Domain Holdings has the exclusive sales listing for a great legal domain name – Attorney.com. In its newsletter over the past few weeks, the asking price of Attorney.com has been lowered a couple of times. If it were a revenue generating website with attorney listings and profiles, it’s a seven figure name without a doubt (I suppose that could be said about many names).
The price started off at $2.25 million, and the most recent newsletter has the domain name priced at $1.9 million. I think it’s only a matter of time before someone strikes, and I am curious what you think the value of the domain name is and why.
I happen to think it’s a seven figure name if only because it can be built into a legal directory and forum, and lawyers will happily pay a lot of money for listings if the site ranks well in search engines and it brings them leads. What are your thoughts on the value and why?
This domain name, by itself, is worth about $8 Million. No doubt. You have pretty much covered the reasons why. The end users for leads are sometimes making in the millions (lawsuit settlements) for example. If a site can consistently give leads, the domain/site is worth a fraction of end-user benefits which isn’t chump change. If leads produce $50 Million per year in revenue for law firms, why shouldn’t the domain be worth $8 Million and with a successful site, maybe $25 Million? Makes sense.
I agree the price is good but the usage I do not agree with. The reason why is there are decent directory providers already including Chambers, the legal 500 & lexis nexis. Lexis nexis own lawyers.com and attorneys.com and all of the sites are established but more than that they are established and true “governing body” type sites.
If Joe Blogs wants to find a DUI lawyer then he may goto attorney.com but if I am looking for a transfer pricing lawyer in poland say then I will be using one of the brands I mentioned above because in all likelyhood I will be a lawyer too.
I agree with Sem but have 2 sites that are very powerful
In the legal space i can tell the number can not be counted
They are so large.They do not even need Google or Face Book legalzoom lead gen site and of course lawyers.com
There was a forbes report that 5 companies control 80%
of the revenue in the legal vertical The traditional is lost he can not run a site him self has no idea how to buy a lead.
Now you shrink his market what is his cost to compete will
Grow every year but market share will shrink.He will be asked To do divorces at 200 dollars,
A woman down the street will call totaldui.com before a law firm.If you ever thought as Rick says domains are the land
And this is supply and demand
As-is, standalone, my guess is that the $2.25M was already at a 10% discount. What it can be worth will depend entirely on the business model of the developers. As a perpetual asset, this prime (literal) domain is a monument in a profession that will never disappear and is, for the most part, impossible to export (at least until international law is unified and your attorney can appear via video monitor).
Development itself is of little concern, as the costs would be negligible in the context of the overall investment and earnings potential. If you consider the advantage of depreciating it for tax purposes (while it most likely continues to increase in value) it is quite an amazing proposition.
I would expect no less than 7 figures for sure. If that ($2M) it started at could be justified based on lead payouts etc it would have been snapped up right away. Without knowing more details it is hard to say if its simply a “great” generic worth big 6 figs or a money maker right off for someone in our industy and commands 7 figures.
So far 32% of the people voting think it’s worth $2M+, yet the price has been lowered to $1.9M, lol.
I wonder what the revenues/profit numbers are for Lexisnexis’s Lawyers.com — they do a ton of tv campaigns.
@Scott – We may all agree that “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” is worth $100M, but that doesn’t mean we could afford it – or that it would otherwise sell from a newsletter in a month.
Obscure reference: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Portrait_of_Dr._Gachet.jpg
I think the point Scott is trying to make is that if it’s worth $2m, they would have found a buyer since you can bet Domain Holdings has told as many parties as possible that might have an interest…
To borrow your art reference… if a Picasso goes up for sale and no Picasso collector is willing to spend $5 million for it, it’s not worth $5 million 🙂
The value question typically comes down to how much the buyer is willing to pay – particularly as it relates to a high-value name. About 7 years ago I paid 7-figures for a name that anyone else would have considered a mid-five-figure name. But it had strategic value to me and it ultimately was a profitable purchase.
Attorney.com is certainly a valuable name (I briefly considered making an offer). The issue is not just the purchase price for the name but development, maintenance, marketing, staffing, etc. Toss another $500k-$1mil on the purchase price for these things – just to HOPE to be competitive.
Now compare that to what’s happening in the market. This name would be in direct competition with LexisNexis (Lawyers.com and Attorneys.com) with VERY deep pockets (incidentally, my future mother-in-law is their spokesperson), Avvo.com (my fiancee is their spokesperson), TotalAttorneys and all the niche players – my company included. Not to mention the well funded group of DIY legal sites: e.g. LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, MyCorporation, etc.
