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Cover Story
April 2008

The Domain Giant You Didn't Know:  Rob Grant's Roundabout Route to Real Estate Riches (
Online and Off!)

There are certain names that everyone in this industry knows, names that newcomers normally encounter within hours of entering the domain business. Names like Rick Schwartz, Kevin Ham, Frank Schilling, the Castello Brothers and others from a small band of pioneers who have reached the top of a mountain that thousands of others continue to climb. Most in that group became wealthy because they were visionaries who foresaw how valuable domain names would become long before they appeared on anyone else’s radar. 

Rob Grant may not be as widely known as some of his pioneering peers, but few in the industry can match the foresight, financial commitment and unwavering faith in the future of domains that Grant has shown over the past 12 years. During that time the personable real estate broker from upstate New York assembled the world's best collection of real estate related domain names (as well as some gems in other categories).
click here for entire article




Rob Grant: “Dot Titanic”

By Elliot Silver · March 15, 2017

Rob Grant is one of the “original” domain name investors, having built a great portfolio many years ago. He has also sold a number of high profile domain names, including TorontoRealEstate.com ($140k), and JacksonHoleRealEstate.com ($80k) among others. These days, Rob is probably more well known outside of the domain name business for being the father of Lana del Rey, but that is another story!

Without much of a doubt, Rob is a fan of .com domain names. Today on LinkedIn, Rob posted a poem (I think) called Dot Titanic. As you might imagine, the poem is about new gTLD domain names, and Rob has a pretty dim view of them and their prospects:

“New Gtlds are going down as fast as the Titanic – and taking most of their shocked passengers with them.The hidden iceberg (and what nobody saw below the surface) happened to be a fatal loophole governing unregulated price increases for all new Gtlds.”

Rob has gone on the record to discuss the new extensions before. Here’s a quote of his from a DNJournal article dating back to 2014:

“I’ve seen a significant increase in the number of qualified and substantial offers coming in from brokers for the premium ‘.com’ real estate domains – this, paradoxically, as many of the new competing “real estate” extensions are just now being launched, most notably .realtor, and to a lesser extent .house, .home, .realty, .mls, .estate, etc. Over 23 new ‘real estate’ related gTLDs are scheduled to launch (or have launched already). As this growing clutter of new gTLDs overwhelms the public and the real estate industry, there appears to be a growing identity crisis among agents and brokers… and especially consumers.”

Rob’s portfolio of .com domain names is quite expansive. In addition to owning top RealEstate.com domain names in markets across the world (HawaiiRealEstate.com and NewYorkRealEstate.com to name two), Rob also owns domain names like Adirondacks.com, Marathons.com, and TropicalFish.com.

It’s always interesting to get the perspective of people who have been in the domain business for a long time.




TorontoRealEstate.com $140,000 Domain Sale by Rob Grant Sets New Benchmark for Geos
by Kris Rivenburgh on September 29, 2014

Per DNJournal, Rob Grant sold TorontoRealEstate.com for $140,000! In the same article, Ron Jackson writes that’s the highest price for a geo real estate domain. The next best sale known is HamptonsRealEstate.com for $100,000.

What I’m sure helped the sale is Grant had previously dealt with the buyer. He had sold him OttawaRealEstate.com prior to this transaction.
Thoughts

Real estate is a huge niche and I don’t doubt the domain is worth it for the enduser. Still, this is a tremendous sale as typically geo’s are capped around $30,000-$40,000.

What I mean by that is you don’t typically see a geo domain – of any niche – go beyond that price range.

Granted, real estate is the king of all niches but this sale is so far above par, it has to be a milestone of some sorts.

The closest Toronto domain sales I could find are TorontoLimos.com for $20,000 and TorontoBusiness.com for $4,700.

Congratulations to Rob Grant for going beyond market price and setting a new benchmark for geos.

 

Dotcom vs New gTLD Extensions: What’s the Status?

When consumers first began using the Internet there were only a handful of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to choose from: .com, .org, .net, .info and a few others (this list does not include restricted TLDs, such as .edu, .gov, and .mil since they can only be used by specific types of organizations or registrants). While there have been attempts over time to increase the number of gTLDs, the efforts have not gone far, and the original—dotcom—remains the supreme leader.

A couple of years ago ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, decided to allow companies, individuals, and organizations to create more specific domain names around hobbies, industries, businesses, cities, and more, in the hopes that it will increase competition and choice for anyone hoping to create an online presence (https://www.eurodns.com/international-domain-names/icann-new-gtlds/faq/).
What gTLDs Offer that Dotcom Cannot

There are several key features that supporters of the new gTLD system like to point out. First, anyone who registers a gTLD owns and operates a critical part of the online world, and will be in charge of any and all domains that register using that gTLD. These are virtual pieces of real estate, and like physical property it can represent a potential money-making opportunity for those who wish to buy, sell, and lease domain registries to others. Other benefits include:

Increased awareness and recognition for brands that register trademarked names.
More targeted marketing and increased online branding using unique and specific domains.
IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) will allow for the use of non-Latin characters.
Geographic, cultural, or community-based TLDs can help bring together like-minded groups and citizens for causes and social interactions.
New gTLDs offer an opportunity to provide better products and services to consumers.

Currently there are close to 700 registered gTLDs in about 20 different categories (see the full list at www.newgtldsite.com/new-gtld-list). You can find broad TLDs such as “.medical” or more narrow ones such as “.[city name]”, and everything in between. The total number of gTLDs is projected to at least double, and could get much higher.

