Back in the Long Long Ago (July 2009), "Buy a domain name" was one of the must-do tips I covered in Commonwealth.
Yesterday Inman "Read it now before it goes behind the paywall" News echoed that advice and expanded on it.
If you want to be taken seriously by clients and agents who are technologically sophisticated, it’s time to set up your business e-mail address on a website domain that you own.
The reason is simple. People who have AOL, Gmail, and Hotmail addresses generally do not have their own website or blog. Furthermore, if you rely on your company’s domain for your e-mail and you leave the company, your past clients will no longer have a way to contact you.
I don’t agree with all the advice (for example, the suggestion to get a long domain name):
As search has changed, the real opportunity is in what is known as the "long tail." This refers to using a longer domain name that incorporates the various pieces outlined above. For example, "AustinHighRiseCondos78747.com" or "LiveInWestlakeTexas78732.com." Each of these domain names matches how people normally search for property — by property type, location and ZIP code.
("The long tail," by the way, doesn’t refer to long domain names. It’s the idea that there’s a lot of money to be made in smaller, niche markets.) Otherwise, the general advice is sound — as it was a year and a half ago. If you haven’t gotten your own domain name, consider this your second warning.