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Status: Delegated
Type: Generic
Category: Real Estate
Priority #: 620 - Dominion Enterprises (DERHomes, LLC)

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.homes is a gTLD that was proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant and now Registry Operator is Dominion Enterprises (DERHomes, LLC).[1] Their application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 22 May 2014.[2]

There are 11 applicants for the closely related .home.

Application Details

The applicant response to question #18 is excerpted below:

"18.1 Mission and Purpose of .HOMES

DERHomes, LLC (hereafter “DERHomes”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Dominion Enterprises (“Dominion”), has filed this application for a .HOMES gTLD with the intention of bringing to market a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace for consumers that will contain listings of homes for rent or sale, as well as a repository of goods and services related to homes.

18.1.1 Dominion Enterprises

Dominion is a leading marketing services company serving the wide-ranging needs of many industries including real estate, apartments, specialty vehicles, employment, automotive, and travel, with over 3,000 employees located in 145 offices in 33 states and four countries. Its websites receive more than 17 million average monthly visitors and 279 million average monthly page views. For more information, see http:⁄⁄www.dominionenterprises.com⁄main⁄do⁄Fact_Sheet. Below is a representative listing of the real estate-related businesses that Dominion Enterprises currently owns and operates:

- Homes.com® (http:⁄⁄homes.com): Homes.com® is a premier destination for real estate search. Over 9 million unique visitors go to Homes.com each month to search nearly 4 million properties for sale or rent, to locate real estate agents in their area, to estimate the value of their home, and to find useful home buying and decorating tips. Leveraging its traffic and depth of listings, agents, and content, Homes.com is a leading provider of real estate marketing and media services reaching active homebuyers, including brand advertising; property listing exposure and syndication; search engine marketing; and instant response lead generation.

- Homes Connect™ by Homes.com (http:⁄⁄homesconnect.com): Homes Connect by Homes.com offers the real estate industry’s first ever all-inclusive marketing platform for agents and brokers featuring single-login convenience to all the marketing tools needed for success in today’s market. We serve over 21,000 agents, brokers, and other real estate professionals nationwide, through the new Homes Connect platform and other products, leveraging the power, traffic, and exposure of Homes.com.

- Homes.com Mobile (m.homes.com): Homes.com Mobile provides all the same great features as Homes.com, but on a web-enabled phone. Prospects can view photos, pricing, floor plans, and more. Homes.com Mobile generates approximately 1 million unique visitors each month.

18.1.2 Potential Business Models

DERHomes is still analyzing potential use case options regarding the type of domain names that will be permitted for registration and by whom. In undertaking this research, DERHomes is leveraging Dominion’s experience in bringing critical business services to its customers in a safe and trusted online environment.

The business model for the .HOMES gTLD is currently broken into two stages, one has been confirmed and the second is under evaluation and will be implemented after DERHomes has assessed the first stage. The two stages are as follows:

1. Allocated Strings and Client Strings

At the current stage of analysis, the business model for .HOMES is one in which generic strings (“Cape Cod,” “Ranch,” “Victorian,” etc.) and geographic (city⁄state) domain names would initially be reserved and⁄or allocated to one or more Dominion online real estate properties. These domain names would provide a model for a hierarchical and intuitive framework and naming system for consumers to more easily navigate the .HOMES namespace. This initial allocation would also provide Dominion’s and its affiliates’ IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .HOMES gTLD domain names, and interoperability with various software and Web-based applications.

Following initial allocation, Dominion’s existing clients across the different real estate property groups would be initially permitted to register domain names. This initial rollout guarantees that the identity and contact information of each .HOMES domain name registrant will be known based upon a pre-existing business relationship. This allocation mechanism also minimizes DERHomes’ startup and operational costs.

2. Registration by Non-Clients

DERHomes is currently evaluating a validation process to allow non-Dominion clients and other domain name registrants to register domain names in the .HOMES gTLD. However, the exact timing of this proposed expanded universe of potential .HOMES registrants has not been determined, and will not be finalized until appropriate verification mechanisms can be put in place."[3]

Contract Signed

On 09 January 2014 Dominion Enterprises received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .homes after passing all the required processes needed to become a Registry Operator for the string.[4]

Delegation and Availability

.homes was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on 22 May, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[2]