One of the things I really enjoy about what we are doing at Epik is helping folks become effective domain developers. One guy who is on the way to building a pretty sweet portfolio of income-producing properties is Morgan Schwartz. He has figured out what I think the majority of domain owners have yet to really master — the art and science of separating the wheat from the chaff.
Location, Location, Location
Domaining is really not all that different from real estate development. In fact, I often find myself talking about a name being “one block off main street”, e.g. referring to a name that is good but not great, at least by the classic evaluation criteria. For example, a name that is hyphenated and/or not a .com. To a developer, I have found that good is often good enough if you know what to look for to assess development potential.
I see a lot of domain portfolios. People send them for a variety of reasons — they want to sell them, they want help developing them, they are wondering whether to renew them, etc. What I have learned from this exercise? Two things in particular: (1) Domainers have acquired a tremendous amount of crap domains, and (2) Domainers spend far too much time obsessing about the NUMBER of their domans, rather than the QUALITY of their portfolio.
There are of course many domains that we fall in love with for one reason or another — a brandable name, or a name to which we have some emotional attachment. By all means keep renewing those names if you must. However, if you really want to be methodical about what I call “Keep or Toss”, you have to rely on the DATA. And by data I am referring mainly to (1) Exact search, (2) CPC, and (3) Ad competition.
Why do I like these metrics? Mainly because they are a good indicator of what private equity investors call “Addressable market”, or what a layman might describe as “How high is up?”. If you know these metrics, you can mathematically derive the theoretical value of being #1 on Google for that term. It is an objective indicator and will keep you from renewing useless names that you are unlikely to ever develop or sell.
Morgan Schwartz — Friend of Epik
Morgan Schwartz is one of Epik’s earliest clients. He is also an active user of our Drop Catch service. He is finding premium names on a near-daily basis by visiting our free site — Domains.Epik.com where we catalog the daily drop. On each detail page, you can backorder the name.
On Monday’s drop we acquired FaceWrinkleCream.net for him, which is now being developed into a product portal for a grand total of $249 — INCLUDING the name itself! Estibot values the domain alone at $1,400 based on 15K+ searches, 1K+ exact searchs and $4+ CPC. We appraise the name even higher. Once the site is developed, indexed and ranked, I expect the value will go even higher. I say, good one on Morgan.
Here is the rest of Morgan’s haul from the past week using Epik’s “Catch and Develop” service:
What are you waiting for? Come catch with us.