You can blow through the real estate licensing exam, dive head-on into finding clients, and nail your first string of sales. Yet, when this one seemingly simple task comes up, you get stumped:
How to choose a real estate company name?
That perfect name is out there, but you haven’t found it just yet. Maybe you’ve thought about settling for something simple just to get it over with – like your first and last name. But “settling for” is no way to start an empire.
In this guide, we give you 21 tips and ideas from real estate pros on how to choose a company name. These tips will help you brainstorm, narrow down choices and use a combination of technology and real-world testing to settle on the perfect name.
21 Real Estate Company Name Ideas and Tips
1. Use One of the Real Estate Name Formulas
As detailed by Easy Agent Pro, these classic real estate company name formulas are a good place to start. A “Realtor Term” is an extension commonly used by real estate businesses, like “Homes,” “Realty” or “Brokerage.” A “Location Term” can be your city, counter, neighborhood or an important local feature.
Note: Although last names are commonly used in real estate businesses, there are some downsides to this which we’ll explain a little further down.
2. Three Syllables Max
Long company names are a chore to the tongue. Most businesses today choose names that are under 3 syllables. Many established companies, likewise, have shortened their names over the years, such as FedEx (Federal Express), HP (Hewlett-Packard) or IBM (International Business Machines).
3. Find a keyword
Jennifer L Kading of Entrepreneur Realty
With the fast pace of social media and brief messages that whiz by us constantly it’s important that your business name (if and as much as possible) reflect exactly what you do. Generic names, while they seem bland, are usually best because they are easy to remember and describe the company focus in simple terms.
4. Use a Geographic Search Term
Tim Lavelle of U.S. Interactive Media
Consider naming your business with words that people are likely to type into Google when searching for your service. The reason to do this is that it makes it more likely that your business’s website will appear near the top of Google’s results for related searches. Ask yourself what people search for when they want to buy homes: Are they searching your county name, city name, region name, or perhaps the name of a lake or other landmark?
5. Check Google AdWords
To answer the question above (What do people search for when they want to buy homes?), try using the Keyword Planner from Google Adwords. Click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” and enter one of your ideas. What you’ll get are lists of keywords related your term, sorted by their average monthly search volume.
Using this information, you should be able to figure which words are most optimal for your business name. To learn more about using adwords to find a business name, check out our full guide here.
6. Don’t Get Too Specific, Though
Margaret Wolfson of River + Wolf Brand Naming
Besides lacking the storytelling potential of a metaphoric name, overly descriptive or functional business names can be problematic if your realty company expands beyond its initial offerings. For example, using a geographical location as a name can be limiting should you later decide to expand or relocate.
7. Don’t Use Your Last Name
Likewise, using your first or last name as a real estate business name has several downsides. For one, last names typically aren’t memorable. Secondly, it can be difficult to grow if clients are expecting to work with you personally. (They might be disappointed to call Jane Doe Realty and speak with somebody besides Jane.) Finally, naming a business after yourself can make it difficult to sell the company.
8. Choose a Name That’s Available as a URL
It’s a good idea to check what URLs are available as you brainstorm names. The last thing you want is to get your heart set on a name that winds up being taken as a URL (or costs $20,000). Using GoDaddy’s Search Tool, you can check URLs as you move along.
See our additional tips to choosing a domain name.
9. Add an Extension, Like “Realty”
Margaret Wolfson of River + Wolf Brand Naming
Despite numerous efforts by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to popularize other extensions, dot coms still rule the roost. This makes it difficult to get an exact match for natural language names as many URLs are either parked, owned, or too costly to purchase. A smart workaround of this problem, is to add an extension—and ‘realty’ could work as such an extension. In fact it might even contribute to better search engine response.
10. However, Don’t Settle on a Temporary Name or URL
Sometimes businesses use an alternate URL when their first choice was taken or was too expensive. Some may do this with the hope of eventually purchase the original URL when it becomes available again, or when they start to earn more money. However, as Julian Shapiro from The Next Web points out, this rarely works. The domain squatter will ask for a higher price if they realize your business is growing.
11. Make Sure Social Media Pages are Also Available
These days, you don’t just need a matching URL for your business: You’ll also want to secure accounts on Facebook and Twitter (and potentially Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat as well). Make sure there aren’t other businesses using your name on social media. While you can always deviate and use a slightly different name, this could get confusing to your customers who may accidentally follow the wrong page.
