What country are you based in?
I’m based out of the USA and currently living in Los Angeles, CA.
Do you feel your location has an effect on your domain investing?
Being based out of Los Angeles hasn’t had an effect on me as a domain investor. But one nice perk about living in Los Angeles is that I live really close to some other awesome fellow investors I’ve connected with in person.
How long have you been involved in domains?
My journey into domain investing got started back in 2013. Since then I have enjoyed every moment and have never looked back. Domain Investing is a part of my everyday life and I find myself feeling out of order when I go a day without something domain related in it.
Are you a full time domainer?
I’m not a full time domainer. But with the hours I find myself putting in every day, it sure seems like it, lol. In life I strongly believe that the energy you put into something is what you get back from it. So I find myself devoting more time into domain investing to achieve better results.
How did you find out about domain investing?
Before 2013, I didn’t have much of an understanding about things in the online world or any idea what domain investing was. It was in 2013 when I started working in sales at an online software company where I learned about web design, databases, hosting and of course the importance of domains.
When I went to launch my first website in 2013 I was on the hunt to find a domain that suited my idea. I remember I was typing away on GoDaddy and didn’t understand why everything was unavailable or was for sale. It was during this time that I found out that there are people who buy and hold domain names as online real estate and sell them for profit. Learning about what domain investors were at this time, really intrigued me. After a grueling search, I did end up hand registering a domain that worked for my idea and I moved on.
Now let’s fast forward to 2014. With another idea in mind I went back to the drawing board and was searching for my next domain. So in my search I went to a make offer landing page and decided to submit an offer to the owner. Little did I know that it was a one word .com domain and their expectations for this particular domain were $60,000 USD. When I replied and was blown away by the cost, they told me to look at names available on Afternic to see if it would fit my 3 figure budget at the time. In following their advice, I spent time researching Afternic and learned about the reseller side of domains and began to learn the basic concept of domain investing.
So what did I do next? I went to the drawing board and hand registered 4 domains and put them for sale on Afternic. It was exactly 49 days later when I received the email that my domain had sold for the amount of $700 USD. When I got this email I literally fell out of my chair with happiness and excitement running through my body. Having this sale happen gave me the motivation and excitement to take domain investing more seriously.
Not too long after my first sale, I found Domain Sherpa and became hooked on learning about the industry. Hearing so many seasoned investors sharing their wisdom and insights on how they would sell their domains lit a fire inside of me and helped me realize it was possible to do the same. Listening to countless episodes every chance I got helped me learn so much and I’m grateful that it was there to change my life.
How many domains do you currently hold?
I’m currently holding around 7,000+ domains in my portfolio and still growing. When I got started in 2014, I would never have fathomed that I would own this many domains, but it excites me that I have made it this far and still feel that I have much more I want to accomplish as an investor.
What's your favourite non .com tld/nTLD/gTLD?
My favorite non .com would have to be .io. It has always fascinated me how extensions like .io have come to find adoption in specific industries like the tech and the startup world. One thing to remember about non .com’s.. Don’t sleep on them! There is so much opportunity in alternative extensions. Do your research on them and get your hustle on 🙂
What's the best advice you've been given by another domain investor, either directly or through something they've said on twitter or in an interview?
In my early days I read a post on NamePros and the writer was talking about the importance of diversifying your portfolio. I’m thankful that they wrote that post as it really helped me understand that spreading out the type of domains you choose to invest in is very important. Why? Do you remember hearing the age old saying when you were young “don’t spend it all in one place”? I feel the same way about only sticking to one particular niche, industry or type of domains I invest in.
What kind of goals do you set yourself?
After my first initial years of getting started, It came to a point where I realized I needed to begin tracking my portfolio and expenses going in and out. Since then I have set a goal every year on how much revenue I need to generate based on my current portfolio size and expected portfolio growth. Once I have that number, I break it down on a monthly basis and focus on those goals of where I need to be every month.
Once you’ve come to a point where you find yourself taking domain investing more seriously, remember that running your domain investing like a business is very important for scaling long term. Consider setting budgets for your general expenses, renewals, tracking sales, marketing costs, business needs and acquisitions to stay or become profitable.
Who are your top 3 domain investors?
I’ve got love for so many amazing investors in our industry, but I would have to say my top 3 Domain Investors in no specific order would be Mark Levine, Braden Pollock and Ammar Kubba. From their interviews and interactions I’ve had with them, I have appreciated their transparency and insights they share for everyone to learn from. Thank you to them for always going out of their way to guide others and help our industry grow as a whole.
