In recent years, new top-level domains (TLDs) or domain extensions have become available for businesses and individuals including the .realtor domain extension. As such, many real estate professionals have questions regarding the availability of .realtor domains and how to implement one into a website or email address.
What Are Top-Level Domains (TLDs)?
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) – a subsidiary of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – is responsible for managing the top-level domains used on the internet. Most individuals are familiar with the standard top-level domains such as .com, .net or .org.
In recent years, ICANN has opened up a number of new TLDs, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) successfully applied to secure and manage the .realtor top-level domain. Note: NAR has partnered with The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) on this initiative.
In October of 2014, NAR began permitting real estate professionals to acquire .realtor domain names for use in websites and email.
NAR is also in the process of acquiring the rights to other top-level domains such as .home and .realestate.
How Do You Get A .Realtor Domain?
You cannot register a .realtor domain name through typical domain registrars such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions. .realtor domains are only distributed through NAR’S website at www.claim.realtor. The website at www.about.realtor has also been created to distribute more information about the .realtor domains.
There are restrictions on the domain that you can register. You must be a member of NAR, and the domain must be for your personal name. In other words, www.johndoe.realtor is permitted, but www.atlanta.realtor is not.
The pricing for the .realtor domains begin at $39.95/year. Discounts are available for multiple domain purchases as well as multi-year registrations.
Note that NAR began the process by giving away 500,000 .realtor domains. As of this article’s writing there were still over 400,000 free domains available. Check out www.claim.realtor to see if you can snag a .realtor domain free of charge (for one year).
Do You Need A .Realtor Domain?
There’s no technical advantage to using a .realtor domain versus a .com domain. If you have an existing website or email address, switching to a .realtor domain is not necessary unless you determine that you prefer the .realtor domain or find that there is a better, more simple domain name available to you via the .realtor domain extension.
It’s also not mandatory that you implement a registered domain into a website immediately. Real estate professionals may choose to claim a .realtor domain in order to secure the domain name for later use.
Creating a .Realtor Website
Once you register your .realtor domain, to map your domain to a website hosted elsewhere, you’ll need to modify the DNS settings on the domain. This is managed on the claim.realtor website itself. When registering your .realtor domain, you’ll create an account. To manage the domain settings including the DNS settings, you will need to login to this same account.
Currently, the only way to point your .realtor domain to an outside host is by changing the nameservers on the domain. For most situations, this works well.
For the situations where you need to modify the DNS Zone File to point to a specific IP address, you’ll need to point the nameservers to a third-party, then modify the DNS Zone File on that third-party. If you’re being forced to create a hosting account elsewhere simply to modify the DNS Zone File, a great option is Namecheap.com’s FreeDNS offering. With it, you can point your .realtor domain to Namecheap using the custom nameserver values, then edit the DNS Zone File on your FreeDNS account to point the website to a specific IP address. This can be done without acquiring the cost of yet another hosting account (The FreeDNS product is free of charge).
Do you have any questions on .realtor websites? Please contact us today.