I don’t generally disclose my domain sales publicly, but I want to tell you about a recent domain sale of mine. I sold Newburyport.com to one of the highest producing real estate agents in the region, Robert Bentley, of RE/MAX on the River. Newburyport is a town on the coast of Massachusetts with about 21,000 residents, and it’s a great place to live and visit.
I owned Newburyport.com for a couple of years, and I acquired it because I thought it would make a great pair with Lowell.com. One thing I realized early on is that the town of Newburyport has several news outlets, and it was difficult for me to compete for eyeballs, without having reporters and/or first hand sources on the ground in Newburyport.
With Lowell.com, I am sent a considerable amount of news and event listings, which helps drive traffic and advertising revenue, but that wasn’t the case for me with Newburyport.com. In fact, I hadn’t updated Newburyport.com in about a year, and I felt guilty about it because I think Newburyport is a great town.
The sale price of Newburyport.com was right around $25,000, and although I included the website with the sale, the site will be re-built. Mr. Bentley knows the area as well as anyone, and he should be able to use the domain name to increase the amount of business he does in town, as well as create a local guide to, and for the area.
According to Mr. Bentley, “I am creating a town site which will be an advertising platform for all local businesses in a directory format. Restaurants, Retail and Hotels will see a strong focus as Newburyport.com is rebuilt and becomes a free platform for those specific services.” The current website and SERP positioning will be leveraged to improve traffic and rankings for the new website.
I am sad to have sold the domain name, but I operate several revenue generating websites and have a newborn, so there wasn’t much of a chance for me to spend additional time working on the website. I wish Mr. Bentley all the best with the domain name.
Congrats on the sale.
smart deal for both parts, small local cities are best managed by someone local, they know the people, its much easier to create content and leverage their personal relationships..the sad part is so many realtors, financial advisors, insurance agents, etc fail to realize this and properly leverage geo web property opportunities…kudos to Mr Bentley for getting it!
Nice sale, Elliot.
Because of your post, I was looking around and found that SouthPhilly.org was available and registered it. Thanks.
Congrats, Nice price, thanks for sharing.
Did you reach out to Mr Bentley, or did he make the initial inquiry?
Congrats on the sale! Well done!
Congratulations on the sale. For the right guy, and clearly you sold it to the right guy, a $25,000 purchase is a great deal for him. And yet for you, it’s also a great deal because you realize that to develop it the right way, it would take a lot of resources and focus.
How much did you buy it for?
Sorry, the purchase price is private per agreement with the former owner. I wouldn’t have sold the name if I wasn’t satisfied with the price though.
Congrats on the sale, Elliot.
Good sale, as we all know some real estate professionals just do not get it, when they spend so much on offline marketing efforts, when they can own, control, and rule their entire territory with a single domain.
Congrats, to this real estate agent for getting it, he can drive all this traffic thru this site, he can put his banners everywhere for free, he just bought the key to the city.
I have heard many stories of people have direct targeted keywords, to real estate categories, and they say they have no need for the domain, rather using their personal name, when direct city, and marketed territory names are available. I think any good real estate agent needs to own multiple names, including their own.
I still have real estate agents here at Gate Wood spending so much $$$ on sending post cards via mail advertising their services… it all goes down to my garbage bin when they could have bought gatewoodrealestate
USPS is cutting back on mail delivery and more demand on geo domains
Nice sale, buyer paid full price and then some for a town of 20k
I can see where it can be stressful relying on flipping domains primarily for income and having to support a newborn. Hopefully some of your income producing sites start producing more predictable income
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks. I think it was a fair price for both parties, and there is no sense in keeping a name/site I haven’t updated and didn’t see myself updating when a fair deal was reached.
I wouldn’t call what I do stressful, especially considering some friends are doctors, bankers, and corporate lawyers 🙂
My blog generates in the neighborhood of 6 figures (may be low 6 figs – not sure) and Dog Walker is about $25k (400-500 advertisers @ $49/year + Adsense), so it’s predictable. Other sites http://www.topnotchdomains.com/development.html produce less predictable revenue streams though.
