After the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that they had secured the .realtor and .realestate top-level domains, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), in cooperation with NAR, has secured the right to the .MLS top-level domain.
This means that no one outside of the industry may secure the top-level domain and thereby dictate the rules of use for the domain.
Keeping the domain in the Realtor family
“It was important to keep the .MLS domain in the Realtor® family, and NAR was happy to work with our Canadian cousins in this effort,” said NAR President Chris Polychron. “As Realtors® on both sides of the border, we all stand together to create order for real estate information on the Internet and give our members the online advantages they need to best serve their clients and customers.”
CREA President Beth Crosbie said, “Owning the .MLS domain protects the integrity of what the MLS® trademark signifies to Realtors®, consumers and real estate boards and associations.”
How the domain was secured
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the governing body of top-level domains, and securing one takes years and endless paperwork. The .MLS win marks the third top-level domain now under NAR’s umbrella, done so through the RIN (Realtors Information Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of NAR).
The MLS Domains Association, a nonprofit group of 55 U.S. multiple-listing services, was also in support of CREA’s application. Second Generation assisted NAR and CREA in obtaining the .MLS domain. A Cleveland investment firm and registry operator for the top-level domain .JOBS, Second Generation also worked with NAR to secure the .realestate and .REALTOR domains.
What’s next and why
Watch for NAR to grab more top-level domains not as a power play, but as an effort to protect the Realtor brand and play a role in overseeing the use of the domains as the internet begins to organize itself in a meaningful way with new top-level domains.