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Real Estate Agents Discuss Why They Own Domain Names


In 2010, I wrote an article asking if real estate agents understand domain names. At that point in time, it had been my experience that many did not realize the value of exact match domain names (EMDs). Since that time, I have closed a number of solid deals on domain names, and have met many real estate agents who value keyword domain names highly.

With this realization that there are many real estate agents who do “get” domain names, I thought it would be interesting to reach out to a number of agents and real estate professionals that own EMDs to get their perspective on these domain name assets.

Here are some of their responses:

Rick Golden –  USA Realty –

I purchased it about 2 years ago at auction for $2200, but I was prepared to go well into the 5 figures for it. I already owned and two of the top ranked travel websites for the Poconos, and I think links from these helped get ranked faster / better.

We use the site as a lead generation tool for our Poconos region real estate brokerage. We do no other advertising and realize between 40 and 50 transactions per year from the site. It is our leading source of business. About 17% of all traffic is from folks typing into their address bar and about 28% of traffic is return.

The Poconos Mountains in North eastern PA is a tourist destination and has a much higher ratio of second / vacation homes than many other regions. Thus internet marketing is the best source of leads as prospects will search for real estate prior to taking the 2 hour drive from the city and have a pretty good idea of the homes they wish to view before coming out.


Scott Hack – Finish Line Realty,

My name is Scott Hack, I’m the broker and one of the founders of Finish Line Realty located in Louisville, KY. It’s been a while since I looked, but if my memory serves me correctly, by population, Louisville is ranked as the 27th largest city in the United States. Although Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, it is not the state capital. Real estate in Louisville, KY is historically very affordable. The city consistently wins awards from national magazines and trade groups, making annual lists such as “best city to retire to, best city to raise a family” etc. Ratings like that of course can be very ambiguous, but what they show is that Louisville, KY offers a high quality of life for its residents. I am a near life long resident of the metro area. I’ve lived here my entire life except for a summer I spent working In Yellowstone National Park over a decade ago.

In the spring of 2011 Finish Line Realty was born, and with it a web presence needed to be established. For the first 3 months the company operated under a different domain. However, for the prior 2 years I had been in communication with the prior owner of – The prior owner had turned down 2 or 3 of my previous offers for the domain. It was my understanding that they had been holding the domain in their portfolio for a while, I’m not sure how long or how they acquired it. In the spring of 2011 they approached me about acquiring the domain. It seemed that timing and being in the right place at the right time helped.

In keeping in contact with the prior owner, they had decided to sell some of their current inventory to make a large acquisition themselves. Their asking price was honestly still outside of my budget, but I was able to justify the cost by looking at the branding power of the domain, and 30 plus years I’d be able to use it in my real estate career. I can’t think of a single other domain that is as easily brand-able as — so I agreed to acquire the domain. In typical high-tech times, I signed the agreement, scanned and emailed it back and jumped on a plane to Vegas for a conference. After arrival in Vegas, I needed to provide funds, so I used my cell phone and PayPal which I had setup in advance prior to the trip to send over the funds. The domain was transferred to me the next day, and I had everything setup in under a week.

When making the decision to purchase — my first priority was branding. As I mentioned it is nearly impossible to forget. Giving email addresses to locals is very easy. It’s extremely memorable. The other side of the coin for owning the domain came into the realm of search engine optimization. I had already acquired and owned a few dozen domain names that were either keyword rich, or exact match domains. The bonus that the search engines gave for an exact match domain, was helpful in ranking favorable in the search results. It is my understanding from what I’ve read that the bonus isn’t nearly as helpful as it once was. The site still ranks #1 in Bing for Louisville Real Estate, and does well in Google as well.

As I move into the next phase of my business plan and expand into hiring agents. My domain name, my branding, my assets are just as important if not MORE important than a stately office. Having the ability to attract buyers and sellers is the core of what I do. So by staking claim to this digital real estate, I am in effect building my tower on the ocean. I’ve grabbed the best piece of digital real estate that my city has to offer and I plan to continue to leverage it into bigger and better things. By now, you are probably curious what I paid to acquire the domain in 2011. The short answer is I’m not willing to disclose the exact figure. However, I’m willing to say that even though the cost to acquire the domain was outside of my original budget, it really worked out to me closing 1 or 2 additional deals to make it worthwhile. Which hurt cash flow initially in the beginning days of the business, but like all GOOD investments, it has paid for itself many times over in branding and increased exposure to my listings through higher rankings in the search engines.


Robert Pursell,

I purchased NapaRealEstate about five years ago for $2,000 from a fellow realtor who was retiring out of the business. The domain allowed me to get onto the the first results page of Google and Yahoo! natural search results. I also do PPC so I can value the natural clicks I receive to determine a return on investment. The domain generates around $100/month in traffic. So the domain paid for itself in about two years – a good return on investment.