Flipping names is still where I make the majority of my income, and that is unpredictable.
I have found realtors incredibly unrealistic in their offer prices for prime geo / geo + real estate / property domain names. It boggles my mind that a single page ad in a regional magazine costs more than what they are willing to pay for a domain – a lifetime asset / billboard. They however will happily pay the magazine. I think the solution is to develop like you did so that the realtors can envision the potential the domain can have for their business.
Some people get it and some people don’t.
Case in point, I reached out to sell a cityRealEstate.com name yesterday and emailed about 50-100 agents in that area. I received a $15,000 cash + back end considerations offer (should I buy a house and use them as buyer’s broker) from one company and received a $50 offer from another company.
That said, I don’t have the interest in building all of my assets.
Just closed an all cash deal on the other cityRealEstate.com domain name 🙂
I think he got a good deal.
Geo’s are so hot I was expecting to see $50,000 area.
But still a great sell. Equal to my whole year in sales.
I think he got a good deal, too. I am happy when the buyers of my domain names are happy.
realtors are idiots spending thousands of dollars on ppc. and newspaper ads…they are so at\upid I have now started telling them directly how dumb they are and they cannot understand it. Then I developed the cityre website with unique content on first page in google i get thousands of hits and hundreds of stunning remarks..still these idiot realtors are out in left field…its really sad…now i’ve move to get all the re estate domains in a selected geographic area TO PUNISH THESE REALTORS
and its a big deal all the prime neighborhood i control do to the stupidity and negilence of this industry..now i am on the national level controlling key domains..these realtors are going to fall in line period..
Congrats on the sale! As you mention, it is challenging to maintain a geo site more than a short distance from home. As others have remarked, many real estate agents and local businesses are clueless when it comes to domains and online advertising. I have seen a local spa spend money for bench advertising at a bus stop, real estate agents paying for color brochures at the local supermarket and other local businesses spending on ads in the junk mail one just takes to the dumpster without even looking at it.
good cityrealestate dot com can sell!!
Wow, congrats on that deal, Elliot! Over $1 per resident is definitely on the top-end.
Congrats E! Good news.
Nice sale, but I think Mr. Bently got the better end of the deal. Newburyport is quaint costal city, premium real estate. I lived in West Newbury as a kid and coming back to visit several years later, I was blown away by the renovations made in the downtown area. Newburyport won’t be any less desirable and locking up Newburyport.com for a realtor solidifies his knowledge and commitment to the area. Ad value alone, less than one commission on the average residence, it’s paid for itself in the first two weeks of month one. Brand value, he owns Newburyport from now on.
I made a nice profit a d he got a great name at a fair price. That’s a win win in my book.
I just remembered… I sold WestNewbury.com a couple of years ago 😀
Elliot, Well done. I’ve noticed an increase in GEO sales as of late as well. Were these solicited sales or were they inquires?
$25.000 seems like one heck of a value for such a great GEO domain. Best of luck on the endeavor.
I sold newburyport.co to Mr. Bentley for $5,000.00… thought I could have gone to $7500… I think my instinct was correct… but I am happy with the $5K… Congratulations on your sale!
I think you got a good price 🙂
Thanks for sharing and congrats on the sales! This inspires me to promote for sale or build out my SoCal GEO domains OtayMesa.com and ChulaVistaForeclosure.com
Someone mentioned that realtors are stupid, I think the buyer of this domain certanly is that. He way way over paid, considering what he is going to do with it which is to provide information about the city, he could have done that with the .info domain which he already had registered for $1 back in January according to the whois.
Congratulations to the seller for getting that much.
I know 2 realtors in my area that get around 90% of their business from an $8 domain. They do this by writing a ton of quality content on a consistent basis that bring in visitors from all over the country that are researching moving to the area. Referrals are a very small % and it’s difficult to survive on that alone in today’s market for most regions.