The Four Types of TLDs

There are a few different categories that new top-level domains will fit into, depending on what you want.
General TLDs will be available for almost anyone to register with few restrictions. Examples of generic terms might include .movie or .furniture.
Community TLDs will help raise awareness and rally support around a group or cause. The term “community” is not restricted to geographic areas, although you can get community-geographic TLDs with support of the local government in your geographic area. Other community examples could include religious groups, charities, or hobbies.
Brand or trademark TLDs will be restricted to the companies or individuals who own the rights to the name, such as .Target, .Apple, or .Sony.
Geographic TLDs are the final category for specific countries, cities, states, or even continents such as .Europe, .Paris, or .Texas.

There are also variations for TLDs in non-Latin languages, such as Mandarin, Cyrillic, Japanese, and Arab. Millions of applications have poured into ICANN for these domains, which are similar to Latin-based languages in terms of the available categories and potential extensions.

Many Consumers Not Ready to Switch

While the prospect of being able to target marketing, increase brand awareness, and encourage competition online is certainly intriguing for businesses and brands, recent statistics have shown that consumers still prefer dotcom over any of the new gTLDs. There are a variety of reasons that people have not been rushing to new TLDs, but often it boils down to the fact that consumers are familiar with dotcom, and worldwide brands have built a powerful presence around their .com websites.
ALSO READ: A2 Improves Dedicated Hosting Service

In a 2012 interview Rob Grant, a “domainer millionaire” who buys and sells thousands of websites and domain names from his company WebMediaProperties.com, was confident that dotcom is not going away anytime soon. Its online presence—websites from the largest corporations to the smallest blogs—is undeniable. As with any strong brand, the introduction of several competitors often only confuses consumers and strengthens the one that everyone is familiar with (find details of his interview at http://www.thedomains.com/2012/07/23/rob-grant-on-the-new-gtlds-dot-com-will-always-win-the-horse-race/).

Almost by accident, companies and people have helped build and reinforce the power of dotcom. Billions of dollars in advertising have been spent on dotcom branding, with integrated campaigns across traditional media (television, print) and new media (web and social media) that solidify dotcom’s position at the top of the domain extension world.

It’s also important to remember that this is not the first time new domain extensions have been introduced. As the Internet has expanded over the years there have been other TLDs, such as .jobs, .museum, and .pro. While they don’t offer the same personalization and brand differentiation that the proposed new gTLDs will, they have not gained enough traction to overtake (or even compete with) dotcom.

There is a caveat to the potential for a dotcom challenger—Google spent millions for over 100 new extensions, as did Yahoo and Bing, and if search engines decide to prioritize new domain extensions over dotcom, that could give gTLDs a boost.
ALSO READ: CIO Perspective: Defunding and Refunding Initiatives
Considerations for New gTLDs

There are a lot of other technical considerations that brands, companies, and organizations should consider before switching to a new gTLD. For example, there could be problems with website functionality when migrating from a .com to a .brand, search engines might have more difficulty indexing and identifying sites, and all the time spent creating reputable backlinks (which boosts SEO) will likely be lost. Brands should also consider whether their name would make a good extension by asking questions like:

Is your name short enough to make it easy to remember?
Are there similar extensions that might be easily confused with your .brand?
If there are other similar registries, is it worth purchasing all of them?
Can you manage the registry in a way that ensures it won’t become associated with “spam” sites?

Finally, consumers might just have difficulty finding your website since they are so used to the dotcom extension, which leads to decreased traffic and reduced conversions and sales. With all these potential pitfalls, the new extension might not offer enough value to give up on the branding that your current dotcom provides.

Since it first began the Internet has been changing and adapting to meet the needs and desires of its users. While the new gTLDs present an interesting opportunity for change, it may not be enough right now to push consumers toward this new frontier. Many companies are still waiting to see how it will play out before jumping headfirst into the fray.






August 4, 2011
Rob Grant's RealEstateDirectory.com & eDevelopers.com Team Up to Launch New Domain Leasing Model With PhiladelphiaRealEstate.com

RealEstateDirectory.com CEO Rob Grant and eDevelopers.com President and CEO Cody Maher have announced a unique content and leasing partnership with the initial launch of PhiladelphiaRealEstate.com. After several months of testing and development the site went live in June and has just been successfully leased to Philadelphia based realtor Noah Ostroff, who will operate the site as a unique real estate portal in the major Philadelphia markets.

Grant said, "We are extremely excited to partner with Cody Maher and Dino Adamou of eDevelopers with the initial launch of this unique platform and I'm thrilled to be working with

Noah Ostroff, who has proven to be a very entrepreneurial and forward thinking Realtor in his approach to traditional real estate marketing. This is a big commitment on everybody’s part with the signing of a long term lease, as well as a willingness to experiment with a unique real estate model that will grow and evolve as the market changes."

eDevelopers first approached Grant back in October 2010 at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach conference in Miami. Dino Adamou of eDevelopers said, “Rob liked what we offered but was initially hesitant to move forward as others in the industry failed to deliver on their promises. However, we agreed to test our model out on a few of his real estate domains. It has been wildly successful and we are extremely excited about what the future of this model might hold.”

Cody Maher said, "We designed the Software package to be highly scalable and easy to deploy. Within a matter of 1 week, we launched the real estate platform and began focusing on the SEO campaign which has been running for two months. The domain was originally beyond page 10 in Google search results and today sits at the top of page 2. We anticipate the site to hit page 1 within the next 3-4 months.”

