Lately I have been on an interviewing binge, so here it goes. For this interview, I talk to Giuseppe Graziano. Some of you may have already heard of him on various domaining blogs, but for those who haven’t – he is a domain broker who has built up quite a resume in a short period of time.
Q: What is your name and what company do you represent? Website?
A: My name is Giuseppe Graziano and I am CEO and founder at GGRG.com, a domain consulting and brokerage firm.
Q: How long have you been domaining or domain investing?
A: I love the word “Domain Investing”! I started working with domain names in 2012.
Q: How many domain names have you sold to date?
A: Hard to pin point the exact number, but I have probably sold over a hundred domains so far.
Q: Can you share one story of a successful domain name sale? Where did you buy/sell and for how much? Who was the buyer (if you can share)?
A: I have brokered two LL .com, several single word .com and a few portfolio deals, all for different amounts – some deals went extremely smooth and some instead were the outcome of lengthy negotiations. But probably the deal I remember more dearly was my first 6 digits sale. Both buyer and seller were end users – I can’t say the names of the companies, but I can say that the domain was a five letter one word .com domain and it was purchased with the intention of upgrading an existing website and create a new brand. I contacted the buyer about a different name and he said he was more interested in buying another name that was not available. So I approached the company who owned the domain and I did not get any response for about three months. Persistence finally paid off and I got through to someone in the management, who was not really interested in selling. After 15 months of negotiations, the CEO finally got back to me with a price and a time limit to execute the transaction. I rallied to negotiate a lower price and pull a deal in 7 days, with the seller located in Boston and the buyer in the Mauritius. As a broker, this is my biggest satisfaction and pride: being able to help people obtaining the domain they really want so they can start building their business and creating value.
On the consulting side, the client I am most proud of is Ken O’Brien. For the people who do not know Ken, he started out by purchasing a small LLLL portfolio from Adam Dicker. Since he was unsure of his buying strategy, he booked a few consulting sessions with me. For one full month, we reviewed his acquisitions every morning, looked at different deals and studied what made a LLLL more valuable than others. Ken was extremely determined and worked more than 10 hours/day analyzing the data and looking for deals. In the end, his effort paid off, and in just six months he has managed to make slightly over $1,000,000 USD in profit by investing in LLLL. Obviously the market timing helped us a lot to achieve this result, but we did isolate the right niche and did our best to make it happen. You can read the full story here, together with my LLLL investing report.
Q: Do you think there is still opportunity for someone new to the domaining business?
A: I think there is plenty of opportunity for two main reasons: the market is becoming a lot more liquid and the amount of information and investing tools is increasing exponentially. For example Ken did not own any LLLL domains prior to May 2015, nor did he own any particularly large or valuable portfolio, and it is impressive to see how well he has done in such a short period of time. Anybody can make it if he/she is willing to work hard.
Q: What is your top advice for a newbie domainer?
A: Thierry Francois, a well-known Canadian domainer that I met at my first domain conference, gave me this great advice which I will pass on to you: When starting out, rather than registering a bunch of domains, do your market research and buy only one good domain under market value.
This seems like a simplistic advice, but it is actually great in all its nuances. If you think about it, if your goal is to buy just one domain, it sets you on a path of right actions: you have to decide in which category you want to invest, you have to do market research on which is the best venue to buy and at what price you have to buy if you are going to make a profit, it gives you budget constraints (therefore avoiding that you make an emotional decision), it makes you familiar with the process of buying and using an escrow service – overall it is an accelerated course in domain investing that costs you only the price of the domain you bought. If you go through all the steps, you will get a much better understanding of the industry and you will be on the path to become a successful investor.
On the flip side, I think the biggest mistake newbie do when starting out is to take a lottery approach and registering a bunch of domains. After all, it is easy – you only need to find a coupon code, pull out the credit card and start registering. It takes less than 5 minutes and it doesn’t take any particular skills. The problem with this approach is that it is almost never successful, and the domains you registered sit in your account sucking you anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per year. But the biggest issue of registering a bunch of domains, is that it teaches you nothing about what it takes to make consistent profits. I am not judging anybody, as I also started this way (and lost a lot of money) but, if this approach has not worked for you so far, stop and realize that it is probably time to change it.
Q: What is your outlook on the domain industry?
A: Extremely positive. I genuinely believe that domains will become a proper investment class just like stocks, forex and collectibles. My mission when I started GGRG.com was to make the domain secondary market a more efficient place by removing the asymmetry in information between expert domain investors and the general public. I think that little by little, with the reports that we are publishing, we are slowly but surely getting there 🙂
Thank you so much Steve for interviewing me. I invite everyone who enjoyed this interview to sign up for my weekly newsletter, which is receiving amazing feedback and where I share market trends, floor prices and investing tips like the ones above on a weekly basis.
I would like to thank GG for taking his time to share his insights into the world of domaining.