Far too many people in this industry think if they own the “category killer domain” they automatically are the leader and given authority. Spending $xx,xxx or whatever doesn’t do jack. Being unique and writing material that a visitor is craving for does.
That said, I certainly don’t think this agent is stupid and overpaid (do this with the .info would have been disastrous though) I’d say $25k is definitely rich though.
Given Elliot’s ballpark figure of paying .10c per city visitor I’d say he is obviously did very well with this transaction.
Hopefully Mr. Bentley understands content and what his market is looking for. Looking forward to seeing the changes to the site and the best of luck to him.
Congratulations. Sounds like a great deal for both of you. Thanks for publishing the sale price as well – it will be helpful for me to better valuate some of my MA geodomains.
Why would doing it with the .info be disastrous? you can put the same content than in the .com. My point was that since he is using the domain to build a website with all types of information about the city, entertainment, shopping, tourism, and real estate, why can’t the .info be good.
Keep in mind that I had a ton of unique content on an aged domain name and did quite a bit of local e-marketing when I first bough the name. Despite all this, I found it still a bit difficult to rank for the main keywords. In addition, despite spending a fair amount of money on development, there was still a reasonable profit made on the sale of this domain name. With a .info, you’d spend as much money on development, and if it doesn’t rank well for any one of a variety of reasons, the actual domain name is worth very little (IMO).
Elliot, did these last two geo-sales come to you, or did you solicit them?
Because as a realtor, you’d need to advertise that .info on your sign, flyers, radio, etc.
The general population doesn’t understand .info so it’s best to use a .com — if even it requires the domain to be a bit longer.
I personally know one agent who has a .net as her domain — people quite often out of habit use the .com instead when emailing or trying to visit her site. So she uses her name + “homes” .com on all advertising material.
One came to me and one was solicited by me.
Congrats on the sale Elliot … GeoRE(dot)com is the only way to go and it does work. It should only take about $835k in sales to make the 25k worth while.
3 years ago, I purchased DenverRealEstate.com for $45,000 as an end user. I own one of the largest ($1.2B in sales) real estate brokerages in Denver. Year over year, my company generates in excess of $150,000 from closed internet lead generation.
I am not very impressed with these numbers
Last year, I purchased DenverHomes.com as well.
What a waste of money.
He could have registered Newburyport.tel for $10 and have
a nice directory build with direct links to every business listed.
You can add pictures and even movie clips on your .tel site now
and you can see it on your smart phone without creating a special mobile version of your .com website
The future is here already.
Mr. realtor is lucky I don’t live in his neighbourhood because
I would do it myself.
Take a look at http://www.myvancouver.tel, it can be done
LOL… it’s no wonder domain registrars stay in business 🙂
I saw Denverrealestate.org sell for $210 last month via Namejet… thought that was a decent buy.
Geo’s, next to generic keywords are the most desirable for new domain investors. I have two clients that never would consider investing in domains, now looking to buy at th 50k level. Dot .tel and .anything but com, net or org the average person doesn’t understand and your ad efforts will only drive traffic to the .com variation. I’ve made the mistake with other extensions, but no more. I’ve got FortLee.net – today only 3000. Congrats again on your sale.
We should not tell how it works and let them keep buying anything but a (dot)com. The GeoRE(dot)com’s really work but only a few know that it pays to own keyword search terms with a (dot) com to back it up.
I can see it now in print or on a brochure … GeoRE(dot)org or GeoRe(dot)tel. I know it will work and work and work but the (dot)com is still king.
Most people assume .com regardless of what they really see. I wouldn’t build a business on a non-.com yet. I might develop a website depending on the keyword, but there’s burndown value in great .com names.
I would not want a (dot)tel, (dot)biz, (dot)net or a (dot)info on my business card. I’ve noticed business trucks around here with the (dot)biz listed. For some reason, it does not work for me and I believe for others as well.
For the right group a (dot)net or (dot)org makes senses. I just feel that a (dot)com does not need to be explained.
