The National Association of Realtors will provide free “.realtor” top-level domains for one year to the first 500,000 members who file a “priority registration” request by Dec. 31 using a dedicated website that launched today, SignUpForDotRealtor.com.

Last week NAR warned members not to pay domain sellers like GoDaddy for the rights to a “.realtor” top-level domain.

NAR has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the rights to administer .realtor, one of hundreds of new “generic top-level domains” ICANN is expected to approve in the months and years ahead.

NAR submitted its application through Real Estate Domains LLC (RED), an entity created to apply for and eventually operate the .realtor domain. NAR has also filed applications for .realestate and .home through two other companies specifically created to apply for top-level domains, DotRealEstate LLC and DotHome LLC.

Each domain application cost $185,000, an expense paid for by NAR’s strategic partner, Second Generation Ltd., a Cleveland-based investment firm that also owns and operates the .jobs top-level domain sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. NAR and its partner would incur additional costs to administer those names.

If NAR is granted the right to administer .realtor through RED, only agents who are members of NAR and the Canadian Real Estate Association will be eligible for a .realtor domain, the trade group says. NAR has not said what it will charge agents who don’t receive free domains, or what the cost of a .realtor domain will be after the one-year free trial period expires.

If NAR doesn’t charge enough, or if too few members sign up for .realtor domains, the trade group or its partners could end up losing money. Some observers also worry that NAR will be heavy-handed in its administration of the new top-level domain.

NAR says it will also make .realtor domains available to state and local Realtor associations, multiple listing services affiliated with NAR, NAR strategic business partners, and NAR-affiliated institutes, societies and councils. NAR expects final approval and launch of .realtor domains next year. Source: realtor.org

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