Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

If you follow the tips and tricks in this article, it will help you in picking a real estate domain name that will work for your entire career.

How to pick a domain name for real estate

Like anything rare and desirable, good real estate domain names can be crazy expensive, or even worse, impossible to get at any price. After all, you’re not the first agent to think of buying locationlocationlocation.com.

Nope. That prized real estate domain name belongs to Bruce Ailion, and with more than 30 years in the game and a thriving brokerage, it’s not something he’s going to give up anytime soon.

So that means newer agents are stuck with real estate domain name like realestate12345xxyy.com right?

How to pick a good real estate domain name

1. The Best Real Estate Domain Names Are Already Taken

Pug

Let’s just get this right out in the open before we dig any deeper. Yes, the rumors are true! You are not the first real estate agent to try to find a good domain name in your farm area! In reality, there have likely been real estate agents and speculators trying for obscure local domain names in your area for more than a decade.

Don’t freak out, though. We’re not telling you this so you’ll get discouraged, but to keep you from wasting time searching for the “perfect” domain name.

2. A Good Real Estate Domain Name Is Memorable

picking a Good Real Estate Domain Name

Let’s face it—at some point in your career, people are going to ask you what your website is. If you want people to actually visit your site, you need to make sure the name is memorable.

A good rule of thumb here is to tell a friend or colleague what your domain name is and see what their reaction is. If their first response is something like, “What?!” then that’s a pretty good sign that you need to go back to the drawing board. If they can remember your domain name two weeks later, on the other hand, chances are you’ve got a winner on your hands.

3. Like the Best Things in Life, Great Real Estate Domains Are Cheap!

Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

GoDaddy sells domain names from as little as $0.99 – for a .com real estate domain name you’re going to pay a max of $11.99 (unless it’s a premium domain name).

Several times a week during consultations I’m asked if the Realtor should purchase multiple domain names for their real estate website.

Your domain name has very little SEO value. It’s not like it used to be. You cant just buy the domain name and stick a few keywords on the page – that’s not what Google is looking for. They’re after content, relevent, fresh content.

An example that I give during almost every consultation is: If you google Laptops – you’re going to get hp.com, dell.com, ibm.com – none of these domain names contain laptops. Zillow.com doesn’t contain real estate – nor does coldwellbanker.com remax.com c21.com, etc. etc. – you get my drift.

Rather than pointing multiple domains to a number of small websites, you should build one very high quality website that is the hub (center) of your online presence. All roads lead back to the website.

On the other hand, there is some benefit in buying up good domain names to keep them our of the hands of your competitors. You can always just point them to your website.

Also, keep an eye on expiring domain names in your market – you might be able to snag some that other agents forgot to renew.

4. Add Action Words to Your Brand Name

Benjamin Mizes

Have a super-common name or brand name and need a .com? Don’t sweat it, get creative. That’s what Clever Real Estate Founder Benjamin Mizes did. Since clever.anything was snapped up back in the AOL days, he decided to boil down his core goals and incorporate that into his domain name.

The result was listwithclever.com, a website with a domain that was easy to remember, catchy, used his brand name, and even better, managed to convey what he wants his visitors to do. List their properties with his company.

Pretty well, clever, right? If you want to do something similar, make a list of action words and short phrases that might work with your name or brand. List with, sell with, buy with, work with—use your imagination and you might snag yourself a real estate domain name that ticks all the boxes in this article.

Not bad, right?

Here are a few options for integrating action words into your brand and domain name. We’ll use “Joe Smith” as the personal brand:

Soldbyjoesmith.com
Workwithjoesmith.com
Listwithjoesmith.com
Buywithjoesmith.com
Workwithjoesmith.com
Findhomewithjoesmith.com
Youragentjoesmith.com
JoesmithsellsMiami.com
Joesmithhelpsyousell.com
Joesmithclosesfaster.com
Joesmithsells.com
Joesmithtoprealtor.com
Joesmithmakesiteasy.com
Joesmithsellshouses.com

5. Forget SEO: Domain Authority on Google Can Take YEARS to Build

thinking skeleton Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

The cold harsh truth about the almost religious promises that some marketers make about search engine optimization (SEO) is that they’re just wrong. Like, really wrong.