I feel that Peter with DenverRealEstate.com has it right and using the Newburyport.com for information about Newburyport and then adding real estate is the perfect fit.
What is your goal for making the investment? If you are an end user, (dot)com is currently the best. You can make another gTLD work with enough ad dollars.
IMO, if the (dot)com is built out, trying to use another gTLD is going to be tough if you are an end user or Domainer.
Congratulations on your sale! This is very helpful to me in valuation of my site capeann(dot)com because they are so close geographically and similar populations. I think you bought these domains from the same person..(K).. Years ago I tried to get Danvers(dot)com from him but you beat me to it! Great job on the sale and your informative blog!
Danvers.com and Newburyport.com were different sellers.
I bought a number of names from the former owner of Danvers.com, and they’ve all been sold (private sales) 😉
Thanks for starting the fire…really good comments from you and your frequent readers (and a few not so good…mmm) and the Denver real estate guy’s commetns are awesome. Thanks for sharing the numbers.
I am with the Borg of commenters bullish on city.com and/or “city real estate”.
In my experience, internet leads make up about a 35% of my business, the last two years. And this year we are poised to break last years ‘internet revenue’ by the first half of the year.
It really is a undervalued property…but like one of the commenters I share his sentiment that if you’re going to just sit on it and not develop it…probably not a great idea…esp. because you developing the name helps your community too…you’re helping to spread the word…and make your local businesses visible.
Thanks for sharing the specifics, Elliot…really insightful and helpful.
Thank you for writing about this, Elliot. Your insight and experience are remarkably helpful.
I have several (city)Properties.com names which I want to sell, including a couple in the Hamptons and some very affluent NY suburbs.
While _____Properties.com isn’t quite ____RealEstate.com, what’s your take on the value for realtors.
Also, did you approach brokers and top realtors only, or did you go further?
Congrats E. Thank you for being so generous with your information. Much appreciated and very helpful!
I am copying this story and some of the comments to be added to my facebook page to preserve and spread the geodomain word and the monetary values that have been documented.
Part of the reason is that I am prepairing for a lawsuit with Century 21 (google ray redican you will see something about the case OR SEE BELOW
Dot-com entrepreneur suing over Tyngsboro website
By John Collins, firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED: 05/30/2011 06:35:59 AM EDT9 COMMENTS
LOWELL — The former owner of the web domain, http://www.tyngsborough.com, plans to file a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the owners of a Dracut real-estate firm who he say owes him at least $10,000 in monthly fees, plus commissions, and failed to renew ownership of the town’s dot-com address as required by their 2000 contract.
“i would love to gather support from interested parties for my upcoming case.” RRRRJ
“they were suppose to pay a specific dollar amount and if they didn’t the commission would kick in. Since they failed to pay the specific known dollar amount we will be arguing that they owe me a monthly commission over x many years.”
Furthermore they were suppose to pay Netsol the yearly registration fee, they didn’t and i lost a geodomain to a party that now wants $15,000 see the Lowell Sun Story above.
In addition I got the domains appraised, and wherein lies where I need someone that is good at math to help me figure out what this case is valued at. Specifically i will be losing money going forward for as long as the municipality and Century 21 co exist based on the fact that i can not charge advertisers and can not receive any leads since i lost the site. Plus there are x many keyword searches valued at x that could be figured into this case.
I have been a busy domainer with multimillion dollar cases (MPTN) in Geneva RollerBlading.com (CIS) all the way up to the Supremem Court of The United States of America Foxwood.com (CIS)”
Plese help me Ray Redican jr 718x290x5689 forcal atoutlook dotcom
Update: Civil Tracking Order (Standing Order 1-88) Docket Number 1681CV03445
Trial Court of Massachusetts
The Superior Court
Michael A. Sullivan, Clerk of Court
“Ray Redican, Jr (CIS) et al vs. GJ Brown Realty, inc f/k/a Cendant Corp et al”
Tracking Order – F – Fast Track
Stages of Litigation & Deadlines
Service of process made & return filed with the court filed by 03/01/2017.
