Real Estate Marketing Academy

[Interview] Secrets from a Domain Name Broker: Choosing the Right URL for Your Website

By Seth Price

About

Andrew Rosener is the CEO of MediaOptions.com, an industry-leading domain name broker based in Panama City, Panama. Andrew graduated from the University of Rhode Island and also spent time at Bond University in Queensland, Australia. He is an expert in the valuation and sale of premium domain names, and is responsible for some of the largest domain name sales in history.

Andrew previously worked in the seafood commodities industry, where he was vice president of sales at Omega Sea, Inc., before leaving to start his own company and turning his passion for the Internet into a successful business.

Seth Price recently caught up with Andrew to explore the ins and outs of being a domain name broker, discussing what makes domain names so valuable, how real estate pros can leverage that value, and how his industry is changing. You’ll find excerpts from their talk after the jump.

Here are some of Andrew’s highlights from the interview.

On his first major deal, for a domain related to Spanish ham:

That was when I realized there’s a lot of demand for [domains], and if this guy wants the domains for his niche, then every business is going to want their generic domain names for their own niche. It’s not just about the big guys, the Toys.com or Business.com. It’s everything. Everything from umbrellas to pantyhose. Every single business and product or service needs their generic domain name because today the [most efficient] way to get people to your website is . . . through organic traffic, and the best way to do that is through having . . . generic keyword domain name for what people are searching for to find you.

On helping people get the most out of their URLs as a domain name broker:

Where I bring value is there are lots of people who own scores of these generic seemingly high-value domain names, or most of them have value to somebody and they don’t know how to bring those domains to market. Just like a real estate broker, we know the market, and somebody comes to us and we can advise them what we think their domain is probably worth and what is the best way to bring that domain to market and the likelihood of that domain selling. And then we have various channels which we will market that domain through.

On why so many domain purchasers ink deals with non-disclosure agreements:

From an investor standpoint, if you’re an investor buying that domain name, then ultimately you’re probably looking to resell that domain. And you don’t want people to know what you paid because nobody wants to know that they just put a lot of profit in your pocket right?

From and an end user standpoint, a lot of people don’t want their competition knowing what they are doing. So let’s say one of my clients decides that they want to go into . . . maybe they’ve traditionally been in the insurance space and now they want to go into the credit space. They don’t want their competition knowing that they’re going into the credit space, because then they might have more competition to buy those top tier domains, they’ll have more competition competing on Google for those keywords. They’ll have more competition competing to buy those keywords and buy that traffic.

On the similarities between physical and Internet real estate:

I think that the Internet is still in its infancy. We’re really only 15-20 years into mainstream Internet and that’s young, a very young industry still. At the very center of it is URLs, domain names. I think that the analogy is very clear between physical brick and mortar real estate and Internet real estate, domain names, and I think that analogy will become more clear as we progress over the next five years. Guys like me and guys like most of my clients, who own a lot of these premium domain names, are kind of like the guys that went West and bought up all the land in California before the rest of the people went out, you know, started moving out West.

We control the empty lots. We own empty lots and some of us build on those lots, some of us rent them out like parking lots, and sometimes we lease them out and people build something on them which increases value for both of us, but most often we sell them to somebody who has a vision of what to do with that empty lot. Your URL says a lot about your business.

On leasing versus buying domain names:

I think that the future really is or should be more geared towards the leasing. I mean, the values of these domains are increasing every day, and it gets up to a level where it becomes costly, especially for a new business to come in and say, “We want that premium domain name, but we may not have the cash flow to buy it right now. Let’s lease on a 2 or 4 or 5 or 10 year agreement . . . with an option to buy it.” I think that makes a lot more sense for both parties . . . Most of the sellers I know are amenable to that.

On the importance of a great domain name:

I think that businesses need to rethink how they look at the value of a URL. You know how it is said, “If you build it they will come.” It’s not really the case anymore. There are too many websites out there, there’s too much competition, and there are too many smart people that you are competing against to get those eyeballs and there is lots of other ways to get eyeballs through social media and offline advertising, word of mouth, but it’s expensive. It’s very, very expensive. If you take those relative costs and you compare them to the cost of acquiring a premium generic domain name for the keywords that relate to the product or service that you are offering, it’s a no-brainer.