Does QuinStreet want to get into the legal game? Maybe. Oversee? Google? Who knows? It would have to a well funded and experienced player to give this name the resources it deserves.
Elliot – you may consider that if a Picasso goes up for sale and no Picasso collector is willing to spend $5M for it, it is worth $5M to the collector that refused to sell it.
Lawyer.com – a fairly bland site with no particular unique appeal – has 400,000 attorneys listed. If only 1% are premium subscribers ($59 monthly), that’s more than $230K gross income monthly – or almost $3M annually.
I guess the point I was making is along the lines that when Terry Semel’s (Yahoo) blunder when he turned down the opportunity to buy Google for $5B in 2002 because he didn’t see its potential had no effect on its value.
This domain is definitely 7 figure one.
In general about legal names:
I own quite a few legal names including a little over 100 Geo+LawyerFinder.com ones.
I have sold to local bar association lawyer finder domain before and they are developed now in to full blown sites.
I keep getting offers from bar associations in USA, but I am not selling anymore unless the offers are high 5 fig or 6 fig.
Some bar associations have developed .org of my geo lawyer finder names and I get free traffic and the traffic is very valuable.
So I would say good legal names have great future and Attorney.com is worth over $2 million in my opinion.
Yep, Elliot got my point 😉
A name like this was shopped around to every major player in the business, yet it’s still for-sale. And as Braden already mentioned, it is going to take massive resources and $$$ to compete AND bring something unique to the table (not just throwing up another directory).
3-400K tops. I think it’s funny when people thing that anything lawyer/attorney will just open the floodgates and the money will pour in.
Has anyone ever tried calling a law office and trying to get to the decision maker? LOL Has anyone ever tried geting a law office to make a decision period? It’s almost impossible. Lexisnexis and westlaw OWN the lawyer services area because every lawyer uses them for caselaw. There’s no more room for a lawyer directory, and people use the term lawyer instead of attorney.
RK is talking about bar associations that are governing agencies… which is a lot easier to get attorneys to advertise on… Almost an impossible market to break into from scratch.
Worth every penny imo. I agree, it’s just a matter of time someone will grab at this price.
This is definitely a top flight category defining domain name. In my opinion we’re talking about $4 million+ if the domain owner is not motivated to sell it. I would give this domain a reasonable chance to start selling at $2 million and I predict that it will definitely sell by $1.2 million mark if someone lets it get that far.
I also noticed that some people are pointing out that the other legal sites are problematic from a competition stand point but I have to disagree. Heavy competition only increases the need to buy a domain like this if you plan to be competitive. It can save you a lot of money and make your SEO dollar have more affect in securing a top search engine ranking, potentially saving you more than you pay for the domain in the long run.
I would say that without a doubt, Braden is the most qualified to be giving his opinion on this one.
Given the fact that he owns one of the most substantial networks of lawyer referral websites on the internet, and he is not buying into this name himself, should tell any prospective purchaser that something doesn’t exactly make this a seven figure domain name.
They’ve already had to drop the price once. That tells me that not many offers were had to begin with.
What Braden says is correct, in that the domain name will be literally just a down payment on the necessary investment. All the peripheral expenses to follow will push this into eight figure territory in no time.
The bottom line is, it’s quite a saturated niche. I say that this will do much better in an auction setting than just being promoted through a newsletter.
What happens when .lawyer and .attorney role out. Wonder who put in a bid for those
Sounds to me Kevin should have spoken with Braden Pollock first and done an exclusive agreement with him first. Pay him the 15 percent commission LOL. But he has his operation and busy. He’s got the relationships formed but either way
Domain Holdings is a power house and very smart people around it.
Great name! Does anyone know how much direct navigation it generates? I would think a lot.
But how much does it cost you to penetrate this niche WITHOUT a name like this? That is my point. This is an opportunity. ( .lawyer and .attorney not withstanding, because who knows how the new gTLDs will affect the values of core .com’s. I sure don’t.)
I think it is worth between $1 million- $2 million.
I own Attorneys.fm. It is for Sale!
“my future mother-in-law is their spokesperson”
For anyone not aware Braden’s future mother in law is Gloria Allred which certainly overshadows the fact that she is a spokesman.