In fact, ranking your website or even a page on your website for any keywords that might get you leads is not only hard, but often effectively impossible.

Think about it. You’re not only competing for that front page space with every single agent in your farm area, but with some of the oldest and largest websites online today. I hate to say it, but when the fight is Joe Agent vs Zillow, Zillow is going to win every time.

In fact, even getting to the fight can take years. That’s because Google doesn’t just look at keywords when ranking pages for a particular keyword. If they did, then the first result for every search would be “what you searched”.com. Instead, they use a complex algorithm that weights your website’s value based on how old it is, how much spam is on it, keywords, and how many other sites link to it.

So don’t stuff keywords into your domain name unless they sound good and make sense for your brand. Ranchhousesforsaleindallas.com doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? It also doesn’t provide Google users looking for ranch houses in Dallas the best answer either.

Don’t Give Up on SEO Entirely, Though

Don’t get me wrong—just because I’m saying (from experience) that ranking on Google for good keywords is difficult and will take work doesn’t mean you should just give up on SEO entirely. You should always follow SEO best practices on your blog, and engage in PR to get backlinks. Just know that you have to be in it for the long haul for any SEO you do to pay off.

6. Make Sure It Sounds Like a Professional Brand

Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

One of the main goals of real estate marketing is to get your leads into an environment you can control. That’s why closings generally happen in a conference room rather than, say, someone’s living room. It’s also why getting people on the phone is way better than chatting on Facebook.

After all, if you can control the environment, you can subtly edge people into making a choice that leads to a desired outcome. Ideally, this is what your website is for. It’s an environment you can control and hopefully convince people to enter their contact info, or better yet, pick up the phone.

Of course, no one is going to trust an environment that doesn’t sound professional. You could have the best designed landing pages in the universe, but if they’re on “johhny2222realtorzz.org,” then your leads might be (justifiably) leery about giving you their personal information.

If you don’t have a professional real estate name to work with, check out our real estate company name generator for inspiration.

7. Using the .Realtor TLD Will Not Help You Rank on Google Either … YET

watch

Ever since it was introduced, the TDL (top-level domain name like .com, .net .org) .realtor has been hyped well beyond its sell-by date. Again, like with SEO, the idea that a .realtor domain name will help you rank on Google is about as true as claiming the earth is flat.

In fact, most experts agree that Google only really treats local country domains like .uk and nonprofit domains like .org differently than all the others. That said, others say that Google doesn’t treat ANY TDLs differently and only ranks sites by metadata or other information.

While the truth might be somewhere in between today, that doesn’t mean this won’t change in the future. In fact, Google has even met privately with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to discuss helping listings on Realtor’s websites outrank the same listings on Zillow and Trulia. While this is still just speculation, one of the ways Google might try doing that is placing more value on websites with .realtor TDLs.

I would still caution against using the .realtor TDL as it seems like “What?!” is the natural response when telling someone your website is “janelovesrealestate.realtor.” Even though it’s been around for a few years now, almost no one we know uses it, for good reason.

That said, if you can manage to create a real estate domain name where the word “Realtor” ends a sentence, then it might work. For example, “Bayarea.realtor” kind of makes sense. So does something like “Ojaisbest.realtor.” Or maybe even “YourDallas.realtor.”

8. Avoid Unique Spelling or Symbols

Signboard asking Why

With so many good real estate domain names already taken, it can be tempting to add a funky spelling, or God forbid, a hyphen to your name. Unless someone literally has a gun to your head, you should resist this temptation at all costs.

You only need to think for a minute or so in order to understand why. It makes your name harder to remember, it doesn’t look professional, and it can lead to people confusing your site for another real estate site with a simpler name.

So if you come up with a clever domain name like reeealestate.com, chances are people are going to miss an E and Google will suggest the obvious “realestate.com” instead. As a general rule of thumb, if someone needs you to clarify how to spell your domain more than once, it’s not a good name.

9. Think Twice Before Using Your Personal Branding as Your Real Estate Domain Name

beach

While using your personal branding as your domain can work great, you might want to think twice before clicking on that “buy” button on Bluehost.

After all, are you sure that the brand you came up with two months ago is going to work for you and your business six months from now? What about six years from now?