On “brandable” domain names that don’t contain your keywords:

We see a lot of start-ups in the technology world, they’re not coming out with domain names that are these exact match domain names. Let’s use Monster.com for instance, not that they are a start-up anymore, but they were at one time and they are the powerhouse in their industry. So they’ve got monster.com, and that’s nothing to do with jobs, right, and I am totally all for it. If you want to have a cool brandable domain, even if it’s not a real word, even if it’s coolio.com, that’s great and you can build your brand and that’s fantastic. But you still need to be concerned about how you get traffic there.

Setting up satellite websites on the URLs that do contain those exact match terms is a very efficient strategy driving traffic to your website through links, through referrals, forms, e-mail forms, contact forms, phone numbers, there are lots of ways to drive traffic from one website to you main website, to your branded website. But those exact match keyword domains are still very critical.

On the value of the domain name on a global scale:

Pedasí is . . . one of the most popular tourist destinations in [Panama] . . . We had pedasi.com and we built that out and we didn’t even spend a lot of time on it, but all of a sudden, it’s number one for almost anything that you search for regarding Pedasí. So every day we get e-mails from people, inquiring about Pedasí real estate. They want to buy land, they want to find a rental, they want to buy something that’s already been built, they want to buy a business and those are hot leads. We shovel them off to friends of ours that are in the real estate market and different markets and with various different arrangements with those people to pay us some finder’s fee. But it goes to show the power of owning that market, owning the domain name for that market.

 

Finally, here’s a transcript of the full interview:

Seth Price: So I’m here with Andrew Rosener who has one on the leading brokerages and online media firms called Media Options, and we are here to talk about URLs, domain names and how that affects the real estate market.

Andrew, thanks for being on, I really appreciate it. Just for full disclosure, Andrew and I have known each other for quite a while and I was Andrew’s realtor at some point in the past, and I spent some time in his lovely place down at Panama which is just fantastic, so thanks and welcome!

Andrew Rosener: Great to be here.

Seth: So Andrew, I wanted to start with one: How did you get started in brokering domains?

Andrew: So I started buying some domain names as a hobby in the late ’90s, and I never even knew that there was a domain industry, so to speak. I didn’t know that there was established aftermarket, or that there were people who spent their full time buying and selling and trading domain names. It was in I think 2005, 2004 or 2005 when I sold one of my domain names and in a pretty sufficient deal, that I realized, “Wow! These things,” . . . Obviously, I heard of the sale of Sex.com and Business.com and all these big seven-figure deals, you kind of think, but those are one off, those are special. And I didn’t realize that there were four-, five-, and six-figure deals happening every single day. So after I sold my domain . . . it actually was a food related domain. It was actually a small group of domains that I sold to the same guy.

Seth: Can you give some round figures, just so people have an understanding?

Andrew: Yeah so actually it was a cash and trade deal. It was for a very specific ham, an Ibérico ham.

Seth: Which is a Spanish ham, right?

Andrew: Yes, Spanish ham. I think it’s the most expensive meat in the world on a price-per-pound basis. It was illegal to import it into the US for quite some time and it was right around that time, 2003, 2004, 2005 somewhere there, when it was made legal to import into the US. It happened to be one of my favorite foods, thanks to my wife. So when I got in touch with the importer who had worked very hard for five years to get this approved for import in the US, I said, “Listen, I’m happy to do this deal with you but I want a ham.” So we worked out a deal, it was in the five figures in cash, and I got one of the first hams, on the first container that was imported into the US. And it was delicious. That ham alone, at that time was like, it was the first container, it was like $4000-$5000, for a 15-pound leg of this ham.

Seth: I don’t think I have ever had an Ibérico ham; I need to check it out.

Andrew: There are different grades; this was like the highest grade. They reserve all the jamón de bellota.

Seth: That’s great!