“my future mother-in-law is”
How far in the future?? I’ve been hearing that for a while 😉
I dont make my money from domains, I have made a little bit but nothing to write home about.
Last year I billed a lawyer client for over $150,000 for the work undertaken in 2011. Thats 1 client.
Forget $59 listings. The price for this domain isnt high but the usage has to be spot on and you wont be able to get money from your future clients on this domain unless you have a real sales team set up who can close real $ deals.
If I had $1.5m to blow on this domain I am confident I could make it pay for itself in three BAD years of operating, after all expenses.
And the last thing: with a brand as strong as this and a good sales team – traffic, ranking etc would be a total irrelevance.
I would be very surprised if Lawyer.com had anywhere close to a 1% conversion rate on those 400k attorneys listed. That would take a very large and successful sales team to reach out to each and every lawyer… plus dealing with churn rates.
Just a quick check on the Seattle area shows around 4,100 listings but only 17 are paid (that is only .004%)
That said, I’m sure they do enjoy a healthy profit based on a small number of paying subs.
@Scott – The entire Lawyer.com thing was in response to your analysis of Elliot’ very unscientific poll – as if it had some bearing on the domain name’s true value – as well as Elliot’s interpretation that “the point Scott is trying to make is that if it’s worth $2m, they would have found a buyer since you can bet Domain Holdings has told as many parties as possible that might have an interest…”
So I was speaking to the worth/value proposition; trying to show how low the threshold should be to make the domain name into a profit center.
I didn’t count the premium listings at lawyer.com; I saw what looked like 45 in New York City, another 10 or so in Atlanta and determined it was enough to make my point… which was, despite the poor quality of the site (let’s make people scroll 20 feet down the page to find their city), they are still bringing in some pretty good income AT ONLY $59 A POP!
I do not believe the attorney.com domain name has not sold because it is overpriced, I just don’t think they have found anyone in the financial position with a development mindset.
Plenty of people have the money to buy it; tons more have the desire to own, develop and manage (or arrange management of) a profitable online business. (As stated in Anthony’s last post, “If I had $1.5m to blow on this domain I am confident I could make it pay for itself…” The only problem, I believe, is that the seller simply hasn’t yet found anyone that is a member of both the above groups.
“I think its funny when people thing that anything lawyer/attorney will just open the floodgates and the money will pour in.”
I have to agree with Jimmy. While it is true that local bar associations may utilize various domain names for directory services, domainers have odd ideas about how legal services are marketed, or how they are selected by clients.
For an attorney to “buy leads” from a non-attorney is illegal in many states (Pennsylvania is one), with very narrow exceptions. But knowledge of that simple fact doesn’t seem to have any effect on the idiots who call my office by the bucketload, offering all sorts of referral arrangements which would result in disbarment.
This is part of Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 7.2:
(c) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services, except that a lawyer may pay:
(1) the reasonable cost of advertisements or written communications permitted by this Rule;
(2) the usual charges of a lawyer referral service or other legal service organization; and
(3) for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17.
And by “cost”, it means “cost”, as noted in the commentary:
 Subject to the limitations set forth under paragraph (j), a lawyer is allowed to pay for advertising permitted by this Rule, but otherwise is not permitted to pay another person for channeling professional work. This restriction does not prevent an organization or person other than the lawyer from advertising or recommending the lawyer’s services. Thus, a legal aid agency or prepaid legal services plan may pay to advertise legal services provided under these auspices. Likewise, a lawyer may participate in not-for-profit lawyer referral programs and pay the usual fees charged by such programs. Paragraph (c) does not prohibit paying regular compensation to an assistant, such as a secretary, to prepare communications permitted by this Rule.
As a class, the types of solicitations I receive from people selling various referral schemes strike me as outstandingly sleazy, or at best horribly misinformed and naive about what attorneys are and are not allowed to do in the advertising and marketing arena.
Again, Pennsylvania is not unusual in this regard, and attorneys are routinely disciplined in many states for enrolling in various fee-splitting or referral fee arrangements.
“Has anyone ever tried calling a law office and trying to get to the decision maker? LOL”
There is a reason for that. The single most common task done by my assistant is to take the 2+ per hour bullshit solicitation calls we get all day long.
Conversely, if you have a legal problem, you would do well not to use any such service which is merely going to sell your “lead” to the highest bidder, irrespective of that lawyer’s competence or ability to address your problem. It’s a bad deal all the way around, and is mostly illegal.