Their client, Noah Ostroff is also a happy camper. "This is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking to capitalize on an opportunity to grow their business through one of the most sought after domain names in their region. It is a turn-key package that will seamlessly enhance their current business without interruption," Ostroff said.

In addition to the launch of PhiladelphiaRealEstate.com, Grant and the team at eDevelopers are testing new platforms with sites at CaymanRealEstate.com and IowaRealEstate.com. Grant said that if the model continues to be successful, this same leasing concept will be executed across more real estate domains in the RealEstateDirectory.com portfolio - the largest network of geo-targeted real estate domains in the world. Grant and eDevelopers hope to open up new opportunities in the real estate industry by offering 'turn key' real estate portals to brokers and agents who are looking for both powerful branding and strategic marketing solutions

eDevelopers.com develops turn key web portals with their real estate, ecommerce and lead generation platforms. In addition to these software packages, the company operates a content creation company at ecopywriters.com as well as a link building service at edomainers.com. Together, these businesses provide clients with a comprehensive approach to web development and SEO.
click here for online article

(Posted August 4, 2011)

ROB GRANT WINS 'DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR' AWARD AT THE 2011 INTERNET 'TRAFFIC' CONFERENCE IN FT LAUDERDALE, FL.



On October 18th Rob Grant was presented with the 'Developer Of The Year' award at the 2011 TRAFFIC East Internet conference held in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

Grant is one of the original pioneers in the internet domain space. His company, WebMediaProperties.com, has been quietly and methodically acquiring and developing valuable domain assets dating back to early 1996.

Over the last 15 years Grant has assembled one of the most diverse and impressive portfollios of premium generic domain names.

Today, his www.WebMediaProperties.com operates a global network of 7000 high value domains encompasing a wide spectrum of industries including publishing, music, law, finance, sports, retail, automotive, and literally hundreds of other niche categories.

His www.RealEstateDirectory.com operates the largest portfolio of premium real estate domains in the world. In 2010, in partnership with eDevelopers.com, Grant launched one of the first innovative leasing platforms allowing brokers and agents to lease fully developed web portals built around premium real estate brands like www.PhiladelphiaRealEstate.com

Grant's www.EducationalDirectory.com comprises one of the largest, privately held portfolios of online educational domains including www.SpecialEducation.com and www.CatholicSchools.com

In addition to the above, Grant also operates his own private label network of 1500 developed web sites showcasing travel, sports and lifestyle.



Valuable Asset: ParkCityRealEstate.com sells for $60k Rob Grant owns the world's largest collection of geo-targeted .com real estate domains.


Luxury Property Domains Luxury Real Estate Branding & Marketing: Luxury Agents need Luxury Domain... Own Your Market!

He sold ParkCityRealEstate.com to EW Partners of Park City, Utah for $60,000 in 2011. Grant said, "We rarely sell any of our valuable geo-targeted real estate domains unless the offers are significant and reflect the true value of these names. ParkCityRealEstate.com was a domain that I originally hand registered back in the November 1996. "

"This is a great example of how valuable these real estate .com domains have become over the years as a unique asset class - despite ongoing recessions and our current global financial crisis. Frankly, there's no better investment out there." Read more about Rob's real estate domains at RealEstateDirectory.com.


Rob Grant On The New gTLD’s: “Dot Com will Always Win The Horse Race”
2012 July 23
by Michael Berkens

In an story and interview published about domainer Rob Grant a few days ago by whoapi.com, entitled From “Madison Avenue to Adirondacks – domainer millionaire” Rob was asked what he thought of the new gTLD’s:

“Which new gTLD has the most potential? What’s your opinion on hundreds of new gTLD’s that are lining up?”

rob grant -president web media properties
Rob Grant

President & CEO
WebMediaProperties.com

Rob had to say:
“”Only one extension will emerge as the winner. Its the same extension that has always emerged on top, through countless disruptions and changes in the domain space.”

“It’s Dot Com. Dot Com will always win the horse race.”

“It doesn’t matter how many horses enter the race. Dot Com is the powerful and graceful ’Secretariat’ of domains. ”

“It’s important to remember that this is the one extension that all companies (Fortune 500 companies on down to small businesses everywhere) have all built massive brands around – both online and offline (print, TV, radio, etc) over the last 15 years. All other extensions have basically played a defensive role. This means that billions of dollars in advertising and marketing have been spent on the Dot Com brand itself. It’s what consumers are familiar with and understand.”

“The introduction of thousands of new extensions will only confuse the consumer, and serve to strengthen the Dot Com brand. What people forget is that we have already been through a similar test case with the introduction of new tld’s like Biz, Info, Travel, Mobi, etc. And we all know how that mess turned out. ”
click here for entire article

 

Jan 10, 2011
Jothan Frakes' weblog

Rob Grant owns the world’s largest collection of geo-targeted .com real estate domains and it is a rare occasion when he lets one go.
click here for article

Rob Grant: Good Domains Take On Huge Value
Friday, February 20th, 2009

Rob Grant walked away from a dream job on Madison Avenue to New York's Adirondack Mountains. Problem was, he had no job waiting for him. "We happened to get lucky because we hit that market just as the Adirondacks were starting to be rediscovered," Grant said.

