Condos.com Owner Comments on .Condos gTLD

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Richard Swerdlow is the  CEO of Condo.com, a real estate website with a focus on the condominium market. In addition to owning the branded Condo.com, Swerdlow’s company also owns Condos.com, which it forwards to the Condo.com website. According to 101Domain.com, the .Condos new gTLD domain extension (Donuts) will enter into general availability very soon, allowing anyone to hand register .Condos domain names.

I know of several domain name owners whose .com domain names match a new gTLD extension. Swerdlow’s company is in a somewhat unique position in that his company doesn’t have a relationship with the new gTLD, and it is very possible that it will benefit from confusion between people who accidentally type Domain.Condos.com instead of Domain.Condos.

I reached out to Swerdlow to find out what he thinks the impact will be when new .Condos domain names are used by businesses and how any potential confusion might help or possibly harm his brand.

According to Swerdlow, “We think the potential confusion will support increased traffic to the .com and do not see the .condos extension as having any immediate negative impact on our business and portal.” He continued, “We see this as a potential lift in traffic, brand awareness for the exact-match term and a positive event for us.”

Because Condos.com forwards to the company’s main website, the company “added a global redirect to Condo.com.” If a visitor is looking to visit NewYork.Condos and accidentally types in NewYork.Condos.com, they are redirected to Condo.com rather than to an error or non-functioning ISP-provided page. This is wise because a non-functional page doesn’t help anyone. In my opinion, it’s very possible that a visitor may not even know they erred if they accidentally add the trailing .com since the content will probably be similar to what they are seeking.

There does seem to be interest in the .Condos gTLD, and people have already reached out to Swerdlow to work with his company using the new .Condos domain names. “We think that the potential  marketing done by owners of the .condos extension will support our efforts  and we have been fielding interest from various people to partner with us,” Swerdlow told me.

I don’t believe Swerdlow looks at .Condos domain names as a great source of competition. “A key to having a successful portal and growing organic traffic is substantial content for your visitors – whether property listing data, market data or other unique content within the vertical,” Swerdlow told me. “It remains to be seen how much effort in terms of development and marketing will be made by owners of the new TLDs like .condos – when the exact-match .com may cannibalize traffic from those efforts.

I think development on .Condos domain names will end up helping Swerdlow’s company, at least in the short term, and I will check in with him down the road to see how things are going.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Which makes more sense, which is more intuitive (long-term, the .com bias goes away):

    NYC.Condos or Condos.com/NYC

    Any .com that has it`s keyword turned into a gtld has just had it`s longterm value drop by 90%

    • I don’t even think Frank Schilling would agree with you on that one.

      To most average Joes, NYC.Condos makes no sense whatsoever. You can speculate that users will change their habits, but it’s only speculation.

      If you own NYC.Condos and are able to build a successful business on it, and you decide you want to expand to Boston, what do you do when someone else owns Boston.Condos already? With Condos.com, that isn’t a concern.

      If thousands of .Condos domain names are developed, I think Richard will be a very happy person because there will inevitably be lots of confusion.

  2. I agree with Richard Swerdlow. Owning both Condo.com and Condos.com is pretty damn terrific. And if I were him, I wouldn’t worry about .condos. I’m convinced that there are too many people in the domain space who think that the average person knows and cares about domains so much more than is actually the case. The typical person who is looking for a condo is so much more likely to go to condo.com or condos.com than become proficient in the world of .condos.

    • Today I would say NYCCondos.com. Everyone knows .com and renewals are less than $10/year. Not sure that can be said about NYC.Condos.

      Ask me in 5 years and my answer may be different.

  3. I agree with Mr. Swerdlow, these will only drive traffic to the respective dot com. This is a great money maker for the registrars, but the logic just doesn’t work with the end user. Even when referring someone to a dot org they still transpose the extension to the dot com.

    All these gtlds may cause a slight decrease in re-sale prices for dot com, but as results become more public about the lack of traffic on these extensions, dot com values will roar to unprecedented numbers.

    But what do I know, just an ex-hippie working for the man.

  4. Personally I’d rather have the certainty that if I create a great site it will be justly rewarded, then pick up spillover traffic but face a potentially mighty ‘competitor’.

    Much depends on the string though. If the tld will be a bunch of disjointed sites, the .com probably benefits. If the tld creates a strong community, then it could be a rather uncomfortable situation for the .com owner who tries to do likewise.

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