I thought there would be branding value of a premium domain beyond its ability to generate natural search traffic but that impact has been minimal. I would therefore caution your domain resellers to price these domains within a valuation range that corresponds to its traffic value. A similar domain is being offered in our (relatively small) geography for $25,000 on the rationale that there is a whole business to be cultivated around the domain name beyond its PPC valuation. Needless to say despite lots of interest in the domain name it hasn’t sold after five plus years.


Steve Trang –

I bought my domains in April of 2011 through now. In that time, I’ve bought ($4500), ($5500), ($4799),,,,,,,,, and There’s more, but those are my best ones. I included the prices for the sales that are public record.

I bought these domains because I want to be seen as the authority in my area. When I call a new buyer, I can say, “Hi this is Steve from, and I’m calling because…” Also, when I’m at a listing presentation, I can offer to feature their home on the authority site free of charge.

The biggest benefit is that I have instant recognition when I call potential client and mention my domain. It’s a lot easier to say Steve from versus No offense if anybody owns that. I also do get a good amount of organic traffic which of course is a big bonus. Lastly, I’m convinced (with no clear proof) that it helps with my ppc bid prices due to relevance and authority.

I’m always interested in selling, but I don’t think anybody would want to pay my prices. Someone offered me 3000 for, which was not worth my time to counter.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (32)


    Some offered me $4K for gatewood but I turned down. I love real estate domains because they are liquid and best of all- I can open my own real estate business/agent


    January 13th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Elliot Silver

    My most recent real estate domain name acquisition was I think a real estate agent in Washington DC will pay quite a bit for this domain name.

    January 13th, 2013 at 2:03 pm


      Totally Agree!!!

      the 1st sale on the home is enough to cover the domain purchase.

      or Elliot, you can sell the homes on your domain and reap the reward or

      this could be a very classic example of joint venture or leasing the domain.

      January 13th, 2013 at 2:14 pm


    I have seen this lady advertising her real estate business via sending post card/newsletters every week with no web address, just the phone number and some like

    prudential/maryjane and next week later it is rei/maryjane because she moved..


    January 13th, 2013 at 2:12 pm


    I agree with this post. It makes to buy EMDs.

    January 13th, 2013 at 2:13 pm


    Yep. These names are gold. Guy over at Poco Realestate talking about how they are pulling down 40-50 transactions a year.

    50x avg 10k 500k revenue. So what is a good domain worth lol.

    Rembember all, bing is still ranking 1 for exact match. And who cares if google is not. You’re buying what looks good on billboard not what google wants you to do. Bing get’s you 15-20% of the searches.

    Life time value of that site is through the roof. Geo sites are so underated and sold for 90% less of the true value.

    Just look at what caldwell banker owns in the market.

    Geo, Loans,insurance, homes,Real estate, MLS and these type of names are just going to increase in value. Geo state and city names will continue to increase but at a faster pace in the next 3 years than all 15 years prior.


    January 13th, 2013 at 2:48 pm


    Nice article Elliot. These guys definitely understand the value of a great real estate domain.

    We own about 1-2% of the US population in geo real estate domains (CityRealEstateDotCom or CityHomesDotCom) and although they average only about 15k in population per domain, we have done well selling them to agents who operate in those cities and won’t settle for a second rate domain.

    The value of using a real estate domain as an email address and on business cards/marketing is often enough to justify the purchase.

    January 13th, 2013 at 4:05 pm


    A real estate pro who really ‘gets it’ was a commenter on your 2010 post: Peter Niederman.

    I still remember his comments supporting the value of domains.

    He owned at the time, and has since gone bigger by acquiring

    January 13th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Elliot Silver

      No doubt and a really nice guy, too.

      January 13th, 2013 at 5:18 pm


    This is a small sample of real estate agents who get it. Ask majority of domainers who have tried to market a real estate, or homes type domain to a realtor, and they will have $###*$* things to say about the experience.

    The amount of offline paper advertising, and absolute waste they send out, not to include killing trees is shameful. Majority of the time they can have a decent name for between $500 – $5000, in terms of sales commission, would take 1, and they still control the underlying asset, they just don’t get it, maybe others can weigh in.

    January 13th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Up until last year I would have agreed. I think I sold a significant amount of RE domain names last year though, and that has changed my opinion a bit.

      One thing you can do is visit a variety of city re names and see how they are used. Although I didn’t receive many replies I sent dozens of emails to companies using this type of name.

      January 13th, 2013 at 7:53 pm


    I have been getting good interest on:

    Especially from one particular online Nauru real estate directory, but no action yet.

    January 13th, 2013 at 8:35 pm


    After reading Donny’s comment on here…

    Since i already own and

    I just hand-reg

    I can always re-sell it for $100 to … wow … so much opportunity in domaining…LOL

    Thanks Elliotsblog and Donny!

    January 13th, 2013 at 9:17 pm


      Didn’t you say you quit domaining??

      You just can’t leave…because you are addicted to the domain drug.