From there, skill, moxie and fortitude took over. As the region became popular to people from New York, New Jersey and Boston, Grant pioneered real estate domaining with AdirondackRealEstate.com, for example.
for webinar and article click here



08-17-2010
Make Money Online -
Real Estate Domain Giant Rob Grant Cuts a Unique Development Deal with Select Sotheby
Real Estate is an industry that will benefit from the Internet because it can cost down on a lot of wasted time, effort, and money. This is just another example of two companies pushing the envelope in their markets...
click here for full story




March 2011
New Wall Street Journal Feature Puts Rob Grant Back in the Spotlight

While I was away on a South Florida visit Friday, the Wall Street Journal ran a new feature piece spotlighting a special listing from real estate domain pioneer Rob Grant's AdirondackRealEstate.com website. The property represented by Rob's company that the WSJ showcased is Kilkenny Lodge - a magnificent Adirondack lodge built in 1901-02 as part of a summer compound for William Kingsley, a New York banker who became president of the U.S. Trust Company.

The lodge was selected for the spotlight in a new interactive WSJ feature that will be showcasing unique properties from around the world. Readers are invited to go online at WSJ.com/realestate to
post their guess as to how much the house will sell for - and when. The Wall Street Journal will track the Kilkenny Lodge listing for the next 6 months to see which reader comes closest to
the final sales price if and when the property finds a buyer. For the record Grant is quoted as saying he expects the lodge to sell for close to the $690,000 asking price in mid or late summer.


Kilkenny Lodge - what will Rob Grant sell it for?

The building has over 4,200 square feet and features seven bedrooms, six baths, hardwood floors, wood paneling, massive stone fireplaces, a private study and library, and a spectacular 80-foot long porch that stretches along the entire length of the lodge. The property is situated on a very private 2.3 acre plot surrounded by woods and streams with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
At 690k (less than the price of a number of individual domain sales we have seen over the past year) I could see any one of a number of domainer investors adding this property to their real world asset portfolio.
click here for online article


Rob Grant of Adirondacks.com (and many other sites) won the Developer of the Year Award.


October 19, 2011
Back to the Future: After a Domain Conference Shakeout T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Shines in 2011 Show on Fort Lauderdale Beach

By Ron Jackson

The final business day at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2011 got underway Tuesday morning (October 18) with another bountiful brunch at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach. This brunch was special though - it was the 7th Annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards Brunch that honored companies and individuals who excelled in our industry over the past 12 months.

Before the awards were handed out there were a couple of other business items to take care of. Those started with me taking the stage to provide an update on third quarter domain sales which showed a nice improvement over the same quarter a year ago. I will be detailing the stats I shared in our next newsletter that will be out within the next 24 hours.
click here for article




January 2011
Rob Grant Rings Up Nice Geo-Targeted Real Estate Domain Sale

Rob Grant owns the world's largest collection of geo-targeted .com real estate domains and it is a rare occasion when he parts with one of them. However, this evening Grant, the CEO of RealEstateDirectory.com announced that he has sold ParkCityRealEstate.com to EW Partners of Park City, Utah for $60,000 in a deal brokered by GoDaddy.com.


Avid fisherman Rob Grant reeled in a nice
.com real estate domain sale this week.

Grant said, ""We rarely sell any of our valuable geo-targeted real estate domains unless the offers are significant and reflect the true value of these names. ParkCityRealEstate.com was a domain that I originally hand registered back in the November 1996. This is a great example of how valuable these real estate .com domains have become over the years as a unique asset class - despite ongoing recessions and our current global financial crisis. Frankly, there's no better investment out there."

Recently, Grant partnered with Sothebys Select Real Estate to leverage his domain names in test markets throughout New York, building custom sites around geo-targeted domains like www.LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com. These partnerships are based on generating targeted real estate leads that can convert to actual sales and commissions.

 

"If you're fortunate enough to own a specific real-estate.com domain in a given city or region, and you take the time to really develop that name into a major real estate portal, you'll invariably own that market on the internet," Grant said. "We've proven that repeatedly with our own real estate firm here in the Adirondacks. AdirondackRealEstate.com is now responsible for 95% of all our real estate and vacation rental leads. We rarely use print any more for any of our real estate advertising."

Congrats to Rob, whose sale will undoubtedly give him a spot on this week's Top 20 sales chart that will be out Wednesday.

WhoAPI blog
From Madison Avenue to Adirondacks - domainer millionaire
2012-07-19

Every successful domainer has his story how he got into this business. Here's Rob Grant's. He was this creative guy working really hard at Grey Advertising. He was really happy to get that job, but it was becoming more and more stressful since working for clients like Proctor & Gamble, Northwest Airlines and others doesn't come that easy. Tag lines like "Thank Goodness it Fits" made his clients a fortune, so he began to wonder what it takes to do the same for himself.

He moved from Madison Avenue to the Adirondacks. To Adirondacks? Guess what. That was the best move Rob ever made. He went there into the Real Estate business that gave him the security after moving there, and giving up his great job at perhaps the best marketing agency in the world. You are probably wondering what happened next, and how does a guy from a marketing agency - turned "RealEstate agent" go to a domainer? Well, when you think about it, domains are virtual real estates. And marketing and branding is deeply tied with domain names. So when Rob combined his two experiences, he though he could get a hold of it, and boy he did.
click here for the complete article



Posted July 20, 2012
Domain industry pioneer Rob Grant (who was the subject of our April 2008 Cover Story) also had a lot to say about new gTLDS (and many other topics) in a new interview that Goran Duskic published on his WhoAPI.com blog. Grant told Duskic, "Only one extension will emerge as the winner. Its the same extension that has always emerged on top, through countless disruptions and changes in the domain space. It’s Dot Com. It doesn’t matter how many horses enter the race."

