In the early days of the internet, IP addresses—long strings of numbers separated by periods—were used to identify websites. As more and more people took to the internet, a simpler, easier method of finding a website was designed: domain names. When the first domain names were released around 1985, website owners could choose from .com, .net, and .org.
Since that time, those top-level domain extensions have remained popular, making it hard for new businesses to find great, unclaimed domain names. Luckily, recognizing the continually growing demand for domain names, new possibilities were (and continue to be) introduced. Businesses can now choose one of the original .com, .net, or .org domain extensions or one of the newer ones which include but aren’t limited to .site, .biz, .blog, .services, .ltd, .online, .town, and (perfect for the real estate industry) .homes.
Creating a Domain Strategy
With so many domain extensions available, business owners aren’t limited to a single domain name. While your primary domain name may be BuyNC.homes, you may decide to purchase a secondary domain name for your investor clients under lucrative.holdings or one for your rental clients under RentAtlantaGA.homes.
Creating a domain name for each of your primary niches can boost your appeal to those buyers and sellers. After all, why should someone looking to sell their beach home go to a website whose domain is more buyer-oriented when they could use a site like sellbeach.homes? Each of these names can then be used in various marketing materials and forwarded back to niche-specific pages on your primary website.
Another consideration when choosing domain names is whether you want to use verified, real estate specific domain extensions or extensions that any industry can use. A verified domain name can only be used by specific groups. For example, .Homes domains can only be used by people and businesses who work closely with real estate, so all websites with .Homes extensions are real estate-related. An unverified domain name such as .House may have haunted houses, bounce houses, and other non-real estate websites in addition to homes for sale.
Real Estate Domain Extensions
.homes – A great domain extension for all real estate agents, brokers, builders, and multiple listing services. This industry-friendly extension is only available to verified entities that promote, support, service, or supply the real estate industry. This ensures .homes websites contain trusted and relevant real estate content.
.realtor – This domain extension is only available to active members of National Association of REALTORS®, making it easy for consumers on a .realtor page to know they are working with a certified professional. However, if your membership is not current at the time of your domain renewal, you may lose your domain name.
.condos – A great domain extension for agents who specialize in condo sales and rentals.
.estate – Ideal for agents working primarily with luxury homes or inherited properties.
.forsale – A buyer-targeted domain name that isn’t specific to real estate but can work well with “real estate” or “homes” in the first half of your domain name.
.holdings – Anyone can register a .holdings domain, so it may not develop the same trust as a verified domain that requires registrants to meet certain criteria.
.house – An easy-to-remember domain extension popular for buyers, sellers, and investors, as well as those outside the real estate industry.
.land – Perfect for rural locations with large plots of land or agents with a niche in land, vacant lots, or farm/ranch markets.
.property and .properties – Unverified extensions that can be used by real estate agents but are more popular with developers and property management companies.
.rent and .rentals – Good options for agents who do property management.
.villas – A good option for luxury sales and rentals.
According to Google, “new domain endings are not treated any differently than traditional domain name endings such as .com or .org. Domain names with new endings are shown in search just like any other domain name.” So choosing a new domain should really be about your marketing and branding. How does this domain set your real estate brand apart and make it memorable and trustworthy?