.REALTOR Top Level Domain (TLD) Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is NAR pursuing a TLD for real estate?
A: To make it easier for home buyers, sellers and investors to locate a trusted valued source of real estate information, resources and services online, NAR has applied for the branded .REALTOR top-level domain (TLD) as an alternative to the commonly used .com and .org.
NAR believes the new domain name will create a more positive experience for consumers who are seeking expert information and services and want to ensure they are working with a REALTOR®, a real estate professional committed to abide by a strict Code of Ethics. Given the Internet’s convenience and round-the-clock accessibility, REALTORS® know that every year a growing number of consumers turn to the Internet as a source of information. According to NAR research, nearly nine out of 10 recent buyers used the Internet in their home search process.
NAR has also entered into an exclusive marketing partnership with The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the exclusive licensors of the REALTOR® mark in Canada. REALTOR® members of CREA will also be able to use the domain, making .REALTOR truly North American in scope.
NAR, through Real Estate Domains LLC (RED), has filed with ICANN for the .REALTOR TLD. RED was created for the sole purpose of applying for and operating the .REALTOR TLD. NAR has also submitted applications for the .realestate and .home top level domains through a partnership of its wholly owned subsidiary, the REALTORS® Information Network (RIN) and DotHome, LLC.
Q: Why is this important to REALTORS®?
A: When a consumer visits a .REALTOR domain in the future we want them to be assured that the registrant is a credible, trusted information source and real estate professional. In the U.S. only real estate licensees, who are members of NAR and subscribe to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics can call themselves REALTORS®. REALTORS® are the most trusted, valued source for real estate related information, and the .REALTOR TLD will extend that trust on-line. In Canada the same will be true for CREA members and the CREA Code of Ethics.
The top-level domain will also deliver additional branding and marketing value to REALTOR® members and affiliates.
Q: Who is ICANN?
A: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed as an International organization in 1998 to coordinate the Internet’s unique identifiers around the world. They develop policies dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable.
In early 2011, ICANN approved an expansion of the number of generic TLDs, which included allowing companies and organizations to create domains for their brands. NAR has been following this initiative since ICANN first began considering the introduction of a new round of gTLDs in 2005.
Q: Who is Second Generation LTD?
A: Second Generation, Ltd. (Second Gen) is an Embrescia family investment firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio and the owner and registry operator for the top-level domain .jobs, which is sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. As an early adopter, NAR has partnered and worked closely with Second Gen for over 7 years, throughout the gTLD application, review and development process to bring the .REALTOR solution to the real estate industry. For over three decades, Second Gen and its affiliates have owned and operated FCC licensed radio and television properties serving markets throughout the United States as well as investing in manufacturing, real estate and medical innovations.
Q: When will the .REALTOR domain become available?
A: Final approval for the new top-level domains is anticipated sometime in 2013. The application period for gTLDs ran from January 12 through May 30, 2012. It is estimated by ICANN that the application evaluation and approval process will take anywhere from 9 to 20 months. Once approved, NAR plans to distribute additional information on how and when domains in the new extensions will be made available.
Q: Who will be eligible to register one?
A: Domains in the new extensions would be available for registration to REALTOR® members (agents and brokers); local and state REALTOR® associations; association multiple listing services; affiliated institutes, societies and councils; and other NAR-approved licensees.
Q: How much will they cost?
A: NAR is currently planning to provide the first 500,000 members who register with a complimentary 1st year subscription to one domain name. Members would be able to secure a .REALTOR domain using their name on a first come first served basis. Further details, including pricing for additional domains and other related products will be announced at a later date.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: Additional information will be distributed at www.REALTOR.org/TLD as it becomes available.
Q: What are the Key Benefits of doing this?
A: REALTORS® and consumers will benefit in the following ways:
1. A .REALTOR TLD will bring order and consistency to the currently disorganized real estate space on the Internet.
2. Establishes a branded destination for consumers, ensuring they’re dealing with a REALTOR®.
3. Empowers NAR to set standards of professionalism and use that differentiates the .REALTOR domain from all others.
4. Builds a TLD that establishes .REALTOR as the trusted source when searching for real estate information on-line.
5. Provides an Internationally recognizable brand to differentiate REALTORS® and the organized real estate community from others.
6. Positions REALTORS® with a competitive edge in the on-line real estate space, potentially enabling future creation of a search engine making it easier for consumers to locate REALTORS® and real estate services.
7. Offers individual REALTORS® a unique solution to further leverage their on-line brand, with the added support of a stronger REALTOR® brand.
8. Strengthens and supports existing broker and franchise brands, while concurrently leveraging the REALTOR® brand.
Q: Is it anticipated that REALTORS® will cease using existing .com and .org domains once the .REALTOR domain become available?
A: No, members will be able to continue using their current domain names for as long as they wish. Over time, members may choose to redirect traffic to their new .REALTOR domains as consumer search patterns and full adoption advance.
A new era is dawning in the use of the Internet. While the expansion in number of TLDs is not expected to affect the way the Internet operates, it will potentially change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence.
Q: Is applying for a new gTLD the same as buying a domain name?*
A: No. Currently organizations and individuals around the world can register second-level and, in some cases, third level domain names. The application for a new gTLD is a much more complex process. An applicant for a new gTLD is, in fact, applying to create and operate a registry business supporting the Internet’s domain name system. This involves a number of significant responsibilities, as the operator of a new gTLD is running a piece of visible Internet infrastructure.
Q: What is a top-level domain (TLD)?*
A: Every domain name around the world ends with a top-level domain (TLD); these are the 2 or more letters that come after the dot. There are currently two types of TLDs: generic top-level domain (gTLDs) such as .com, .mobi, and .info, and country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as .uk, .br, and .cn. A gTLD or a ccTLD is managed by a registry operator, an organization that maintains the registry database, including the nameserver information for names registered in the TLD.
Q: What are second-level and third-level domain names?*
A: The portion of the domain name that precedes the top-level domain is called the second-level domain name (for example, the "icann" in "icann.org"). There are also third-level domain names that appear before the second-level domain name and again are separated by a dot (for example, events.icann.org). Third-level domain names are also called sub-domains and are often used to categorize special sections of a website.
Q: What is a gTLD?*
A: gTLD stands for generic Top-Level Domain. What Internet users see as an Internet extension such as .com, .org, or .info. They are part of the structure of the Internet's domain name system. The gTLDs are also sometimes called labels, strings, or extensions.
* Source ICANN gTLD Domains Fact Sheet.
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