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.