Grant said, "It's important to remember that this is the one extension that all companies (Fortune 500 companies on down to small businesses everywhere) have all built massive brands around – both online and offline (print, TV, radio, etc) over the last 15 years. All other extensions have basically played a defensive role. This means that billions of dollars in advertising and marketing have been spent on the Dot Com brand itself. It's what consumers are familiar with and understand."

Grant continued, "The introduction of thousands of new extensions will only confuse the consumer, and serve to strengthen the Dot Com brand. What people forget is that we have already been through a similar test case with the introduction of new TLDs like . Biz, . Info, . Travel, .Mobi, etc." click here for article





Friday, December 24, 2010

Domaining's Most Fascinating 2010- Rob Grant "Forever Young" "Forever Innovating"
'If you know upstate New York or if you've visited a geosite for the region, then you probably have hit one of Rob's properties. Rob's WebMediaProperties.com owns about 8,000 domains and has helped define successful real estate domaining. His WebMediaProperties.com has turned upstate New York's AdirondackRealEstate.com and other real estate domains into a successful business with one of the first refined marketing strategies for geodomaining. This former New York ad man and onetime custom furniture maker who relocated to New York's upper Saranac region also owns a host of compelling verticals including RealEstateDirectory.com, Marathons.com, TropicalFish.com, prefabhome.biz, and such geo targeted properties as MississippiRiver.com"
click here for entire article


August 2010
Real Estate Domain Giant Rob Grant Cuts a Unique Development Deal with Select Sotheby's International Realty

Rob Grant (left) and John Burke in front of the Select Sotheby's International Realty office in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Following six months of discussions and development, Rob Grant, CEO of RealEstateDirectory.com (who was profiled in our April 2008 Cover Story) and John Burke, President and CEO of Select Sotheby's International Realty in northern New York State, have announced a unique internet partnership with the launch of a powerful New York real estate portal for www.LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com.

"We are very excited to partner with Select Sotheby's International Realty on this unique project and to be working with John Burke," Grant (who is based in Lake Placid, New York) told us. "If this first site performs the way we think it will, it may represent the future template for a major build out of our powerful New York real estate network in select markets."

The RealEstateDirectory.com was founded in 1996 by Grant who owns the largest network of geo-targeted real estate domains in the world, including LondonRealEstate.com, JapanRealEstate.com, TokyoRealEstate.com, AustraliaRealEstate.com and GermanyRealEstate.com, as well as hundreds of other countries and cities around the globe.

"Our current strategy is to partner with companies like Sothebys here in Upstate New York which offer excellent inventory and a large network of experienced agents," Grant said. "It's critical that we have internet savvy agents who can handle these real estate leads and convert them to actual sales."

Throughout New York State, RealEstateDirectory.com owns domains representing the most important markets throughout New York State, including

NewYorkRealEstate.com, BuffaloRealEstate.com, AlbanyRealEstate.com and SyracuseRealEstate.com to name just a few. The majority of these domains are still utilizing a traditional parking based platform generating PPC revenue, but Grant has his sites set on forming more development deals like the arrangement with Sotheby's to unlock the full potential of these domains.

"As the traditional PPC revenue model slowly dies, large domain portfolio owners are now finally moving into the next development phase," Grant noted. "For real estate domains, the highest and best use has clearly always been as fully developed real estate portals. The commissions which can be generated from the sale of physical real estate dwarf any other revenue model we know of."

"The way we've structured the LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com deal with Sotheby's is that RealEstateDirectory.com owns the actual web site and Select Sotheby's International Realty provides all the unique inventory and listings. Its a very simple and straight forward arrangement. If we can generate the leads, Select Sotheby's International Realty agents can convert these leads into sales," Grant said.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Rob Grant Partners With Epik to Launch Major White Label Brand On The Cheap


"And I think a lot of us are still in denial because things have been so comfortable for so long... And we somehow hope that things will get back to 'normal'. But the truth is, they won't -We're seeing catastrophic declines of 50% or more in ppc revenue...and that's the new paradigm. Its a lot like the newspaper industry hanging on to the very end as their ship sinks around them".


You’ve read about veteran domain innovator Rob Grant on DNJournal and also heard his story told on DomainSuccess.

What you haven’t heard is that he has inked a white-label partnership with Epik to breathe new life into his prized portfolio of category defining “cheap.com” domains - Names that have been lying in wait for over 10 years until the right combination of time and technology offered an opportunity to exploit their potential. The time is now, in our currently troubled and deal driven economy, and the technology is Epik’s portal and eCommerce platforms that are perfectly suited to it.

By cheap domains, I mean CheapCurtains.com, CheapPillows.com, CheapFlooring.com, CheapBlankets.com and 100’s more. “Cheap” is a word frequently clicked on by savvy comparison shoppers who are actively looking for bargains. These visitors convert well to clicks and sales...And when they find something they like, they spread the word fast creating a multiplier effect. (Photo: Rob Grant and Epik's Rob Monster by Barbara Dillman Neu)

Starting two months ago with an initial launch of 50 portal names and a signature Epik solution that can be leveraged to other owners of “cheap” ecommerce domains, Rob has already seen significant 300% improvements (week over week) for domains operating on the new Epik platform. If this pilot program performs well, Rob has plans to launch over 100 Cheap portals over the next 12 months rolling out an ambitious Cheap Shopping Network in hundreds of product categories.

