application.