What's the toughest part of domain investing?
Once you’re a seasoned investor, I believe the toughest part of domain investing would be to continually practice patience, restraint and discipline. Learning when to walk away from an auction, a negotiation, drop a domain or accept an offer, are skills that take time to master and respect. Building such skills will help contribute to you becoming a professional and experienced domain investor.
How do you structure the domaining part of your day?
My daily routine consists of about 3 hours every day. In the evenings I handle my recently received domains, write the Domain Smoke newsletter, research upcoming auctions/drops and manage my general portfolio. I’ve learned that sticking to a routine is very important for success. Whether it’s an hour a day or 3 hours a week, have a routine to keep your investments and goals in order.
How do you manage your portfolio?
For managing my domain portfolio I use Google Workspace Sheets and Estibot. With Sheets I have tabs to keep my ideas in one place, track my drops, renewals, sales, acquisitions, expenses, fresh names to add to marketplaces and domains for future private acquisitions. I’ve been an Estibot user for many years and I enjoy their portfolio management to track my current portfolio size, get alerts on new registrations and reports/statistics on my portfolio. Estibot is more than just an appraisal tool and portfolio tracker, so make sure to take a look at their suite of tools if you’re considering in using them.
Do you also have any NFTs or Crypto in your portfolio?
Yes, I’ve got a small portfolio of NFTs and am invested in Crypto as well. These 2 areas of my investment portfolio don’t get the same amount of attention as my domain portfolio does, but I really do enjoy the time I spend as a part of their communities. Without a doubt, I appreciate the constant innovation and the hustle Crypto related space has brought to the table.
What's the most you've ever spent on one domain?
The most I’ve personally ever spent on a single domain was around $3,000 USD.
Have you ever done outbound? If so, were/are you successful?
Yes, I’ve done outbound before and was successful with it. In the time I was devoted to doing outbound I sold multiple 3 and 4 figure sales between the years of 2015-2017. Doing outbound was great for me to learn the industry, interact with end users and generate revenue more quickly. Even though I don’t do outbound daily as I did in the past, I do still reach out to potential end users when I see the opportunity arise with names in my portfolio.
Doing outbound is no easy task and I genuinely respect people who do it everyday to make a living. If you’re hiring a broker, they deserve to get their fair share for their time and hard labor they put in to close a deal. Haven’t done outbound before? Put yourself out there and learn by getting your hands dirty. There are some great books, videos and courses out there to learn from.
You're given $10k to spend on domains, how do you spend it?
If you asked me what I would do with $10K 3 or 4 years ago, I would say that I would spend it on closeouts, low wholesale priced auctions and hand registrations. Now that my investing strategies have progressed, I am looking to invest in more high ticket domains that can yield higher returns with a single transaction. So today I would take that $10K and use it to scout a higher ticket domain through private acquisitions. There are many gems out there owned by investors and end users that are ready for a new home and owners to come knocking on their door.
Outside of domains, what other business/wealth/personal growth figures do you look up to?
Figures that I look up to outside of domains are going to be Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Oprah, Mark Cuban, Louise Hay, Eric Thomas, Don Miguel Ruiz and Paulo Coelho. Each of these people have given me motivation, encouragement, inspiration and helped me find my passion in life.
What do you do when you're not domaining?
Some of things I enjoy doing the most when I’m not domaining are going to be lifting weights, watching 90 Day Fiancé or Force, hiking, concerts with friends, snowboarding, smoking hookah and getting out to the movie theaters. And did I forget to mention that my favorite foods are Sushi and Middle Eastern? When I go out for dinner, it’s usually one of those types of restaurants 🙂
What advice would you give to people just starting out in domains?
- Investing in yourself (very rewarding)
- Read domain investing blogs and news
- Follow and research sales on NameBio and DNJournal
- Find your way into the domain investing community (social groups, forums etc.),
- Watch DomainSherpa (So much to learn here)
- Listen to Alvin Brown’s Kickstart Commerce podcast & Domain Name Wire
- If you don’t know have any sales experience in your background, work on growing your sales knowledge/skill set (there are countless courses on this)
- Read domain investing books (Yogi Solanky, Darryl Lopes, Alex Verdea have great books)
- Join DNAcademy, taking Michael Cygers course will help you accelerate your knowledge with proven methods for investing wisely and efficiently
- And lastly, HAVE FUN learning and discovering Domain Investing. Anyone can do this from anywhere in the world and domains can/will change your life