An Evolution With Epik
Rob Grant is one of the earliest domain pioneers, having acquired about 8,000 domains since starting in 1996. From BeverelyHillsRealEstate.com to upscale-upstate New York’s AdirondackRealEstate.com, he’s helped define successful real estate domaining, most recently signing partnerships with offline real estate leaders such as Sotheby’s, who understand that Rob’s online brands are as powerful and valuable as their carefully crafted corporate brands.

Rob realized it was time to tap into another segment of his diversified portfolio. But how?

“There is never any clear choice or simple road map to follow when you are starting down a new path ” Rob says. “But it feels good to move forward and to be on the offensive, especially in such a difficult economy when so many businesses are failing.”

So Rob chose Epik, and although its still quite early in the game, he's glad he did.

“Epik has devoted a team of very bright people to help us,” he says. “We are learning on the fly and making adjustments to stay on course. Our goal is to grow in stages. Our first stage is the current product portals that have just been launched. Second stage will be drop shipping with select vendors and manufacturers. The third and final stage will be full blown e-commerce for those sites that qualify. Obviously, this third stage is extremely complicated and involves buying and warehousing product from overseas for each of the niches defined by our domains. At this point, we’re a long way off from tackling any of these issues. Our goal right now is to get the first 50 sites launched successfully and then see which domains turn into real winners.
click here for the entire story





Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rob Grant: "It's interesting. I just deleted hundreds and hundreds of hyphens."
If you know upstate New York or if you've visited a geosite for the region, then you probably have hit one of Rob's properties. Rob's WebMediaProperties.com owns about 8,000 domains and has helped define successful real estate domaining. His WebMediaProperties.com has turned upstate New York's AdirondackRealEstate.com and other real estate domains into a successful business with one of the first refined marketing strategies for geodomaining. This former New York ad man and onetime custom furniture maker who relocated to New York's upper Saranac region also owns a host of compelling verticals including RealEstateDirectory.com, Marathons.com, prefabhome.biz, TropicalFish.com, and such geo targeted properties as MississippiRiver.com.


On DomainSuccess.com, host Jeff Zbar asked Rob how he got started in domaining?

Yeah, that was back in 1998, when we listed a remarkable property located in the Catskills in upstate New York. It was a private estate located on a mountaintop called Glen Tonche, and it was owned by the Pitcairn family out of Philadelphia. And typically most mid-size real estate agencies can only service listings within say a 50 to maybe 100 mile radius. Basically, it comes down to how far a real estate agent is willing to drive to show a property. So your boundaries are pretty limited. Glen Tonche in the Catskills was located over three and a half hours away from my agency up here in the Adirondacks. So that was a huge distance by traditional standards.

So when we listed this property, the first thing I tried to do was enlist the cooperation of local real estate firms down in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. But they felt strongly that we were invading their territory and they gave us no cooperation. So we were forced to find alternative marketing, and we created a showcase website for Glen Tonche on CatskillsRealEstate.com. We began to market the property online and through select magazines. And in July of 1998, we successfully sold Glen Tonche in-house using the Catskills website. The price was $1.7 million, generating a commission of over $150,000 to our firm. This proved to me that the Internet and domain names were incredibly powerful tools and they were going to change the way traditional business was done especially in the real estate space.

Today our websites are responsible for some of the biggest sales we've had. Properties like Camp Cobblestone, which we sold recently for $2.5 million and Camp Konocti, which we sold for $3.3 million. So the Internet has become by far and away the most important resource we have as an active agency.

Well, it was a logical expansion of the concept that I saw with Catskills Real Estate and Adirondack Real Estate. And actually, when my web designer back in 1996 first came to me and said, "You know, you should really own Rob Grant Real Estate." And I thought to myself, "Well, really who the hell cares about Rob Grant? No one knows him and no one's going to search for him. But what they do care about are the Adirondacks and Adirondack real estate." So for me, the light really went off when I put myself in the shoes of the searcher or the consumer. And as soon as I realized the significance of owning a powerful geo-targeted domain, I began to expand out of New York. We created a huge vertical in New York -- AlbanyRealEstate, SyracuseRealEstate.com, so on and so forth. But then quickly moved beyond New York out across the country, and then ultimately we jumped from the US to Canada and then onto all of the international markets.

Well, obviously the biggest change is going back to1996, there were just a few people out there acquiring these names because there really was absolutely no reason to buy a domain. There was no way to monetize it. Very few people even understood what it was. There were no search engines. This was long before Yahoo or Google or any of that. Hard for a lot of folks today to believe. So you bought these names purely on a hunch. It was really gut instinct and nothing more and there were very few of us out there doing it. But the guys who were out there doing it were very smart, and they had the same conviction and belief that I did. I had the advantage of having worked on Madison Avenue, so for me I felt that a generic domain defining an industry represented a future brand. So I was convinced that if you could own these category defining domains that someday, maybe in five, ten years as the Internet matured, these domains would take on huge value. But back then, they were essentially worthless and in fact they cost you money because you had to register. The only register back then was Network Solutions and you were paying 100 bucks a pop. So you had to think long and hard about acquiring any kind of significant portfolio.

It's interesting. I just deleted hundreds and hundreds of hyphens. I know over in the UK they like hyphens. And I know from an SEO perspective hyphens can be very important. I do keep the hyphenated real estate domains, again just as a defensive play. But I have let many hundreds of hyphenated domains go just in the last six months.



October 2011
Advice From the Most Successful Domain Owners of All Time –

This is part five of a series of five with one piece of advice from some of the most successful domain investors, domain developers, domain monetizers, and others involved in the domain industry. I asked them for one piece of advice they would give to a part-time domain investor looking to build his business. I believe there are quite a few people who are part time domain investors, and I also believe just about anyone involved in the industry can apply some of this advice to their own business models.

