Choosing a Real Estate Domain Name



If you don’t already have a real estate website, one of the first things you’ll have to do in order to build a top-ranking site is choose a domain name. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, when it comes down to it, choosing the right domain name for a website may be a bit more difficult than you might first expect.

Which name? What name? © Scanrail - Fotolia.com

The first problem you will likely stumble upon is making sure the domain name you want is actually available. Of course most of the generic real estate domain names are already taken and used by other companies, so narrowing down a list of factors you’d like to incorporate in your real-estate-related domain will definitely make the domain selection process much easier and faster.

First, what real estate market are you serving? If you are a real estate agent working in a large market like Miami or Chicago, incorporating the city name in your domain may be a bit more challenging than in smaller markets. Obviously larger markets have many, many more real estate agents with already existing websites, and the chances of these sites already having a domain name you may want are a lot greater. But on the flip-slide, if you live in a much smaller, less competitive real estate market, such as Greenville, Indiana for example, the likelihood of multiple real estate websites with a quality domain name isn’t nearly as high.

Next, you’ll want to make the decision of whether or not to include keywords in your domain. Often times, real estate professionals choose to use their name (johnsmith.com) as the domain name for their business website, which is something that has always been puzzling to me. The purpose of a real estate website is to generate traffic and increase sales leads. So naturally, the higher your site ranks in a Google search, the more traffic you will see and the more leads your site will produce. As mentioned above, having your market or city name in the domain name is a great keyword strategy when deciding how to build your real estate site, but other main real estate keywords such as condos, homes, real estate, or realty will also go a long way in getting your site to rank well organically.

The final dilemma you may encounter when choosing a web domain is whether or not to buy all your domain’s main extensions. Once you’ve spent all the time it took to finally come up with the perfect real estate domain, the next immediate question is should you buy XYZRealEstate.COM, XYZRealEstate.NET, XYZRealEstate.ORG, and so-on. Say you only purchase the .com extension and are trying to save money by not worrying about someone trying to cheat their way to the top and copying your website concept.

Can someone start a similar website with a different extension and intentionally mislead homebuyers into thinking their website is your website? Absolutely they can; an even worse, what if their site, still with a different extension than yours, starts to rank even better during a primary search-engine result? In my experience, this doesn’t happen as often as one may think; and anyone sinking to this level is typically not savvy enough to overtake your website by generating more traffic and sales leads. But buying multiple extensions, even if it’s only the main .com, .net, and .org extensions, is something you should consider, especially when in a larger market with a high number of real estate agents looking to gain an edge.

Starting a real estate website should be fun and exciting. So when choosing a domain, keep it simple and ask yourself if the domain you’re considering is something you would easily remember or have no trouble typing out in the address bar. If the answer is “yes”, then I think you’ve made the right choice towards building a terrific new real estate site.

Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and possesses a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and co-owns Real Estate Web Creation with his partner, Ted Guarnero, a 25+ year real estate veteran.

Comments

  1. For a real estate agent, owning the city and/or surrounding areas that they work in followed by RealEstate.com or Homes.com (i.e. SeattleRealEstate.com, SeattleHomes.com) is often one of the best investments they can make.

    Anyone can register a domain like KathyJonesSellsHomes.com, YourOrlandoHomeTeam.com or something similar but it lends little to any credibility to their business and has no resale value.

    A premium real estate domain can often be purchased in the aftermarket for a reasonable sum (given how many benefits it can provide) and later be sold if necessary. We’ve sold many over the years and discuss some of the benefits as well as some prior high profile sales here:
    http://fatcityproperties.com/importance-of-geo-domains

  2. Eric Semmin says:

    Here’ an article you might want to check out: Realtor Tim Ryan of Naples Florida shares his Domain Name Advice:

    “A great website with the exact match domain name will give you, as a listing agent, INSTANT credibility. It is as though you are the expert and you are a 4th generation listing agent in that
    community”. He also shares his formula for estimating a purchase price.

    http://blog.luxurypropertydomains.com/?p=80

  3. Chuck Wallant says:

    This is a good primer for realtors, but you should really watch this video on domain names and startups (what real estate agents are) to learn more about acquiring a good domain name that you’ll spend your career with: http://www.domainsherpa.com/steve-jones-startup-interview/

    • Joe Heath says:

      Thanks for the link, Chuck, but I think that video relates more to people who are domain name brokers, not real estate agents. The only real legal issue real estate agents (or anyone) have to consider when choosing a domain name is not to use a word that is trademarked. For example, you cannot use the word “realtor” in your domain because of these trademark issues, but this information can be found on multiple free websites.

  4. You’d be surprised how often you can actually acquire a domain name from the secondary market at a really reasonable price. A lot of the domain names listed for sale with us trade for USD 500 – 2000. If you think about the commission you make on just one extra sale as a result of your nice website name, this is money very well invested.

    And even if the name is not immediately listed for sale with a marketplace such as http://www.sedo.com you can hire one of our brokers to attempt an acquisition for you. Best chances for this are if the content on the website name you have your eyes on does not look like an existing business, but rather a collection of ads.

    • Joe Heath says:

      If you’re a real estate agent, spending $2,000 on a domain name is, frankly, idiotic. There are plenty of good domain names available, you just sometimes have to be creative.

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  3. […] Choosing a Real Estate Domain Name Once you've spent all the time it took to finally come up with the perfect real estate domain, the next immediate question is should you buy XYZRealEstate.COM, XYZRealEstate.NET, XYZRealEstate.ORG, and so-on. Say you only purchase the .com extension … Read more on RealtyBizNews […]

  4. […] Choosing a Real Estate Domain Name by Joe Heath – 10 April 2012 If you don't already have a real estate website, one of the first things you'll have to do in order to build a top-ranking site is choose a domain name. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, when it comes down to it, … Read more on RealtyBizNews […]

  5. […] Choosing a Real Estate Domain NameRealtyBizNewsby Joe Heath – 10 April 2012 If you don't already have a real estate website, one of the first things you'll have to do in order to build a top-ranking site is choose a domain name. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, when it comes down to it, …and more » […]