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 domain name belongs to our friend Bruce Ailion, and with more than 30 years in the game and a thriving brokerage, not something he’s going to give up anytime soon.
So that means newer agents are stuck with domain names like realestate12345xxyy.xom right?
Not so fast. In fact, if you follow the tips and tricks in this article we can help you find a domain name that will work for your entire career.
1. The Best Names Are Already Taken
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 Realtor to try and find a good domain name in your farm area! In reality, there have likely been Realtors 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,
2. A Good Real Estate Domain Name is Memorable
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, make sure the name is memorable.
A good rule of thumb here is to tell a friend of 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 Domains Are Free!
A beautiful sunrise…a great conversation…. a moonlit stroll on the beach… there’s no question that the best things in life are free. Luckily, in 2019 that includes awesome real estate domain names.
All you need to do to get yours is to search for the perfect name on Bluehost, and sign up for their amazing $3.95 per month web hosting.
Since you’re probably going to be there awhile, click below to open Bluehost in a new tab so you can finish the article. Don’t worry, we’ll still be here when you get back!
4. Add Action Words to Your Brand Name
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 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?
5. Forget SEO: Domain Authority on Google Can Take YEARS to Build
The cold harsh truth about the almost religious promises that some marketers make about 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 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?
6. Make Sure it Sounds Like a Professional Brand
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
Ever since it was introduced, the TDL (top level domain name, think .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 non profit 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 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”.
8. Avoid Unique Spelling or Symbols
With so many good real estate domain names already taken, it can be tempting to add a funny spelling, or god forbid, a hyphen to your name. Unless someone has a literal 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 can lead to people confusing your site for another real estate site with a simpler name.
9. Think Twice Before Using Your Personal Branding as Your Real Estate Domain Name
While using your personal branding as your domain can work great, you might want 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.
10. Choose a .Com Name, But Remember to Buy Out Other TLDs
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, (or get a free domain from Bluehost) always try and buy out the other TLD of the same domain. This way if someone types in the wrong TLD or god forbid, 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, and Instagram Accounts Under the Same Name
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.
Okay, I know we said you can get a free domain name like 5 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! Who knows, you might even compete with Zillow!
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.
13. Make Sure Your Domain Name Isn’t Taken on Google My Business
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
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.
The biggest myth by far is that adding your local town name will help you rank on Google. 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 simple ways (like Schema and Google My Business) to let Google know what’s up.
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.
15. Make Sure There Are No Hidden Meanings in Your Domain Name
Unless your goal as a Realtor is to make junior high school boys giggle, then you’re going to want to make extra sure there are no hidden meanings in your domain name.
While you may not be trying to make your clients blush with your domain name, sometimes when you take two perfectly innocent words and put them together… well, you end up with something not so innocent.
Here are a few notorious examples. Can you spot why they would make a roomful of teenagers burst into laughter?
Oh, and please don’t look up these websites. 🙉🙈🙊 They are here for instructive purposes only!
Over to You
Have a tip for choosing a catchy real estate domain name we missed? Let us know in the comments.