Response to the complaint filed (also see MRCP 12) filed by 03/31/2017.
I may update this later there are other dates for motions discovery request depositions served andcnon expert depositions completed. Finally case shall be resolved & judgement issues by 12/ 03/ 2018.
We have a 713 page Complaint (75 claims) against 7 Defendants in 3 states within the USA.
2. Commonwealth Internet Services (CIS)
3. CBNO Tyngsborough.com (CIS)
4. CBNO Tyngsboro.com (CIS)
5. Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)
6. CBNO Dracut.com (CIS)
NOTE THE CLERK MADE REDICAN CROSS OUT plaintiff #7 “Public” & #8 “Plus All Domains lost.
1. Century 21 GJ Brown, Dracut, MA 01826
2. RefNet, Dracut, MA
3. Gloria Brown, Dracut, MA
4. Michael Brown, Dracut, MA
5. Century 21 Real Estate Holdings LLC, Madison, NJ
6. Realogy Holdings Corp, Madison, NJ
7. Apollo Group Management LLC, New York, NY.
Some documented damages:
New registrant of Plaintiffs domain wants $20,000. To rebuild each geo domain name cost a proposed a little less than $50k. Market value of Tyngsborough.com site around.
$300,000 Was listed as statement of damages.
The 713 pages making up the Complaint is a meticulous accounting of the breach of contract which hopefully will change &/or altering certain laws.
AS OF 2-18-17 ALL OF THE FINAL DEMAND LETTERS (REDICANS ATTORNEYS FROM TWO SEPARTE FIRMS AND THE LOWELL SUN NEWSPAPER CONTACTED DEFENDANT TO NO AVAIL) HAVE BEEN DELIVERED & SIGNED FOR TO THE ABOVE ENTITIES DETAILING THE CONTENTS OF THE PRESENT LAWSUIT.
WITHIN THE LAST WEEK WE HAVE SENT OUT THE COURT SUMMONS TO THE DEFENDANTS IN NEW JERSEY & NEW YORK.
THIS WEEK WE WILL HAVE THE MASSACHUSETTS DEFENDANTS SERVED.
ONCE THE CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT (GREEN AND WHITE/GREEN) PROOFS ARE ALL IN & WE HAVE THE OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE SIGN OFF AS HAVING DELIVERED THE REMAINING FOUR (4) COPIES WE WILL SUBMIT THESE TO THE COURT.
THE DEFENDANT(‘S) HAVE 20 DAYS TO RESPOND.
1681-CV-03445 Lowell, ma
1:681CV03445 new jersey
1681 CV 03445 mike brown 01852 01853 01851 Ray Redican Jr. Raymond Redican Jr. Michael Whiting $50,000 municipality website government mass CASELAW CASE-LAW CASE LAW legalise precedent precedents trademark copyright service mark common law commonlaw
::::: FUN FACT – when I was going to realestate training class at Century 21 + program the guidelines & logos specifically state that Century 21 is never to be abbreviated for example C21 & then the broker name that would be incorrect you must fully spell out Century 21. It is to never be abbreviated. Many many brokers agents agencies etc have website(s) that do not adhere to this intellectual property rule.
For example: c21gjbrown dot com is wrong & their website should be immediately taken down mandating them to fully spell out the name of the trademark they are representing if they want to get a new domain. Otherwise every time someone types in c21XYZ the value of the (Realogy Apollo Century 21 Cendant corporation whatever you wanna call them) mark is diminished from improper use. This is one (1) example of Defendants historical bad faith inadhereing to terms of contact(s) & it highlights the rampant widespread improper usage of the CENTURY21 mark which permeates every form of media with no mechanisms in place to rectify the(ir) environment.
…Stay Tuned. This case is more important than me and the person reading this. This affects the public for eternity or as long as the internet municipality and defendants co-exist.