Success Story: Dennis Saffell

Dennis Saffell is an early adopter. His brokerage offices are paperless. They use special software to keep every business document digital. And he was one of the first in line to purchase .realestate web addresses for his brokerage on September 18th—the day NAR made them available to REALTORS®.

Mountain Option 2

The first domain on Dennis’s list was mountain.realestate, a powerfully simple home for his ever-growing ski country real estate empire, Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties. Feeding into that domain are .realestate web addresses for his firm’s various selling locations: 36 web addresses and counting, including vail.realestate, keystone.realestate and taos.realestate. These individual locations are key, because Dennis knows that buyers and sellers aren’t looking for brokerages, they’re just looking for real estate in a specific location. And in the past, those two pieces of information were nearly impossible to get in a short web address.

“Real estate is geography.  That’s what’s so cool about .realestate.

You get to tie geography to why the consumer would be there, instead of having to tell, in front of the .com, the whole story.”

Dennis’s digital strategy is to “think of the consumer instead of yourself. What is the cleanest, best, easiest functioning site and/or email for your consumer?” In the past, his firm tried using words like “land” and “properties,” but they didn’t work very well because, as Dennis both learned and confirmed from that experience, “the world thinks of it as real estate.”

“It’s all about ‘real estate.’ Nothing gets better.”

The .realestate top-level domain has also enabled Dennis to get incredibly valuable words in his web addresses. Words like “Vail” and “Taos” and “Denver” that are either unavailable or extremely expensive when attached to a .com. One example is denver.realestate: Dennis purchased it for $5,000, while denver.com sold for $5 million in 2012. “Can you imagine vail.realestate?” Saffell asks. “That’s as good as it gets.”

“Can you imagine vail.realestate? That’s as good as it gets.”

Dennis advises all of his brokers to, at the very least, invest in their own name with the new top-level domains. He sees .realtor™ as “the most professional dot you can use to drive people to you as a professional real estate agent.” And he also encourages his brokers to claim .realestate domains for all of their areas, specializations, and niches. In his words: “Get anything you know.”

Dennis continues to buy domains for more locations, like keystone.realestate, which redirect to pages about those locations on his mountain.realestate site. And while he’s amazed at how many of his peers haven’t purchased .realestate domains, when they see his in action, it all clicks. Their reaction, according to Dennis, is usually “‘How in the world? Where did you get that?’They immediately get it. They see the value.”

“‘How in the world? Where did you get that?’ They immediately get it. They see the value.”