I really appreciate all of the contributions from the industry leaders who contributed, and I hope the advice contained within is helpful to you now – or will be helpful to the growth of your business in the future.

Rob Grant, WebMediaProperties.com & RealEstateDirectory.com:

All it takes is one good domain.

The rest will follow.

Today, our domain space has become increasingly cluttered with domain litter…useless extensions and obscure country codes that blow around in the wind like trash in a vacant lot… followed by domain investors running wildly around chasing all this garbage.

click here for Elliots Blog with Rob Grant Interview

click here for Elliots Blog




Madison Avenue and Domain Legend Rob Grant Live 2/18/09
Join us for a Webinar on February 18, 2011 featuring Rob Grant .
About Rob Grant

Rob Grant walked away from a dream job on Madison Avenue so he could move to New York’s Adirondack Mountains, even though there was no job waiting for him there. “We happened to get lucky because we hit that market just as the Adirondacks were starting to be rediscovered,” Grant said. “People were starting to come up from New York, New Jersey and Boston and I found I was able to sell the residential properties for two and three times what I paid for them.” That kind of ushered in my real estate era. As the economy started growing again, Grant’s business boomed. At this same time, in 1995-96, Grant became aware of the Internet and domains. “That was a remarkable awakening for me because I had the Madison Avenue marketing background and I had the real estate background and suddenly these two powerful thing merged. I looked at a domain and thought My God, not only is this a brand as the Internet develops, but it also has all of the properties of real estate,” Grant said.
Title: Gratitude Presents Domain and Advertising Icon Rob Grant
Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2011
Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST




January 2007

Get a Great Domain Name. Looking for a memorable Web site address?
Don't think for a moment that all the good ones are gone.

BY MICHAEL RUSSER
Lease it.
You don’t have to buy a domain name to benefit from its use. Domain leasing is based on the principle that many people simply type in the domain name for the type of product or service they’re interested in. Then, they’re redirected to your site, giving you extra traffic.

For example, if you specialize in Hollywood real estate, you may find that hollywoodrealestate.com is available for lease (which it actually was until someone leased it). If you leased it, whenever prospects type in www.hollywoodrealestate.com, they would be sent to your site.
You typically pay a fixed monthly fee based on the anticipated traffic. Think of this as a sophisticated form of pay-per-click, except that you pay a flat fee rather than a per-click cost. One domain leasing site that specializes in real estate domains, LeaseThis.com, also offers to wrap an appropriately designed branded version of the leased domain name location around your site. To see an example, go to www.hollywoodrealestate.com at the top you’ll see the branded domain name being leased, underneath is the site of the company that leased it.

Leasing is smart for several reasons. Since you don’t own the name, this approach creates a clear separation between your brand and that of the domain name. So when you’re ready to terminate your lease, it doesn’t affect the branding of your own site. (Tip: Never brand your site using a leased domain name, but always with one you own.) Also, you can use it as a listing tool; Imagine going on a listing appointment for a property in Hollywood and having the prospective seller type in “www.hollywoodrealestate.com” and see your site come up this way. Their perception is likely that you “own” that space.

click here for article with Rob Grant

click here for link to article at Realtor Magazine


Webmaster Radio
Monte talks to Rob Grant and Rob Barbour 12/21/2005 -
Monte Cahn Monte talks to Rob Grant and Rob Barbour. Rob Grant spent many years on Madison Ave. with Grey Advertising working on major accounts like Proctor and Gamble, Northwest Airlines, Playtex, etc. He moved to Lake Placid in the early 80s and started a number of businesses including a real estate brokerage firm and rustic furniture company! He created www.RealEstateDirectory.com which controls one of the largest online real-estate networks in the world. Rob Barbour, 39, is President and CEO of Digit Software, Inc, which provides software development services worldwide, cell phone services in Africa, and maintains a domain portfolio of 4000 names. Digit Software is also the parent company of Pokerliving.net, which teaches people how to make a living playing poker
click here to listen




January 2008
Rob Grant, the President of RealEstateDirectory.com, a company that owns a massive portfolio of highly targeted real estate domains - "I wanted to help create a new revenue channel," Grant said. "I did not want to remain dependent on Google and Yahoo (the main providers of PPC revenue) and this looked like a very smart alternative. For a vertical portfolio like mine is is especially good because it is possible to forge a direct advertiser relationship for thousands of domains at once."
click here for entire story





October 19, 2006 09:00 AM Eastern Time
LeaseThis.com Ushers in a New Era of Internet Advertising
New Platform Brings the World’s Premier Internet Real Estate to the Masses

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LeaseThis, LLC announced today the introduction of LeaseThis.com, a radically-new, cutting-edge Internet advertising platform that seeks to revolutionize the business of online advertising. Research has shown that while the number of global Internet users is growing exponentially, the availability of premium, targeted domain names is rapidly decreasing. The result is an increasingly difficult task for businesses to establish an online presence, or even reach out and attract new customers, through a meaningful domain name.

LeaseThis.com’s proprietary, patent-pending technology is designed to address this issue by better aligning the interests of online advertisers with those that control the Internet’s premium real estate. “We are the first company to offer domain leasing on a scalable, global platform, thereby releasing the incredible value of premium domain names to businesses and individuals around the world,” said Jonathan Boswell, CEO and Co-Founder of LeaseThis.com.

