This is a guest Post by Andrew Rosener, CEO at Media Options. Andrew’s company has sold millions of dollars worth of domain name assets in the last few years. I asked Andrew to write about the differences between working with a large domain name brokerage and an independent domain broker.
It seems that the pool of domain brokers is getting bigger every week, which can only be seen as a good sign that the market still has a lot more meat on the bone. But as more newcomers, both brokers and investors alike, come into the domain market it becomes ever more important to analyze the various characteristics that make a good fit between you, your domain name (or the domain you want to acquire) and the domain broker; sometimes good things come in small packages!
There is a very clear distinction between a large corporate domain brokerage firm and an independent domain broker. Both can be great and highly effective, but from my experience they are effective for different things and purposes.
While a larger brokerage firm may have a great reach or larger general audience, that reach and audience may not be touching the niche places that your domain name needs to go. If you are targeting the domain investor and small business market with a domain that is probably not worth the time and effort necessary for a domain broker to actually reach out to end users by phone, mailing and other forms of personal contact, then a large marketplace is probably the right fit for you and your domain.
If you have a premium domain name that you absolutely want to hold out for a super premium price on and you have no problem with waiting and have no financial need to sell, then a large marketplace is probably the right fit for you – that’s a timing game. It’s important to remember that you will almost always get a higher price when a buyer comes knocking on your door then you will in a proactive sale and that is something to keep in mind when thinking about and discussing the value of your domain name with a broker.
Your domain might be worth $50,000 market value, but that doesn’t mean that a buyer who has made up their mind to use that brand wouldn’t perhaps pay $100,000 under the right circumstances and if they approach you to buy your domain instead of you approaching them. But one price provides liquidity (broker) and the other is like a lottery ticket (large marketplace).
Where an independent and professional domain broker plays a critical and valuable role is with high value domains which need to be brought to the attention of specific qualified and potential buyers. That requires spending a lot of time on each individual domain taken under brokerage agreement. At MediaOptions for example, we are a boutique brokerage firm with limited resources that need to be used to their maximum efficiency to give our clients the highest possible chance of selling their domain name for the best possible price. That means that we want to spend our time working on high value domain names which are priced accurately and we feel confident that we can sell them for $100,000 or more in order to use our time and resources efficiently.
We can only manage 10 – 20 high value brokered domains at any given time, but each of those is given personal attention by an independent domain broker and presented directly to the decision makers at the appropriate end users. A large marketplace will have hundreds, if not thousands, of domains under brokerage contract at any given time; it’s a numbers game (albeit, one that works well). That gives their in bound leads more variety and choice, but it may not put your domain name in front of it’s best and highest purpose buyer.
One more thing to take into consideration when choosing between a large domain brokerage firm and an independent domain broker is flexibility. Sometimes it takes some bobbing and weaving, wheeling and dealing to get a domain deal done. Whether it’s co-broker partnerships, creative financing, alternative deal structures or reducing the brokerage fee under the right circumstances, these are all things that can mean the difference between a deal or no deal. An independent domain broker can make those spot decisions where a larger entity has to run it up the flagpole before moving ahead.
The domain industry is still a bit like the wild wild west and sometimes it pays to be a cowboy!