The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has around 1 million members who sell real estate. The NAR applied for and will be managing the .Realtor new gTLD extension. According to a press release, “NAR is offering a free one-year license to the first 500,000 members who register for a .REALTOR domain.”
In my opinion, this could become a pretty lucrative business for the NAR. I would imagine that some (or many) of these free domain names will be renewed by members once the first free year is up. This would be even more likely if the Realtors build a website on their free domain name in the first year. Assuming the price per domain name is reasonable, I would think their renewal rates will be pretty high.
For people in the domain space that think Realtors won’t want their .Realtor domain name for whatever reason (despite the fact that many will be given away for free for the first year), think again. According to a poll conducted by real estate industry website Inman News, “More than 8 out of 10 Inman News readers say they plan to apply for their own “.realtor” domain.” Just under 800 people participated in the poll. I don’t think this 80% will carry over throughout the entire real estate agent community because those who read news online are probably more likely to be domain name owners (a guess), but I believe it indicates a strong interest in the .Realtor extension.
The NAR has a captive audience of professionals who look to the organization for best practices and other tools. If the organization heavily promotes the .Realtor domain name extension, I could see it become very popular amongst its members. One issue potentially standing in its way are the real estate companies who may or may not have rules about the urls its real estate agents own and operate. I can’t speculate on that though because I am not familiar with such regulations.
My bet is that .Realtor will be a winner, and it will become a profit center for the National Association of Realtors. .Realtor domain names will be available on October 23.
Thanks to OnlineDomain.com for making me aware of this press release.