Andrew: Yeah, really good stuff. So anyways, that was when I realized there’s a lot of demand for these things and if this guy wants the domains for his niche, then every business is going to want their generic domain names for their own niche. It’s not just about the big guys, the Toys.com or Business.com. It’s everything. Everything from umbrellas to pantyhose. It’s every single business and product or service needs their generic domain name because today the only way to get people to your website is . . . traffic is a hot commodity and the easiest, well let’s not say the easiest cause nothing is easy, but the most efficient way to get people on your website is through organic traffic and the best way to do that is through having an organic keyword domain name, generic keyword domain name for what people are searching for to find you.

Seth: Got it. And just to let anyone who doesn’t quite understand that, an organic search is handled by someone just naturally typing in a phrase and it happens to be the keyword that you have the domain name for.

Andrew: So it comes in two ways, right? There’s type-in traffic, which is like what you have described. Let’s give a real example. I own urbangarden.com and everyday about 100-200 people type in urbangarden.com. I don’t even have a website there, but they assume that they’re going to find what they are looking for, if they go to urbangarden.com. Maybe they’re looking for urban gardening products or urban gardening supplies. I don’t know, or information or a community, but they assume they are going to find it at urbangarden.com. So they come here. Unfortunately, at the moment I am not providing them with what they are looking for. The other type of organic traffic is through search, organic search traffic and that’s a result of unpaid search traffic. So people type in the keywords that they’re searching for into Google and websites that rank organically without paying for those rankings are organic search results.

Seth: So tell me how does the domain market work? So if I wanted to either buy or sell a domain, what’s involved, where do you come in, how do you help broker the deal and show value to the seller or to the buyer?

Andrew: There are many different aspects of the domain market, but we’ll focus on the aftermarket. There’s also a tremendous expired domain market. There are auctions which are happening every single day for domains which have expired as well as premium domain auctions for domains which people decide they want to sell to the highest bidder.

Seth: Got it.

Andrew: But nearly 100,000 domains or more are expiring every single day and sort of come back into the pool and are recycled through these expired auctions.

Seth: Got it.

Andrew: So where I bring value is there are lots of people who own scores of these generic seemingly high-value domain names, or most of them have value to somebody and they don’t know how to bring those domains to market. Just like a real estate broker, we know the market, and somebody comes to us and we can advise them what we think their domain is probably worth and what is the best way to bring that domain to market and the likelihood of that domain selling. And then we have various channels which we will market that domain through.

Seth: And is valuation really an art form?

Andrew: So until very recently, it has been an art form and it was somewhat ambiguous and what I have tried to do is make it more scientific and really put metrics on domain valuation.

Seth: Got it.

Andrew: Because what you want is you want it to be repeatable, you want to be able to provide a formula for why a certain domain is worth what it is, and then someone else will repeat that formula and apply it to their own domain and for it to work. Be reasonably accurate. So the main factors involved in establishing that value are foremost, the most important factor being how many people are searching for those keywords every day, or let’s say every month. And primarily we use Google since they represent such are large portion of the search market, so we look at Google search numbers. We can go back to urban garden for instance. I don’t remember of the top of my head but let’s say there are maybe 10,000 people every single month that search for the keyword urban garden in Google. So in my eyes that kind of establishes your demand or your market and the industry. So you’ve got 10,000 people every month searching for urban garden. Then you look at how much are the people who are trying to see a product or a service in that industry, willing to pay to Google for those eyeballs, and then you look at the cost per click.

Seth: What’s the noise? What going on?

Andrew: [Peak season] in Panama.

Seth: Okay. Got it.

Andrew: So when you do Google search, I think everybody has seen those highlighted results at the top that are in yellow or beige or orange. Those represent paid search. Those are advertisers who are paying to be at the top of the search results and the question is how much are they paying, and that varies is based on the keyword. So for “car insurance” for instance, those guys are paying maybe $45 or $50 per click. Every time you click on those highlighted results it costs that company about $45 or $50. For urban garden it might be $1 or $1.50. So the last factor we take into account is the likelihood of somebody ending up . . . well let’s say the last of the three most important factors. There are a lot of other small variables, which I won’t get into just because it becomes too complicated and too convoluted. The last of the three most important factors is the likelihood of somebody ending up on your website if you were the number one organic search result in Google for that keyword. It varies depending on keywords and industry, but we like to take 25 percent likelihood as our calculation to use in our formula. Again, it’s somewhat ambiguous, but the real number is somewhere between 20 percent and 38 percent. And all the SEOs, search engine optimization experts, argue about that likelihood, but we take 25 percent. We think it’s a pretty conservative estimate.

