Investing In Domain Names

Many people now-a-days are looking towards domain names as an investment. With the stock market bouncing around, and the US dollar weak, domain name investing can be a very lucrative idea. In fact domain investments have gone under the radar for most people the last 10 years, even though over the last five years the domain name market averages an 80% annual increase in value.

In the last 3 years alone the average LLL.com (L=”letter”) such as TFJ has gone from $1500 in 2004 all the way to $8500 in 2007. Thats an amazing increase in value. Even the country code top level domains are increasing at extremely fast paces. .cn, .fr, .es, .de, and .in are leading the way. Having said this, .com’s will always be the charm of any domain investment portfolio. When anyone in the world thinks of a website they immediately think of .com. The growth of other domain extensions like, .net, .us, .biz, .org, and country codes will only increase the value of the .com version. If a domain such as xyz.”in” starts getting traffic, it is only natural that a large portion of people looking for xyz.”in” will type in xyz”.com” instead. Why? Because .com is automatically associate with the internet. All the largest companies use .com as their extension.

What does this mean for the future of the .com domain industry?

Well, in my opinion, .com’s even with multiple keywords such as “refinancemyhousenow”.com will continue to warrant huge prices. There are 6 billion people in the world, and only a limited number of possible .com domains out there. The 3 character .coms will continue to increase in value as they are excellent for company initials. 4 character .coms will also increase at a faster pace then the rest of the market. I personally like the “Number followed by a 3 letter word or abbreviation” .coms. An example would be 4her.com. These are easy to remember, yet there are literally thousands of these left to be registered. Everyone quickly went after the LLLL.coms while avoiding the NLLL.com’s.

Overall opinion of the domain market:

Although we can’t continue to have 80% yearly gains in a limited market, forever, I do feel that 50-60% gains for the next 5-7 years is a good bet. Only about 1 billion people are online worldwide, representing only 16% of the population. In addition to this, out of the 1 billion people online, only about 1-2% have their own website and or domain name. Look forward 10 years, when the internet is accessible in even the most remote areas of the world by people who can not afford it today. Nearly every person on the globe will have a website of their own to share photos, information, selling products, or just communicate with the other 6 billion people online. When this time comes the domain name marketplace will exploded with transactions.

Buy a domain, maybe just your name, or a child’s name, ie, BrianKay.com, because if you don’t someone else will, and you may have to pay an arm and a leg for it 5 years down the road.

Property Investment – Help, My Property Won’t Sell

It is commonly said that you make money when you buy, not when you sell. However, often this lesson is not learned until you try to sell a property. I remember the first property I tried to sell. It was a two-bedroom unit in a small complex of eight. A lovely unit… only four years old in an upmarket growing suburb. I was moving to another state in Australia and wanted the property sold, to enable me to buy another home in Queensland.

The property took over 12 months to sell. Three contracts fell over due to finance issues for the purchaser. That was my first experience in selling a property. The emotional roller-coaster was challenging. Initial excitement when the offer was negotiated and accepted, followed by confidence when the contract was signed, followed by disappointment when finance was not approved for the purchaser. The final emotion was frustration when the contract fell over. This happened three times.

Prior to this experience I believed properties took on average three months to sell, depending on the current market conditions. A few years later, we decided to sell one of our properties. This time it took close to two years to sell.

The property was a 2000 square metre property in a beautiful coastal holiday town. The property had zoning that allowed for the development of eight two and three-bedroom townhouses. The property was ideally located on the main road, a couple of hundred metres from the shopping precinct and beach, had two street access and was very close to community amenities such as a child-care centre, school and bus stop.

One month after we purchased the property we were offered $70,000 more than what we had paid for it. We had no intentions of selling the property at the time. Later, on realisation that we did not have the experience, contacts or time to develop the property, we decided to sell it. The first two offers we received were from developers. The offered a 12-month settlement contract. They would pay an upfront amount, with the balance paid in 12 months. This contract suited them. They got to hold the property with little money down. Negotiations could not get the terms of the contract suitable to both parties, and both contracts stalled.

