What it is:
On May 12, 2016, the top-level domain (TLD) “.Homes” became available to purchase for residential real estate businesses. A top-level domain is the value which comes after the ‘dot’ for a website address. For example, in the fictional address www.LippittOkeefe.Homes, the top-level domain is Homes. The registry operator (ie. the wholesaler of a domain name) of the .Homes TLD is Dominion Registries (“Dominion”), and can be found at www.domains.homes. Dominion manages the registration of the domain names and operates the domain names themselves. The .Homes TLD is available exclusively to individuals and entities providing products, services, or information connected with the real estate industry. This includes, but is not limited to, real estate agents, multiple list services (MLS), mortgage professionals, builders, property inspectors, property manages, and real estate associations. This is the first-ever release of the .Homes TLD.
The foremost benefit of registering for a .Homes TLD is the legitimacy provided by Dominion Registries’ pledge to validate every applicant to ensure they are actually in the real estate business. The resulting advantage for registrants of the .Homes TLD is credibility and trust among both consumers searching for their next real estate-related service and with other real estate industry members. Being able to trust information obtained from Internet sources is crucial in an industry where individuals are making some of the most consequential decisions of their lives.
Another benefit of registering for a .Homes TLD is the opportunity to adopt a suitable domain name that is unavailable in connection with traditional generic TLD’s such as .com or .org. For instance, if www.dreamhomes.com is unavailable, an individual may be able to register instead for the site www.dream.homes.
What you need to do:
Purchasing a .Homes TLD is a fairly simple process. To begin, interested parties should seek out an accredited registrar or reseller. There are several accredited registrars and resellers where prospective purchases can buy a .Homes domain name; a list of these providers is located on Dominion’s website. Prospective purchasers can register and buy .Homes TLDs through these approved sites. As stated previously, .Homes is available only to entities and individuals that provide products and services to the real estate industry. All registrants must be validated by Dominion. A prospective purchaser of the .Homes TLD must be in compliance with the eligibility requirements and registration policies which can be found here. Dominion may require information to verify a purchaser’s eligibility within 10 days of a .Homes domain name purchase. Domain names will be held in a “pending” status for the 10-day period before they are verified by Dominion.
Registrants can also apply for consideration into Dominion’ “Pioneer Program.” Registrants selected for the Pioneer Program will be involved directly with Dominion’s marketing of the .Homes TLD. Dominion’s goals for this program are to increase public awareness of the .Homes TLD, educate the public about the benefits of .Homes websites, and promote the companies selected to participate in the program. Further details regarding the program can be found on the .Homes website.
*It is important to note that applicants for .Homes TLDs are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.