Seth: And you use the other attributes to sort of make an educated assumption of what the value of this is and then go and market it to those that might be either arbiters of this, they might be reselling or they might actually use it as a portal.

Andrew: Exactly.

Seth: Okay, that’s great. So what are some of the more memorable deals that you can think of that you’ve participated in? I know you have done some nice ones.

Andrew: Yeah, unfortunately most of our biggest deals have been under non-disclosure agreements, which is unfortunate because I would love to scream out loud and tell people, “Wow this domain sold and look at how much it sold for!” But a few that we can talk about are like 11.com. We sold that I believe, I think it was for about $500,000. That’s right, I think about 500 or 550, something like that, and we sold autoinsurance.org, for also in that $450,000 range. We’ve sold, let’s see . . .

Seth: I’d like to know the ones that you can’t disclose but that’s okay.

Andrew: Yeah, I think we’ve got about 11 or 12 domains that we have sold in the seven figures, but every single one of them . . .

Seth: Has an NDA. And what is the reason for that? Like why would…

Andrew: There are a lot of different reasons. So from an investor standpoint, if you’re an investor buying that domain name, then ultimately you’re probably looking to resell that domain. And you don’t want people to know what you paid because nobody wants to know that they just put a lot of profit in your pocket right?

Seth: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: From and an end user standpoint, a lot of people don’t want their competition knowing what they are doing. So for instance, let’s say one of my clients decides that they want to go into . . . maybe they’ve traditionally been in the insurance space and now they want to go into the credit space, but they don’t want their competitions knowing that they are going into the credit space because then they might have more competition to buy those top tier domains, they’ll have more competition competing on Google for those keywords. They’ll have more competition competing to buy those keywords and buy that traffic.

Seth: So the acquisition cost go up if they voice their business . . .

Andrew: Exactly. It’s like any business decision; you never want your competition knowing what you are doing.

Seth: Got it and very interesting. So how do you view . . . we’ve had conversations before about online real estate and its value and continuing value. How do you view online real estate? What is your synopsis of where do you think it’s going, and how important it is for business across the board?

Andrew: Okay so first off, I think it’s critical and I think that the Internet is still in its infancy. We’re really only 15-20 years into mainstream Internet and that’s young, a very young industry still. It’s evolving very quickly, but I think that it’s very young. At the very center of it is URLs, domain names. I think that the analogy is very clear between physical brick and mortar real estate and Internet real estate, domain names, and I think that analogy will become more clear as we progress over the next five years. Guys like me and guys like most of my clients who own a lot of these premium domain names are kind of like the guys that went West and bought up all the land in California before the rest of the people went out, you know, started moving out West.

Seth: So you control the access between searchers and whoever wants to access those searchers?

Andrew: We control the empty lots. We own empty lots and some of us build on those lots, some of us rent them out like parking lots, and sometimes we lease them out and people build something on them which increases value for both of us, but most often we sell them to somebody who has a vision of what to do with that empty lot.

Seth: That’s interesting. The analogy that I tend to make with the clients that I have is you can either own the property and control the access that your consumers have to you, or you can pay someone else for it. When you pay someone else you are basically renting your access.

Andrew: Absolutely. The concept of leasing domain names is still in its infancy. It hasn’t caught on in the mainstream. It happens. We’ve got three domain names at the moment which are leased out to people on a monthly rate and they have a purchase option at the end of the lease, but again 95 percent of the deals are straight out sales. Sometimes it’s owner financing or whatnot but most of it is sales. But I think that the future really is or should be more geared towards the leasing. I mean the values of these domains are increasing every day and it gets up to a level where it becomes costly, especially for a new business to come in and say, “We want that premium domain name, but we may not have the cash flow to buy it right now, let’s lease on a 2 or 4 or 5 year or 10 year agreement”…

Seth: With an option to buy at the end.

