Securing your own custom domain for your website is CRUCIAL to your branding!
As a business owner, your “brand”–the image of yourself or your business that you communicate to potential or actual clients or customers through advertising and actions–is terribly important.
One of the most important, and easiest, steps to building a strong brand is making sure that your website has a custom domain.
KW provides two websites to agents, and the addresses on those are KW-branded, ending in “kwrealty.com” and “kw.com” (or “kellerwilliamsrealty.ca” in Canada).
Since you are an independent contractor and business owner, it is a good idea to brand your website address to yourself as strongly as possible, removing the KW branding.
For example: www.ScottLeRoyMarketing.com versus ScottLeRoyMarketing.KW.com
This is done by purchasing and connecting a custom domain to your KW site(s) so that the address you publish on marketing materials is branded solely for you, rather than including the KW branding.
What should I choose for my domain name?”
Choosing a domain name is a very personal decision, and is unique to each and every business owner.
For this reason, we wouldn’t presume to try to tell you, the business owner, what to choose for your domain name.
However, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to choose something that is both unique, and easy to remember, since it’s very possible that your marketing materials may remain in view of your potential clients for just a few seconds (or less!).
Therefore something catchy like www.HomesByLeRoy.com or www.ScottSimplySells.com would be a great idea, versus something that has “search tags” in it but is long and hard to remember or type like www.TheBestHomesToBuySellOrRentInBeverlyHillsCalifornia.com.
Are there any restrictions to what I can choose for my domain name?
One VERY BIG thing to keep in mind when choosing your domain name is that both KW International, and your local MLS board, have restrictions as to what is allowed to be used in a custom domain name.
In the vast majority of cases, using the words “REALTOR”, “REALTY’, “Agent” and sometimes “real estate” or “realestate” in your custom domain can result in a compliance violation, and potentially fines.
What if I were to leave KW for another company?
A custom domain belongs to you, and you only. KW is not connected to your domain in any way, and you retain ownership if you do decide to leave the company.
This is another reason it’s a great idea to have your own custom domain for your website: You can always point it at a different website.
That way if you change companies, website providers, or even industries, the custom domain that you purchased stays with you, and can be pointed to any website you want in the future, whether it is provided by your company, or through a third-party vendor.
How much is this going to cost me?
While domains are not generally expensive to begin with, we’ve found a deal from GoDaddy where you can get your own “.COM” domain for just Ninety Nine Cents for the first year:
After that, the yearly renewal for your domain will be regular price, which is often between $10 and $20 for the whole year.
Once you have purchased your custom domain, click here to have us connect your domain to your KW site, for free!
NOTE: We receive no compensation AT ALL from GoDaddy for providing this link to you. We simply found it ourselves and wanted to pass on the savings to you!
Do I need to purchase the extra domain privacy?
This is another decision that is unique to each and every business owner.
Without Domain Privacy, anyone, anywhere, any time, can visit www.WhoIs.com to search your domain, and retrieve the contact information used to register your custom domain.
This means your name and email address could potentially get into the hands of spammers or scammers.
Purchasing Domain Privacy hides your actual contact information behind contact information for your domain registrar (such as GoDaddy) so that your information is not publicly visible via a “WhoIs” search.
Do I have to purchase my domain from GoDaddy?
Of course not! There are as many domain registrars on the internet as there are reasons to purchase a domain, and you can use any one of them.
GoDaddy is simply the most popular one, and the one for which we were able to find this $.99 deal.
It is also the one we find easiest to work with when connecting your domain to your KW Website(s).