The value of a premium domain name is easily illustrated in the “real” (as opposed to “virtual”) world of real estate. According to the 2005 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 82 percent of first-time homebuyers and 78 percent of repeat homebuyers used the Internet to search for homes, and 24 percent of buyers actually first found their home on the Internet. For many Internet users, that search starts with real estate domains. For example, a prospective buyer looking for a home in Atlanta often types “AtlantaRealEstate.com” (www.AtlantaRealEstate.com) or “AtlantaHomes.com” (www.AtlantaHomes.com) into their web browser. With a median home price in Atlanta of $265,000, it is easy to see the intrinsic value of this type of highly-targeted traffic.

Furthermore, a recent study conducted by WebSideStory, Inc. (www.WebSideStory.com) shows that this type of “direct navigation” has a conversion rate more than 80% higher than that of traditional PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising on Yahoo! and Google.

Ammar Kubba, COO and Co-Founder of LeaseThis.com, acknowledges that the early response has been tremendous. “Businesses desperately want access to this premium traffic, yet the current PPC model often fails to capitalize on the true power and value of premium domain names, to the detriment of both advertisers and domain owners alike. With LeaseThis.com, we now have the ability to deliver this highest-quality traffic directly to the businesses that need it most, in the most efficient and compelling manner possible. We see it as the next logical step in the evolution of search marketing.”

To develop its comprehensive and unrivaled inventory of premium domains, LeaseThis.com has been working closely with prominent domain owners such as Rob Grant, CEO of the RealEstateDirectory.com, which controls one of the world’s largest and most sought-after portfolios of Real Estate domain names. According to Grant, the advantages to controlling a valuable domain on an exclusive lease basis are significant. “By leasing a strategic industry domain, companies can now effectively leap frog over their competition. Instead of merely being listed with dozens of other advertisers on a traditional PPC template, one company alone will have the exclusive use of these extremely valuable domain properties.”

The initial release of the LeaseThis.com platform is currently available exclusively to select beta partners, in preparation for a full-scale global launch in early 2007 .


Cover Story
January 2011

The State of the Industry January 2011: 15 Leading Experts ... Predict What Will Happen in 2011
To make sense of what happened in 2008 and where we are headed in 2011 we called on 15 of the most successful people in the domain industry for our 5th annual State of the Industry report. Our panel of experts includes key company founders, CEOs, developers, investors and attorneys. The all-star roster includes (alphabetically by last name): Monte Cahn, the Castello Brothers (Michael and David), Phil Corwin, Michael Gilmour, Ari Goldberger, Rob Grant, Dr. Kevin Ham, Dr. Chris Hartnett, Michael Mann, Andrew Miller, Howard Neu, Rick Schwartz, Tim Schumacher and Divyank Turakhia. With so many top minds gathered in one place this is a report you can't afford to miss!

click here for Full Story


click here for Rob Grant Interview



Domain name gifts: Dot-com boon for charities
By Jenn Abelson
Published: Thursday, March 30, 2006

BOSTON — When Tom Bird started receiving six-figure offers for his domain name, farm.com, the Massachusetts- based entrepreneur this month made an unlikely move: he donated the Internet address to the Boston Foundation.

In less than a week, the nonprofit group sold farm.com for $200,000. The buyer? The online pet supplies business Pets United, which already owned dog.com, fish.com, and horse.com.

"We've never dealt with anything like this before," said Ruben Orduna, vice president for development at the foundation. "We were scratching our heads trying to figure out if this was O.K. But it was surprisingly easy and a great gift."
click here for entire article


Rob Grant Interview – Real Estate & Geo Domains – Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

My good friend Rob Grant was recently interviewed on WebmasterRadio.FM on 23 July. Rob is the Geo Realestate King of the industry. He has some great information to offer on how he built his empire and the future of realestate geo domains.
I advise readers to take notes and listen to this informative podcast. Realestate Geo Domains will become some of the most valuable domains as the industry matures. Really, most large realestate companies still do not understand how powerful these brands are at this time. It is amazing that in 2008, the biggest industry taking the internet by storm, still does not completely understand the value of these geo domains.
As I have stated many times, the industry is maturing and pioneers like Rob are doing a fantastic job getting the word out to the masses. If you would like to chat with Rob, you can reach him on GeoDomainer.com.
click here for posting


Rob Grant Interview - Real Estate & Geo Domains
DIGG




click here


Domain Masters: Online Radio Talk Show
Domain Masters is a free online radio talk show dedicated to teaching listeners how to register domain names, build websites, monetize website traffic and protect your online brand. The radio show airs each Wednesdays at 7:00pm EST. click here for link
Monte talks to Rob Grant and Rob Barbour 12/21/2005 - Monte Cahn Monte talks to Rob Grant and Rob Barbour. Rob Grant spent many years on Madison Ave. with Grey Advertising working on major accounts like Proctor and Gamble, Northwest Airlines, Playtex, etc. He moved to Lake Placid in the early 80s and started a number of businesses including a real estate brokerage firm and rustic furniture company! He created www.RealEstateDirectory.com which controls one of the largest online real-estate networks in the world. Rob Barbour, 39, is President and CEO of Digit Software, Inc, which provides software development services worldwide, cell phone services in Africa, and maintains a domain portfolio of 4000 names. Digit Software is also the parent company of Pokerliving.net, which teaches people how to make a living playing poker.


T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York Award Nominees Written by Domainer's Magazine Staff Thursday, 27 August 2011 08:38 click here

 




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