Andrew: With an option to buy it. I think that makes a lot more sense for both parties.

Seth: Are sellers becoming more amenable to that?

Andrew: Most of the sellers I know are amenable to that.

Seth: Interesting.

Andrew: There is always a little bit of hesitation because you are worried about what are people going to do on your domain name, and are they going to do something that will negate the effect and value of that domain name?

Seth: That makes sense.

Andrew: Whether it’s spamming or duplicate content or doing something that maybe Google doesn’t like and Google . . .

Seth: And have it blacklisted and . . .

Andrew: Exactly. So you have to be careful but I think there will be tools that come to market to address those concerns.

Seth: That’s great. That’s very interesting, I mean what it does it is it provides a viable option for those that just don’t have the financing to pay for, a single word URL, which can be astronomical. That’s very interesting.

Andrew: I think that brings us to another point is, I think that businesses need to rethink how they look at the value of a URL. I mean I have sort of explained how we establish the value, but I think that businesses need to think about that formula and say, “Well, okay that makes sense.” Let’s say that you want to buy providencerealestate.com and I tell you, let’s say that I own providencerealestate.com and I tell you it’s $150,000. And you say, “Oh man, that is way too much money, no way I can justify $150,000.”

Well, let’s look at that from a business case. What is your market searching for? Are those people . . . somebody’s coming from Boston they have been transferred to Providence, they are looking for real estate, they type “providence real estate” into Google, and if you own providencerealestate.com, you’ve built that domain out into a proper website and you continuously put fresh content on it. You are putting content on it that other people want to read, and maybe other people in your industry, other people in your circle of influence. You’re providing them with fresh content, a fresh look at different perspectives. Maybe they want to take some of that content, maybe they want to take some of the graphs that you provide, or the information or data that you are providing to your readers and they want to replicate it on their website. So now they have created a backlink to you website, and this stuff happens organically if you are building a website properly.

So let’s say that you do that. You build this providencerealestate.com out properly, you’re providing lots of fresh content, you are doing all the things that you should do. You should, all things be equal and you’ve done your homework and you have built this website properly, you should be in let’s say number one, number two, number three in organic search listings for Providence real estate.

Now, I don’t know what the numbers are offhand, but let’s say that there are 5000 people a month searching for Providence real estate, and again we go back to that formula of 25 percent, and that’s is going to put around 1250 people per month on your website. And let’s say that the conversion rate is around 4 percent. Those people are turning to active leads that hire you to go out . . .

Seth: They fill out a form; they do whatever those conversion actions are.

Andrew: Yep. And I don’t know in real estate what that conversion rate is but 4 percent is pretty conservative, and so that means, that’s like 40-50 leads and from those 40-50 leads you actually close on 10 percent of them. Let’s say that one month, we are only talking about one month, and in that one month because you were number one or number two you know in Google for “Providence Real Estate,” you ended up with five sales. Average real estate in Providence somewhere between $100,000 and $400,000, now let’s says conservatively that each of those deals was $200,000 and you end up with your 2.5 percent.

Seth: Yeah 2.5 percent. That’s right.

Andrew: 2.5 percent on, let’s see, a million dollars is 250 grand. So you are a 100 grand ahead of buying a $150,000 domain name. Now of course there are a lot of additional expenses. You probably had to spend a pretty significant amount of money to build out that website and market that website and continuously put content on that website. But you wouldn’t have got there without the domain name. So just in one month’s time and, and this may be an extreme example, but I think we used pretty conservative numbers, you can show how that domain name paid itself off quickly. Now so I think people get sticker shock when they go to buy a new domain name and they are “oh God, six figures…that’s a lot of money just for a domain name”, but they don’t realize the power of that domain name. They don’t realize what that does for them and how easy it is for someone to spread that word of mouth by saying, “Oh, you know I used Seth Price, what was this website again? Oh, well, it’s providencerealestate.com,” and people remember it and this doesn’t even account for the offline advertising, if you see providencerealestate.com in a magazine or in a newspaper or even a billboard when you are driving by on a highway at 60 miles per hour, you remember it.

