Domain Name Selection

We Find The Best Available Domain Name (URL) For Your Apartment Website

An excellent URL is an absolute must for your apartment website. After all, the URL is a one-time selection that will be used by your property for many years to come, gracing its name on all of your signs, flyers, business cards and in many cases, the monument sign on your property.

We assist all of our clients in the selection of their URLs.  Our selection process ensures that your properties end up with the best available domain name.

Our Domain Name Selection Requirements

  1. Short – The shorter your URL, the better.  Fewer letters for your visitors to type and remember.
  2. Memorable – Keep it simple and easy to remember so visitors can come back later.
  3. Easy to Say Over the Phone – Tell phone prospects to check out your website without any need to spell out the URL.
  4. Easy to Spell – Should a prospect need to spell the URL, it must not have tricky spellings or abbreviations. Keep it simple for anyone to spell correctly.
  5. Search Engine Optimized – A well chosen URL can provide search engine benefits, helping your site get more traffic from Google, Bing and the rest.
  6. Branded – It’s always smart to include your property name in the URL to help boost brand awareness.

Consistency Across Your Portfolio

One consideration is that your entire portfolio of domain names should follow the same format. While this makes sense and would be nice in an ideal world, it is actually very difficult to accomplish and can become extremely expensive.

The ideal domain name for an apartment is “propertyname.com” such as SignaturePointe.com. But nearly all domains for apartment names are already taken by domain name squatters, investors that hope someone will offer them hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for the name. If your propertyname.com is already taken, expect to pay a squatter between $500-1,500, plus the brokering and escrow costs of buying the name. In all, it’s quite a hassle.

A sad alternative that many companies choose is to prefix all of their domain names with their company initials, such as Our Great Company selecting domain names like ogc-arborpoint.com, etc. Yuck! Domains in this format fail nearly all of the above domain selection criteria.

Our recommendation is to get the best available domain name for each property and not worry if they are not all exactly the same format.  Most people find a domain name these days by Google-ing the property name, so as long as your sites rank #1 for their name, the domain name itself doesn’t need to be a consistent format.  It just needs to be succinct, branded and intuitive.

FAQs

Who Pays For the URL?

We do! Your annual subscription to our website services includes the renewal of your domain name. We cover the cost and ensure that your domain name is renewed each year that you’re a client.

Does It Help To Get A Bunch Of URLs?

No, unless you are going to setup a unique website at each URL, buying a bunch of variations won’t help you get more traffic from the search engines.

In some cases we advise clients to purchase 2-3 URLs but this is simply to cover misspellings or ambiguous names, such as AddisonOnFourth.com and AddisonOn4th.com. When this happens, we forward all secondary URLs to the main URL.  There is an extra fee of $20 per year for each forwarded URL.

What If My Desired URL Is Already Taken?

In many cases, the ideal domain name is already taken by a squatter.  This means that someone else owns the domain name but isn’t actually using it; they are squatting on it hoping someone will pay them big bucks for the name.

We are available to assist in contacting domain name squatters and brokering a buyout on your behalf. Typically this will cost anywhere from $250 – $1,500.  One time we brokered a deal for more than $20,000.

Contact us if you’d like some help in buying a domain name that is owned by a squatter. 10% broker fee applies, minimum of $100.

What’s the Difference Between Domain Registration & Website Hosting, Anyways?

Domain registration (aka managing the domains) involves paying the annual renewal fee of your website domains each year (approx $15 each) and configuring them to “point” to the correct web server where the website is hosted.

TourVista manages most of our clients’ domains as a convenience for our clients. Clients still own the domain names, we just manage them to ensure they don’t accidentally expire and also to save our clients a few bucks each year. We benefit from this, too, because it saves our team a lot of time when setting up a site or when we need to move a site to a different hosting server; we just make the quick update instead of having it go thru the client (or your IT department which requires extra coordination on everyone’s part).

Website hosting is the web server where the actual website files reside. TourVista requires that we host the websites as part of our contract. We provide what is known as a “managed hosting” service which means we take care of all of the technical details such as server maintenance, software, uptime monitoring, virus protection, spam / brute force attacks, etc.

Our whole goal is to make our apartment websites as turnkey as possible for our clients, especially the technical side of things. 

We highly recommend having TourVista manage our client domains. Not only do clients save $15/year per domain, but it will save you (and us!) a lot of time configuring the domains for hosting.