There’s been a lot in the media recently about the soon to be released unlimited Top Level Domains (TLDs). Shortly, companies, governments and cashed up businesses will be able to purchase .anything and then offer for sale domain names www.example.anything for the TLD they own.
Though this won’t be cheap, as to be considered as a potential TLD purchaser you must lay down a USD185,000 deposit and then pay an annual renewal fee of USD25,000. This does sound like a lot of money but when you think of the potential revenue (through the sale of domain names) then it could be a very good investment.
If we look at real estate the most searched term in our industry then .realestate will be the most highly prized TLD. Whoever succeeds in purchasing .realestate will then be able to sell domain names like www.australia.realestate, www.sydney.realestate, www.london.realestate, www.cheap.realestate, www.beach.realestate, www.luxury.realestate and so on. The potential revenues are extraordinary but this will come at a cost, as these domains are likely to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Meaning the likes or REA and Domain are tiny fish in a worldwide pool of potential purchasers for .realestate.
So how significant will the introduction of TLDs like www.anything.realestate or www.anything.properties be to the real estate industry? Some analyst suggest that people’s reliance on search engines will be diminished as instead of typing in “Sydney real estate” into google they can go to www.sydney.realestate. The same could be said for real estate portals as why would you go to REA or Domain to look for real estate in Sydney when you can simply go to www.sydney.realestate. In theory this could well be the case but in practice this does not always happen. It relies on the purchaser of these domains to hold all the content in that area/type eg Sydney. If all available property in Sydney does not appear on www.sydney.realestate then property seekers will have no choice but to continue using Realestate.com.au and Domain where they’re assured the largest representation of Sydney real estate will appear.
One thing is certain though. Those real estate agencies who get in first and purchase their suburb.realestate will have a significant advantage over their competitors, as these domains will certainly drive web traffic to their business.