Seth: If you are in Providence, you going to remember it.

Andrew: Yeah, like [Michaela Haze] re.com. You are not going to remember that an hour later when you get home, you say I was in the doctor’s office, flipping through this magazine and I saw this guy, he looked like a good guy I could trust, but I can’t remember his website name.

Seth: So that brings me to a good question which is, one of the things that’s very prevalent in real estate and in small businesses in general is choosing URLs based upon your business name or a personal name. How do you think about that? If you’re recommending to a business, let’s say I am an agency and I’m starting up. What would you tell me to look for if I were thinking about a URL?

Andrew: So I tend to think about things in two ways. You want to have a strong brand, which is easy to spell, easy to remember. In the domain industry we call it the radio test. If you hear it on the radio, number one, do you know how to spell it, and are you going to remember it? And there are some tricky words, like the word “to,” is it T-O-O or T-W-O, you know, which version of “to” is it? You want to tend to avoid, but I think most importantly look at it from a search perspective, look at it from a traffic perspective. If you buy some . . . let’s just call it a brandable domain name, that doesn’t have any intrinsic value based on the formulations and the characteristics that we described earlier. You’re going to be fighting an uphill battle to get people to your website . . .

Seth: They’re not naturally going there just because of the keywords.

Andrew: Yeah. It used to be that if people said, you know how it is said, “If you build it they will come,” it’s not really the case anymore. There are too many websites out there, there’s too much competition, and there are too many smart people that you are competing against to get those eyeballs and there is lots of other ways to get eyeballs through social media and offline advertising, word of mouth, but it’s expensive. It’s very, very expensive. If you take those relative costs and you compare them to the cost of acquiring a premium generic domain name for the keywords that relate to the product or service that you are offering, it’s a no-brainer.

Seth: Because we know that the people are there, it’s like buying a crowd of access or empty space and hoping that people are going to show up.

Andrew: It’s a no-brainer. Go for the keywords. You know what the people are looking for or if you don’t, you can hire a consultant to help you find out what keywords people are searching for, for the product or service that you have to offer. And buy domain names that relate very specifically to those keywords. Give people what they want. There is a very interesting study done by Microsoft, the Microsoft lab group, and it was a very extensive survey, or study rather, about search behavior and what happens after people search and are presented with the results—so not so much from the SEO, search engine optimization standpoint just—once people presented with a slew of results, what do they click on? And it actually starts to move away from the traditional thinking of that 25 percent to 38 percent. You know people click on the number one, that still hold true, but there may be some other variables there that people aren’t aware of and Microsoft found that people have a very high tendency to click on domain names that contain the exact keywords that they are searching for because it presents an element of trust.

Seth: It makes sense.

Andrew: It does make sense, right? They believe that, “here I have got 15 results in front of me, I’m looking to rent a bike and here’s bikerentals.com, well, hello, no-brainer, let’s go to bikerentals.com cause let’s get straight to the point, they are obviously going to have what I am looking for.

Seth: As opposed to, Drew’s Bike Shack.

Andrew: Yeah, drewsspinningwheel.com . . .

Seth: Okay, that makes complete sense.

Andrew: It’s more relevant. So not only do you make it easier for people to find you, but once people have found you, you’re increasing your chances of them clicking on your website as opposed to a competitor’s website in those search results.

Seth: Because it’s more relevant to the search they are actually performing.

Andrew: Exactly.

Seth: That’s great. Before we wrap up there are a couple of things. One is almost every real estate agent and brokerage that I know has a treasure trove of URLs. What should they do with them?

Andrew: Bring it on! I think you should really evaluate them and I am happy to help evaluate them, but take a list of the names and pick out the ones that match your criteria that we have been talking about. If you are a realtor in the Atlanta market and you’ve got atlantarealestate.com, or atlantarealestate.net or atlantarealestate.org, those are valuable domain names, and you should make use of them. However, if you have got, mikes-realestate-consulting-services.info . . . Probably a waste of money probably. Let that one go . . .

Seth: And stop paying the $10 a month you are paying to hold the domain.

Andrew: Exactly.

Seth: That makes complete sense.

