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How to Choose the Right Domain Name For Your Real Estate Business

April 06 2022

web address urlThe domain name you choose for your real estate business's website is a crucial yet challenging decision for any agent to make. Your domain name goes on all of your marketing materials, business cards, email signatures, and more. The name you choose will give an impression of your brand's professionalism and personality, so it is crucial to get it right.

However, beyond how it looks and sounds, the real challenge can come from choosing between domains that aren't in use. With thousands of single-agent and brokerage websites out there, it can be discouraging to stand out and settle on a name that feels just right.

Before rushing into a decision that will heavily affect your real estate business, consider the following best practices when it comes to choosing your domain name:

Keep It Short

A short URL will always perform better for your real estate brand than a longer one. For starters, short URLs are easy to remember, meaning that even when not physically written out, your customers will be able to recall them. Having a domain that is easy to repeat in conversation can be especially useful when giving information over the phone or in person. Real estate is the business of relationships, after all!

Second, a short URL will always look better on your real estate brand's marketing. Long URLs can hamper design elements on business cards, email signatures, social media, and more. Additionally, having a long URL can put you in the unfortunate position of leaving off important information due to character limits on these mediums. Consider that you may also be hosting your email address under this domain name, meaning your email address will get longer and more challenging to remember as well.

To get a shorter URL that is still descriptive, try using abbreviations or acronyms that people searching for your business may use. For example, instead of www.SouthCaliforniaHomes.com you can try www.SoCalHomes.com.

Go for Clarity

While it's best to keep your domain name short, it's also important not to shorten it to the point where it doesn't make sense. For example, swapping out a number for a word like SoCalHomes4sale.com may be more confusing to clients trying to type in your URL, and they may end up on a competitor's website or at a 404 error page, which can be a detriment to their experience and ultimately result in a lack of trust.

The same can happen if you choose a domain name with words that have common misspellings or include many hyphens between words. It's best to keep your domain name as simple, short, and straightforward as possible.

An easy way to keep your real estate domain name simple and memorable is to opt for a .com extension rather than a .net or .realestate. People tend to remember .com much more than the other extensions and will try that first when remembering your URL, so don't work against them.

Another element to consider is how descriptive your domain name is to those looking for your real estate service. By choosing your first and last name as your real estate domain name, you're not making it clear what services you offer. However, by choosing a more descriptive name, you can be more precise on your brand's objective and capture the market on a specific audience you cater to.

Including these descriptive keywords will help with clarity and your website's SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Think about it; people don't search for specific Realtor names when starting their home search. Instead, they search keywords like "homes for sale in (city name)" or "best realtor in (city name)." The domain name you choose can help you rank for these common searches to get the most traffic.

Think of the Long Term

Thinking ahead to the future of your business and your brand can save you hassle and time later down the road and inform your decision today. Since your domain name is a part of your brand identity and online identity, it is crucial to pick a name that can age with your brand.

For example, you may not always stay with the same brokerage or even take on a partner or expand your business. It's essential to ensure that the domain name will withstand the test of time and changes that will inevitably come. Plus, if you decide to pass your business along to another person, this will be difficult if your name ties into every aspect.

Do Your Research

Similar to how you may warn your clients not to fall in love with a property before inspection, don't fall in love with a domain name before you've gone through your assessment. One important thing to look out for is a domain name that has had previous use by someone before you. If the domain previously hosted spammy content or something completely unrelated to your business, it could negatively affect your SEO.

Another thing to look out for is the use of trademarks in your domain. The most famous example is the use of the word "realtor." "Realtor" is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors. There are rules for how real estate professionals can use it in a domain name, and when not followed, it could result in legal action against you. Make sure that you aren't using any possible trademarks in your domain before committing to it.

The last factor to look into that may sway your real estate domain name decision is social media. If the social media handles for one domain are not available, it may be easier to consider others for the sake of consistency in your brand. Social media handles may not be much of a factor to some, but still worth looking into in today's dominant social media age.

To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.