What happens if you expand your farm area? What happens if you end up moving? What happens if you start a team?

You can avoid the branded domain expiration date problem by choosing a brand that focuses on your name, general real estate terms, or better yet, a combination of the two.

“Joesmithsellsrealestate.com” will work anywhere you move, and for your entire career. “Joesmithsellsmiami.com” will sound pretty silly if you end up moving to Colorado.

10. Choose a .Com Name, But Remember to Buy Out Other TLDs

playing chess

Sadly, even though lots of well-intentioned people worked very hard to come up with new TLDs, pretty much everyone is still conditioned to see anything besides .com as inferior and maybe even untrustworthy.

That means you’re going to have to get creative if you want a .com domain name. For most people, the most creative combination of words they have is their names—unless you happen to be named something very common like John Smith. Then you’re going to have to get creative. Sorry! Hey, look, “johnsmithsellshouses.com” is available.

Once you buy your .com domain (try GoDaddy) always try to buy out the other TLD of the same domain. This way, if someone types in the wrong TLD or you become so successful rival agents buy up variations of your domain and hold them for ransom, you’re covered.

You can either set them up to link to your .com page, or just sit on them and hope they increase in value like a fine wine. Well, that’s not very likely, but the cost of a few cups of coffee is worth the peace of mind.

11. Make Sure You Can Get Twitter, Facebook & Instagram Accounts Under the Same Name

Instagram Account

Even if you have a great domain name, asking your sphere to remember obscure social media account names with dashes and numbers is a little rude. Well, maybe not rude, but at the very least you will guarantee they don’t memorize your social media accounts.

Instead, try to come up with a domain that you can get social media accounts for. While it becomes increasingly difficult by the day, just keep it as a goal in the back of your head when coming up with domain names.

12. Can’t Find a Catchy Real Estate Domain Name? Buy One.

dollar bills

OK, I know we said you can get a free domain name like five paragraphs up, but at the end of the day, you gotta do you. That means that if you’ve worked long and hard at creating the perfect brand you KNOW will kick butt online, then buying a real estate domain instead of getting one for free might make sense.

As an added bonus, you might be able to buy an old domain name that already has a link profile indexed by Google, which means you might start out WAY ahead of your competition for the front page! Doubtful, but possible.

Of course, you’re going to have to shell out some big bucks for the top-shelf names. Don’t think that we lucked out and got an amazing domain like theclose.com by accident. Nope, we shelled out a surprisingly large amount of money for it.

Just make sure to kick the tires on any domain that you buy. Use a tool like Moz to make sure it does not have a high spam score on Google, has a decent domain authority, and isn’t loaded up with Russian bot spam.

13. Make Sure Your Domain Name Isn’t Taken on Google My Business

Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

Since you need to be THE local expert, one of the first things you should do before clicking yes on that new domain name is see if anyone else is using it locally.

While trademark law can be tricky, having someone else using your name in your farm area is a non-starter, no matter what the law says. Just think, people searching for your business will find theirs first, and unless you have some serious money to spend on SEO, that’s not going to change anytime soon.

14. Using a Local City or Neighborhood Name Might NOT Help You Rank on Google

Picking A Real Estate Domain Name

Want to know a secret most SEO companies will never tell you? A huge percentage of the work they do is based on nothing but guesswork. Even worse, a guess that might be right on Monday might not be right on Wednesday, and might even switch BACK again on Saturday!

So that means pretty much all of the “rules” that “social media experts” will swear by are the online equivalent of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Some guess better than others, but at the end of the day, they’re still guessing.

The biggest myth by far is that adding your local town name will help you rank on Google local searches. Again, there is no hard evidence to back this up. It might work, it might not.

Yes, Google looks for clues to figure out who ranks for what, but there are simpler ways (like Schema and Google My Business) to let Google know what’s up. Google is also getting smarter every day, so “tricks” like this may work for now, but you can bet your next commission check they won’t work forever.

So … should you or shouldn’t you? Well, I would say that if you can squeeze that town name in and it sounds professional and is easy to remember, then go for it. Of course, if the only way you can include it leaves you with a 60-character domain name with hyphens … yeah, not going to work.

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