Andrew: One other point we should probably make is, the type of domain which I didn’t really address is these brandable domains, and we see a lot of start-ups in the technology world, they’re not coming out with domain names that are these exact match domain names. Let’s use monster.com for instance, not that they are a startup anymore, but they were at one time and they are the powerhouse in their industry. So they’ve got monster.com and that’s nothing to do with jobs, right, and I am totally all for it. If you want to have a cool brandable domain, even if it’s not a real word, even if it’s coolio.com, that’s great and you can build your brand and that’s fantastic but you still need to be concerned about how you get traffic there. And setting up satellite websites on the URLs that do contain those exact match terms is a very efficient strategy driving traffic to your website through links, through referrals, forms, e-mail forms, contact forms, phone numbers, there are lots of ways to drive traffic from one website to you main website, to your branded website. But those exact match keyword domains are still very critical.

Seth: Awesome.

Seth: So Andrew, I really appreciate your time. How can people find you? Where should they look for you?

Andrew: So you can definitely visit us at mediaoptions.com. Feel free to email me at andrew@mediaoptions.com. We respond to every email that we receive.

Seth: Awesome. You have a newsletter right?

Andrew: Yeah we have a newsletter, which goes out usually about three times a week, and we feature some pretty valuable domain names, at what we feel is below market prices. Our newsletter tries to be focused on value-based domain investment. So if you are the end-user, you can definitely pick up some really great deals. Real estate is a very hot topic in domain names. It is definitely one of the most popular categories.

Seth: Yeah, that’s great. The last thing we didn’t talk about is you mentioned a couple of domains that you built out in Panama. Can you tell us briefly about those?

Andrew: Yes, actually that’s a great point. A perfect example of what I’ve been talking about is we own every city or destination here in Panama, either the .com or the .org. One great example, let’s say two great examples of this is the neighborhood that we live in is called Casco Viejo and it’s almost like its own little city. So we got CascoViejo.org, which we developed out when we first moved here. It was a great way to just get out and meet people and meet some of the business owners and tell them about our website and just get to know them. Ultimately, we ended up being the number one search result for almost everything you can possibly search for in Casco Viejo and so we get tons of real estate leads. Almost every day we get an email from somebody, “Hey, I’m looking for a two-bedroom apartment,” “Hey I am looking to make an investment,” “hey…,” anything that you can think of. The other example is Pedasi.com, which we haven’t even focused much time at. But it is one of our favorites . . .

Seth: Pedasí is a town, right?

Andrew: Pedasí is a town, a city. It’s a city and a wider district of Panama and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The same thing, we had pedasi.com and we built that out and we didn’t even spend a lot of time on it, but all of a sudden, it’s number one for almost anything that you search for regarding Pedasí. So every day we get e-mails from people, inquiring about Pedasí real estate. They want to buy land, they want to find a rental, they want to buy something that’s already been built, they want to buy a business and those are hot leads. We shovel them off to friends of ours that are in the real estate market and different markets and with various different arrangements with those people to pay us some finder’s fee. But it goes to show the power of owning that market, owning the domain name for that market.

Seth: And now that you have built it, do you spend much time on upkeep on those?

Andrew: You know we try to add content from time to time and my wife spends a bit more time on Casco Viejo and she also does a newsletter there, and we live here, so it’s easier and it’s fun.

Seth: That’s great, those are fantastic examples. I mean, part of what . . . I think about our clients, they are looking to do just that in their markets. They are in a geographic location, they’re trying to establish themselves and one of the things that we are trying to do is illustrate the value of the difference between being on page five of search results or being on page one. And basically on page five, you might as well be in Siberia.

Andrew: You don’t exist.

Seth: Yeah exactly. So this is been really great. I can’t wait to come visit you again. My kids still talk about Panama. In fact, this Sunday my son was like, “Papa, we are going back to Panama. We’ll come see you when it stops raining.”

Andrew: Great spot.

Seth: Awesome. We’ll speak to you very soon and I really appreciate it and have a great afternoon.

Andrew: Thanks a lot for the opportunity, Seth.

Seth: Awesome. Take care. Bye-bye.

Andrew: Bye.

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