In hindsight we should have accepted the contracts. These were the first two offers we received. We expected more offers to come in that didn’t have a 12-month settlement term. The market turned, developers pulled out of the market, residential construction slowed down and our property took an additional 18 months to sell. Holding a property for an additional 12 months to two years is not good from a cash-flow perspective.

It is important to consider the type of investor you are, before you risk buying a property that is wrong for your investment strategy. Don’t assume you can just sell a property if you need to. When selling, the market is in control. The market determines when it wants to buy, what it wants to buy and for how much. This experience provided one of our biggest lessons in property investing… know what type of investor you are, and be that type of investor only.

Hiring Your Ideal Business Coach: 5 Decision Factors to Find Your Match

I’ll always remember the day I called my manager to resign from my sales position and begin my new life as a solo professional. It was just before the Thanksgiving holiday. I had been planning my exit for months, and dreaming of it even longer. I had a plan in place and it was time for action.

There was this mix of excitement and complete terror in letting go of that steady paycheck in exchange for the unknown. All those little questions popping up in my head: Was I ready? Did I know what I was getting myself into? What if this is a complete bust?

But deep down, I knew it was time; it was my destiny to work for myself, to get out into the world and do bigger things.

If I could share one thing I’ve learned: don’t go it alone. Hire the right business coach to help you on the path. Consider it an investment in yourself and your success. But because it’s a pretty considerable investment, it can be intimidating to know you’re making the right choice the first time.

A good friend and companion on the self-employment journey once told me: if she’s on the path a few steps ahead, she wants to point out to those following behind the big boulders to avoid. In the spirit of paying it forward, I want to help you avoid some boulders.

When I hired a business coach, I looked for these non-negotiable factors:

  1. Specific target market. When doing your research, make sure your coach serves people like you. For example, I work with self-employed women who are service professionals. They create products and services around their knowledge or expertise. They also want to remain self-employed and work virtually; they don’t foresee themselves establishing a brick and mortar business or hiring employees. Being that specific allows people to consider me – or not consider me – before going further. The more specific your coach’s niche, the more expertise they will likely have to help you.
  2. Trust and credibility. Look for standard credibility builders – they’re simple but necessary. These include a professional email address, a web presence, and specific testimonials. When I was researching coaching certifications, I contacted one of people who provided a testimonial for the program. She spoke with me for 30 minutes about what she gained from the program. That’s powerful. It was what I needed to help me make my decision.
  3. Experience. I personally look for a mix of credentials and experience. Part of experience is meeting a client at his or her level. When I hired a business coach last year, she took time to understand my business and was able to suggest a starting point appropriate to my place on the self-employment road. A friend told me a story of hiring a marketing coach and spending a significant amount of money, only to later find the program was way beyond where she was at in her business, resulting in a disappointing (and costly) experience.
  4. Investable opportunities. What offerings does the coach have beyond the most expensive core package? Look for free or less expensive ways to experience this person’s style and knowledge before making the plunge. This could be a free tele-class or audio recording, a speaking engagement, or a low-cost class offering. The coach may also offer a laser session; if that’s the case make sure they have some pre-work for you to complete prior to meeting. This could be a questionnaire, assessment, or mini-course. That’s the only way for them to really get to know you and ask the right questions.
  5. Likeability. Likeability is part of building trust and credibility, but it’s so important that it has its own spot on the list! When you’re talking with this potential coach, do you feel that you can make an emotional connection with this person? After all, you will most likely be spending several weeks sharing details of your business, your dreams, and your goals. Tim Sanders writes in his book The Likeability Factor, that the four components of likeability are friendliness, realness, empathy, and relevance. How does this person rate with you on those four components? Take advantage of the free or low-cost investable opportunities to get a feel for how likeable the coach is personally and professionally.

Following these five tips will help you avoid any boulders on the path to hiring your ideal coach!