Recently, we announced that the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) was in the process of securing the top-level domain (TLD) .REALTOR, and that we had partnered with NAR to bring .REALTOR to members in both countries later this year.
Since then, we have received many great questions from members across the country. We can group these questions into four key themes:
1. What exactly is .REALTOR?
It all starts with The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), whose mandate is to ensure there’s only one internet:
“To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer — a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn’t have one global Internet.”
In the past, ICANN has given us TLDs like .com, .org, .net and all the country specific ones like .ca. But to further organize the internet, ICANN will release more than a 1,000 TLDs within the next couple years. So .clothes, .books, .apartments, and so on. Even .ninja will soon be available (I have to admit, I like the sound of PatrickPichette.ninja).
2. OK, so what’s the big deal?
Let us show you:
To summarize, it will make it easier for home buyers, sellers and investors to locate a trusted source of real estate information and online services. You will still be able to use your .com or .ca if you like, but you will now have the option of also having a .REALTOR point to your website.
.REALTOR could also have a significant impact on Google – which more than 90% of Canadians use to find information. For example, .edu, a TLD reserved for accredited postsecondary institutions in the U.S., has helped Google understand what is an accredited institution vs one that is not (just Google ‘American universities’ to see what I mean). Similarly, using .REALTOR will help Google understand who on the web is a trusted real estate professional.
3. How will registration work?
NAR is in the process of developing a registration system uniquely for .REALTOR. In other words, you will not register your domain(s) through services like GoDaddy.
This is great news, as it will prevent .REALTOR from turning into the “wild wild west”, as registrations will only be possible under a set of rules defined by NAR and CREA.
CREA members should not pre-register or pay money to an outside domain registration company (like GoDaddy) for a .REALTOR domain because NAR (on behalf of CREA) will oversee registrations for .REALTOR later this year. Only CREA members are eligible for a .REALTOR domain name in Canada and membership will be verified via a unique identifier at registration.
We expect registration to be open to all members within the next few months. Full details, pricing and registration rules will be shared as they become available.
4. Why should I sign-up for the priority list?
The priority list provides one benefit to REALTOR® members from both countries: a 72-hour head start to register a domain(s) before other members. It does not reserve or guarantee your preferred domain name(s), but it does improve your odds.
Signing-up for the priority list will also improve your chances of getting a free domain name by being one of the first 10,000 CREA members to register.
Priority list registration ends March 31, 2014: REALTORLink.ca/dotREALTOR