How do you pick a winner in the domain name derby? It’s actually a lot easier than you might first think. We’ve uncovered some fantastic new property related domain names, that are newly available, for you to register and utilise in your real estate business.

The world wide web has been commercial for about the last 20 years, so the chances of getting the exact real estate related domain name URL you want, to match your business name or sales patch is pretty slim. But don’t despair! With a little thought, you should be able to secure a domain name that will work for you, based either around your personal brand or your real estate business.

Internets, webs and domains

Most of us non-geeky types understand that every website has it’s own unique website address, just like a property has its own unique address. On the internet this address is based on a single string called a URL (uniform resource locator), like http://www.realestatecompany.com.au. The URL contains a ‘domain name’ – in this case, ‘realestatecompany’ – that identifies its ownership. When Google reads your website address, it also assesses the words or phrase being used in that address to determine what your website might be about. Thus, getting the right domain name is an important part of getting your message right, and your website seen by its intended audience.

The last part of the URL is what’s called the top-level domain, or TLD. There is a limited but growing number of TLDs. Originally we only had the option to choose from a small set including .asn, .com, .edu, .gov, .net and .org (plus country codes, like .au and .nz). But today, the list of TLDs has expanded to accommodate the web’s explosive growth, so now you can get .estate, .agency or even .rocks! We’ll get back to these.

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Picking a good domain name

First, before you even register your business name, you should consider your domain name, because you want the two to be the same or at least to be connected. Here are some simple steps to follow:

Research the most searched-for keyword or phrase in your area. As real estate agent’s this can be your geographical area and or a combination of the type of property service you provide.

Google your ideas to see who comes up for the same or similar names.

Lookup business names via ASIC.go.au. Check that there is no other business or company that has registered that exact name in your state or as a Pty Ltd.

Check with a domain registrar (like GoDaddy, Melbourne IT or Netregistry) to see what domain names are available to purchase. Sometimes your preferred domain name may already be taken, but the owner may be open to reselling it to you via the domain resellers market. You can think of this as someone buying a block of land, that they have chosen not to develop on. For the right price they will be willing to sell that land, or domain name in this instance, to you.

Avoid symbols or punctuation. Domain names can’t include such characters, so avoid using the ‘&’ sign or change it to be ‘and’.

Check what your name or domain name looks like written in lowercase with no spaces; you don’t want it to change its meaning. For example, Choose Spain might be a great travel business name but www.choosespain.com has a different connotation.

Think about your brand’s longevity. Your own name might be a great domain for today, but it might not be appropriate if you have plans to become an agency, franchise or global business.

Buy as many of the relevant and available TLDs as you can. You’ll only use one for your website but you can set the others up to redirect traffic your site. It also prevents any competitors from buying them and redirecting traffic intended for your business to their own website. This happened to me back in 2003 when I was running an online store, so beware! The cost to buy these extra variations of your website name are minimal and it might just save your business a lot of grief.

For a local business, the main domains to get for your TLD are:

.com
.com.au
.co.nz

As noted earlier, the domain industry is always changing and expanding, and there are new TLDs becoming available over time. For example, Australia will soon be making .au domains available – so your URL might become http://www.realestatecompany.au – in fact, New Zealand is already offering .nz domains.

If you already own the .com.au and .net.au domains its highly likely that you’ll be given first option to buy the corresponding .au domain, but you’ll still have to pay for it.

There are also a bunch of real estate domains you could consider, here are some I have unearthed based on key property words and terms:

.properties
.property
.estate
.build
.luxury
.space
.place
.town

If you’re building single-property websites and landing pages, you might consider:

.house (and if you are feeling French, .maison)
.homes
.land
.place
.villas
.apartments
.condos
.auction
.forsale
.sale
.bid
.lease

If you are building a presence within your local community:

.blog
.social
.community
.place
.market

If you are running events to promote your property services:

.events

If you offer related real estate services:

.mortgage
.loans
.insure
.financial

And here are some great alternatives to round off the end of your real estate company name:

.estate (add YOURNAMEreal.estate)
.management (add YOURNAMEproperty.management)
.rentals
.rent
.expert
.agency
.boutique
.partners
.network
.coop
.associates
.business
.biz
.co
.company
.holdings
.limited
.services

Think big….if you are feeling aspirational and what to pull out the big guns from the start!!

.global
.international
.vegas (maybe?!)

If you are based in Melbourne or Sydney you are lucky as these options are now available:

.melbourne
.sydney

Personal ones for individual real estate agent brands could be used such as:

.me
.name
.ceo
.coach
.guru
.pro

And if you want to express a bit of personality, here are the quirky ones (admittedly, these are fun, but probably not advisable for the serious business of real estate):

.rocks
.ninja
.cool
.fan
.rich

What if the domain I want is taken?

If all the domains you want are taken, you might be able to buy it from the current owner. Web ‘squatters’ aren’t the problem they used to be, and there are websites that re-sell domains such as Netregistry or Distribute IT, as well as sites that track expiring domains such as Expired Domain Tracker to help you get the domain you want.

Names are powerful

So there you have it. Do your homework and be prepared to consider alternative names for your business. Having a URL that matches your name is a powerful marketing tool and it’s worth making a few adjustments to get the right combination.

Want help building an online brand presence? Contact me for a free 1 hour phone chat, where I will review your online profiles.

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Melanie Hoole

Written by Melanie Hoole

Melanie specialises in helping real estate professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile, and implement inbound marketing activities to attract property owners planning to sell. If you are unsure which direction to take with your digital marketing – contact Melanie Hoole for help.

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