      January 14th, 2013 at 12:21 am


      I agree this guy was bidding up domains in the aftermarket, into unseen numbers, then he is dumping them for half of what he paid, then he states he is making $10k per month on sweepstakes software, now he is doing $100 flips, lol to funny, I am starting to think he is really a chimp.

      January 14th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Luke Summers

    I have a handful of realestate domains. They get a few type-ins, more than I had expected.

    I’ve also had emails enquirying about property sales, basically people wanting to know if we can sell their property. The domains are undeveloped and pointing at my business site, so this was somewhat surprising.

    I haven’t tried selling any of them yet, for me it’s a buy and hold strategy.

    Elliot, do you see value in (city) domains, or would you suggest sticking to (city) domains? I have a few of both.

    I think (city) and (city) are the best of the second level geo domains (first level being (city).com or (country).com etc). Are there others that you can share that you think are also worth investing in?


    January 13th, 2013 at 9:28 pm


    I paid $2000 for just under a year ago. I’d like to acquire but I just don’t think the guy will sell it to me.

    January 13th, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      rob sequin owned and developed by another realtor so I doubt they would sell it.

      Same realtor owns but they are not using it.

      If you want to try and buy, let me know.

      January 14th, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Ron sounds more like a physical agency name, and not a organic type name people would be typing in, also with Canada, you have .ca options.

      January 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm


      You’re not going to get many organic type-ins in either, but you’re going to get the added bonuses of keywords in your URL and an easy to remember domain for repeat visitors.

      How much for

      January 16th, 2013 at 2:58 pm


    Love real estate keyword domains, I have many. Most agents still don’t get it though. I have worked out deals with some agents/brokers that understand the value of keyword names. I am actually heading to Mexico for the winter where I work with the largest broker on the island we stay at. He gives me a great deal on a rental home and a commission if I provide a successful lead. It’s a new venture but I would prefer to keep the names and lease/co-partner with the local agent/broker rather than sell.
    If anyone needs a great deal on a Mexican hideway or rental let me know 🙂
    IslaMujeresRealEstate dot com
    PeninsulaRealEstate dot com
    ProgresoRealEstate dot com

    January 13th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    rob sequin

    I love geo domains and geo too.

    I own most of the Cuba geo domains but Rob Grant has and

    Argh. He regged a HUGE geo domain portfolio in 1998.

    Talk about foresight!

    January 14th, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Tim Davids

    wow 40-50 deals from one site. There’s really a business in a box there.

    A side note. I bought a piece of land last month. The realtor used her first/last name .com in her email siggy. It didnt resolve. LOL

    January 14th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Tim Davids

    sorry forgot to say good in depth article Elliot. Thanks

    January 14th, 2013 at 10:20 am

    ASK Me

    I own someof the real estate domains. but no luck so far … Around 10 domains of real estate

    January 14th, 2013 at 11:40 am


    I have a good size portfolio of geo domains that concentrate on rentals in high end neighborhoods.Have gotten occasional feelers…but no serious offers yet.Real estate people are starting to come around to the concept however.

    January 14th, 2013 at 11:46 am


    That’s very true. I started my domain portfolio with real estate domains. All from Brazil and Portugal. Once I started developing real businesses on the domains, it was clear the confidence that the customers gave to it. is my home business, and it just works very good has a brand, a website, and confidence for customers!
    I’m very glad with the experience…

    January 14th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    page howe

    preachin to the choir, heres our video for agents.

    page howe

    January 14th, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    geoffrey gonzalez

    Tip: Speak their language.

    Real estate is about “LOCAL” expertise. are digital versions of
    Location, Location, Location

    * GEO-Real Estate serves residential + commercial markets

    January 14th, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Elliot, Fantastic in depth article on real estate domain names. I have been selling exact match domains and other geo targeted real estate domain names to real estate professionals through the website for the last three years. In 2010, all the agents wanted was their Now it’s all about brandable .coms and geo-targeted.coms. Our biggest sellers to date are the CityPro.coms.

    January 21st, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Peter Niederman

    As a real estate brokerage owner/operator and domain investor, my goal is to control generic keyword search for real estate in Denver. The National Association of Realtors states that 96% of all Buyers and Sellers start their search online.

    Using several keyword tools, I found the top three search phrases were: Denver Real Estate, Denver Homes and Homes in Denver. These search phases are similar for all cities. Over several years I acquired:, and

    In 2012, my real estate company closed a record $1.7 Billion in sales, the largest market share in Denver. Through IDX internet lead generation only, we closed in excess of $250k in annual bottom line net revenue to the company from

    Subsequently, I decided to go after Relocation and Tourism business by acquiring I want to control the real estate vertical within the brand.

    Also, I own several landing page domains: http://www.DenverOpen,, etc.

    IMO, “Real Estate” brand domains are priceless…

    January 29th, 2013 at 9:26 am



      I encourage you to take a look at my

      If you are mnterested in real estate names.

      It’s my experience that, if a home has got to be sold, it holds open house on Mondays. May be you think so too.

      January 29th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

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