Performing A Regular Domain Portfolio Checkup

The overall goal for any domain investor is to sell names. Some investors have lots of domains and others have smaller portfolios. Regardless of portfolio size, most investors will agree that some domains they own are better than others. Most portfolios follow the 80/20 rule: about 20% of the domains account for 80% of the value. It’s important for domain investors to identify and monitor their best domain names, and then make sure the domains stay current. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure that happens.

Identify The Best Domains

Every investor has at least a few domains. These are the domains you believe appeal to a lot of people and have big market potential. But, are these really your best domains? Can you name the top 10% of your portfolio? Start by rank-ordering your domain names based on value indicators such as:

Registration Date – Although many newer domains are worth more than older ones, most great domains were registered a long time ago.
Length – All things else being equal, shorter domains tend to be more valuable than longer ones. Same goes for the number of words.
Extension – COM is usually best unless you live in a country with a popular country-code extension.
Popular Topics – Domains related to popular or lucrative topics can have more value.

In addition to running your own value screens, use sites like Estibot and other domain valuation tools to filter the good domains from the less valuable ones. Estibot assigns a numerical value to every domain name. It uses data such as the number of extensions the domain is registered in, the value of its keywords, and similar domains that have sold to determine this value. Automated appraisals are controversial because many people don’t agree with their values. Still, doing this will help you identify good domains in your portfolio that you might have thought were only average. Once you complete your list of the best domains, it’s time to protect them.

Take Action

You wouldn’t park your brand new car next to a clunker in the parking lot, and you keep your fancy new smartphone in a sturdy case to protect it in case you accidentally drop it. Likewise, you should take the proper steps to care for your investment in domain names. The first step is to make sure that auto-renew is turned on for all of your domains. Auto-renew ensures your domain names are renewed when it’s time to pay the next annual fee. Make sure your payment information stays up-to-date or auto-renew could fail. Something else to consider is renewing these domains for several years at a time. Sometimes, renewing domains well before their expiration date can help them sell. Some people interested in buying a domain will look up when the domain expires. If it expires in a something like a month, they might hold off on trying to buy the domain from the owner with the idea that it will become available to register by hand (or backorder) again soon. Finally, check that your best domains point to the correct sites. If you point your domains to for sale landing pages, make sure these are set up correctly to maximize the chance of a sale.

Rinse And Repeat

Evaluating your domain portfolio is not a one-time exercise. Re-evaluate your portfolio at least once per year to account for new additions and changing values. For example, if a domains topic has suddenly become popular, it might be worth much more than it was a year ago. Consider setting aside one hour of time over the next week to analyze your portfolio and figure out which of your domains are the best. Consider renewing them early, and make sure they’re set to auto-renew. It will save you time and lots of grief in the long run, and maybe mint you a nice sale!