domain buyer broker and consultant - rob sequin


Country + Tourism .com

Brokered Domain Sale

(and some learning points for brokering domain names)

I had the good fortune to work with a well known Player in the domain industry who was quietly shopping some of his country keyword + tourism related domains for sale.

First, when it comes to brokering domains, you have to know your client. You have to know that he/she has a good reputation or at least you must get to know them as much as possible in a short time. In this deal, I knew the person so taking him on as a client was easy.

Second, I am very selective when it comes to brokering particular domain names. They have to be strong domains, preferably with some age, most always .com and easily recognized as having value. No sense taking on crappy domains to sell, especially in this market where most speculation has dried up.

Third, the domains have to be priced in such a way that a sale is a realistic possibility.

Fourth, I have to be reasonably comfortable knowing that someone (hopefully more than one) buyer in my database would have a strong interest. Also, since I do a lot of pro-active marketing of domains for sale to end users, I need to feel comfortable that domains being offered for sale would have an interest to end users.

Okay, so I now have the first and second parts of this deal (the client and the quality domains). We then talked about pricing which is always a challenge. Sure, the seller wants to start high, especially with these quality domains but I knew there would be VERY few interested buyers (fourth component).

The seller and I agreed on pricing so I put the opportunity out to my network of buyers that I thought would be most interested. (I never put every domain out to every buyer since each has their own criteria for domains that they are looking to buy.

I put out the short domain list to the qualified buyers who would be interested in these domains. I put them out there without prices. As I expected, I had very few requests for prices. After quoting prices I was down to one interested buyer... but, that's all it takes, one interested buyer.

I talked with the potential buyer telling him about the quality of the domains, the rare opportunity to buy these and the future potential. It was not a hard sell type of pitch, more of a confirmation really. These were great domains. This was a rare opportunity to buy one or more and the future upside potential is VERY big.

Now, just because we had one interested buyer, does that mean that he is buying overpriced domains that no one else wants? No. Does that mean that he is a sucker because no one else is interested? Absolutely not.

What we have is a buyer who is qualified to invest five figures for a long period of time in a few domains that he should be able to sell for a substantial profit in the future.

To help with such a large investment, the seller was willing to offer a payment plan where the buyer would put up a substantial portion up front, get one of the least valuable domains transferred to him then payments with a different domain to be transferred over after certain payment milestones.

As you would imagine, financing the purchase of a domain adds a degree of complexity to the deal. Now instead of a simple purchase and sale agreement or a straight escrow transaction, now you have to negotiate a lease to own or purchase plan agreement so there are many more moving parts to negotiate. When more than one domain is involved, the deal gets even more complicated... when will each domain be transferred, which one goes first then second and so on.

But, it all worked out. Payments are being made, domains are being transferred and so it's a nice win/win/win deal.

Once all the payments are made and if the buyer agrees, this deal may become public but for now, all is confidential.

Learning Points

Know your client. Just like any other business relationship, you need to know with whom you are dealing. Make sure that you and your client have a professional match with regards to email and phone communications, trust issues, pricing, transfers, commission payments etc. Once you know and trust your client (and they know and trust you) then you'll enjoy a very smooth, and probably a very long term, relationship.

Be selective. Only take domains that are top quality, right for your buyers or prospects and ones that are priced well.

Be thorough. Make sure your cilent knows what the other party is thinking. Make sure you know what is important to your client when you communicate with the other party and don't assume anything. Confirm everything. So you make one too many phone calls or send one too many emails. You don't want to let a small detail slow or even kill a deal.