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- Domains 101
Are you a real estate agent looking for better ways to memorably brand your business? In an age where personal referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are key channels for new business, having a memorable and easy to communicate website address is essential. Add in the trust and reinforcement of expertise in having a .homes domain extension and it's no surprise agents across the country have gravitated towards this branding tool.
A few questions well-established agents ask when considering purchase and usage of a new domain:
The great news is that nothing really has to change in most circumstances with a decision on the primary domain set, any additional domains can simply be parked on top of an existing domain or redirected so that anyone typing in e.g. agentname.homes is automatically and seamlessly redirected to agentnamerealty.com (or whatever the current domain format might be).
A domain can also be used in an email address, for example firstname.lastname@example.org. This further branding opportunity exists for any domain extension with the simple setup of an email account. For most websites, the hosting company or the domain provider can quickly setup an account and provide the settings for your phone and/or desktop email application so you can receive emails on the go or at your home or office. Just like a valuable and unique domain name, the associated .homes email address works to underscore your expertise in the housing industry at most customer touch points.
As with any branding exercise, consistency is key. A new .homes URL will potentially replace current branding, but there will be a transition period during which time consistent communication to new and existing clients will reinforce the new domain. Updating business cards, email signature, local business chambers and other local marketing channels will be important to ensure a smooth and painless rebrand of web presence.
In some cases, agents prefer to keep their existing domain and simply use the .homes domain as a word-of-mouth tool (easier to remember), and only redirect the .homes domain to their current site. In our experience, both ideas have merit and depend on the current domain in use (is it memorable, simple and easy to communicate?), versus usage and value for new agents or agents looking to change locations, focus or brand.
There are a few different domain extensions we recommend (e.g. casa, house, properties, apartments, rentals) for different aspects of housing professionals including real estate agents, home services providers, builders, contractors and other home-related businesses. Although each has their strengths (and there's still some people that prefer a .com domain), we've seen in many homes-focused businesses a quick and consistent uptake and renewal of .homes domains indicating the value of this cyber 'real estate' that gives a unique and powerful statement of homes' expertise. Like most branding decisions, each business is different, but .homes domains give agents who might have missed location-specific .com opportunities another avenue to compete in local searches and local mindsets.
Feel free to reach out to one of our domain specialists at (757) 744-3000 [8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST] or send us an email using the Contact Us form. We look forward to hearing from you!