Also check out our guide to creating a Real Estate Facebook page.
12. Does the Name Sound Good When Spoken Aloud?
This is a simple, but often overlooked test. In most cases, the sound and flow of your name should take precedence over it’s metaphorical meaning. In Entrepreneur, Peter Gasca outlines the “5-10 rule”: Many great companies throughout history have five to 10 letters in their name, and at least one hard consonant. Google, Yahoo, CitiBank, Starbucks, Honda, Apple, Exxon, Mobile Cisco, and Verizon are all examples.
13. Try It Out On a Business Card
Sam Rooeintan of Marstudio
You could have the best name in the world, but it could be the worst name for marketing purposes. If it’s too long, hard to pronounce, or hard to spell, it is going to be nearly impossible to market it. As a quick exercise, Imagine how the name will look like on a business card, website, other marketing collateral. Is it how you want to be represented?
14. Does it Pass The “Radio Test”?
Will clients be able to understand and remember your name if they hear it on the radio? You should avoid uncommon spellings, for example, since this could cause potential clients to type your business name incorrectly.
15. Double-Check Your Name
Jonathan Paisner of BrandExperienced LLC
Google is probably your first stop, but make sure the go several pages deep to see what other companies and content are associated with your name in a search. Do the same with other search engines, too – again, to avoid any surprises down the road. Also, a search on the Urban Dictionary is a must
16. Get Feedback from Customers
The best name is the one that makes your customers (not you) think the right things about your business. Thus, business owners often aren’t the best qualified people to evaluate names. Instead, pitch ideas to customers and see how they react. Don’t just ask if they “like the name,” however: Ask what associations come to mind when they hear the name.
17. EXAMPLE: Entrepreneur Realty
Jennifer Kading and her partners need a name for their brokerage firm that emphasized their unique commitment to agents.
“We decided on the name [Entrepreneur Realty] because our business puts more focus on the agent and helping them succeed as opposed to most other brokerages which offer a little assistance in terms of training but mostly on contractual matters.”
“Entrepreneur happens to be a very popular keyword on Twitter and really the internet in general,” Jennifer adds. “It happens to be one that many successful leaders use on social networks to find content they may be interested in. It has really helped boost the exposure we get and the ‘following.’”
18. EXAMPLE: AgentHero
“The name and logo you design should reflect the principles and mission that your company stands for and the feelings you want it to evoke with your customers,” said Ken Robbins, co founder and CEO of AgentHero.
Looking for a name that communicated their mission, which is to connect home buyers and sellers with experienced real estate agents who are veterans or military spouses, Robbins chose AgentHero: “The word Agent is easily identified” he explains. “Hero is obviously a term used fairly commonly with the military, and since our company combines veterans and military spouses, each of which are heroes in their own way, we thought the name AgentHero summed up what you would get if you choose our company.”
19. EXAMPLE: Brick & Mortar
Although it works great for some, not all companies need a metaphorical name to be successful. Rolan Sereny found his company name while brainstorming with a friend. “They literally sat down and wrote down all the different adjective and names that were real estate related,” told Agent Phillia Kim Downs. 80 sticky posts later, and they found the words “Brick & Mortar.”
20. EXAMPLE: Stuart St James
It’s a common trend for real estate businesses to use a geographic term in their name. With many businesses competing to use common terms in the same city, however, this can make it tough to stand out. Brokerage Stuart St James found a solution:
“We took a unique approach to naming our Boston-based residential real estate brokerage, Stuart St James,” said Owner Darin Thompson.” The genesis of the name comes from two street names in downtown Boston, Stuart Street and St James Avenue. It’s been a great way to show connection to the city.”
21. EXAMPLE: LAER
Although this company breaks one of the key business-naming rules, I think their background story and logo call for an exception. “LAER” is a variant for LAIR, or lion’s lair. CEO Stacey Alcorn explains:
“We were seeking agents who were strong, independent, loyal, negotiators of difficult terrain. When we plugged these qualities into a google search, a picture of a lion came up. My partner and I said, ‘That’s It! We want the lions of real estate at our company.’”
This led them to “Lion’s Lair,” being the exclusive place where lions hang out. Alcorn wanted a more unique name, however, so she went with a variant “LAER” which also happens to be the mirror image of REAL.
We asked 50 experts for their best real estate marketing idea. Click here to see what they told us!